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An abbreviation which translates to ‘Society of Ambience-Makers and Elegant People’ La Sape is a subculture originating from Kinshasa (DRC) and Brazzaville (Republic of Congo). It’s followers or ‘Sapeurs’ are known for flamboyant clothing and ornamental accessories in a manner similar to their colonial predecessors the ‘dandies’.
Once ostracised and campaigned against in the 80s, Sapeurs are now minor celebrities in their communities, their colourful attire catching the eyes of everyone nearby.
“white people invented the clothes, but we (Africans) make an art of it.” Papa Wemba