La Sape, a class of elegant who spend fortune to look fashionable | Congo Dandies

Congo Dandies


In a country like Congo with one of the highest incidences of poverty in the world there are unique group of people, a community who can spend their fortune just to look elegant.


Congolese soldiers while returning from France after world war II brought back the latest Parisian fashion and took to dressing as dandies. They formed a group called La Sape or “ The society of ambianceurs and elegant people”.
When You dress up, you really are the best, the king of colour. The God of Clothes “The God of Sape!”

Dandies, with a income which can merely fulfil their basic needs and living they are always ready to spend thousands of dollars just to look elegant and fashionable. They buy lots of clothes to stand out among each other, which makes them dandies.

In Brazzaville, more precisely, Bas-Congo, The southern Part, the area with lots of Sappers and where La Sape is discussed the most. Everybody comes to show off their clothes to one another every weekend. There are rivalries, people show off their best clothes and are always competing with one another to look elegant. Only things that matters is how stylish they and their clothes are and off course the price of the clothes.


A civil servant, a sapper took credit not one but 4 times from govt (thousands of dollars) just to buy clothes. He says he took a credit of $8,600 USD the first time then $6,500 then $8,000. And all in total he has a collection of shoes total worth $3,800.

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