Some residents of the dual Congolese capitals of Brazzaville and Kinshasa have lengthy been identified for his or her love of fashionable dressing – particularly members of the Society of Atmosphere-Makers and Elegant Individuals (Sape). These pictures by Tariq Zaidi reveal an entire new technology of “sapeurs”.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Within the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa, the son of well-known sapeur Fiston Mahata, eight-year-old Natan, represents the brand new technology of fashion.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi
picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Severin Mouyengo’s father was additionally a sapeur. “I Sape daily. It makes me neglect about every thing,” says the 62-year-old retired forester.

“It brings peace and tranquillity to everybody… I do not see how anybody in La Sape might be violent or battle. Peace means quite a bit to us.”

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Elie Fontaine, a 45-year previous taxi-owner says he began dressing in fits as a baby in 1982. “They used to inform us that Sape was only a type of ‘juvenile delinquency’.”

They gained worldwide fame in 2014 when their type was featured in a Guinness advert.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi
picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Perreira Franchisco, a 37-year-old pc advisor in Brazzaville, calls himself “the best sapeur”.

“I’ll now reveal, what is named a clothes equation with 2 or 3 parts. So I can be sporting a Kenzo go well with, made in Italy, with a backless vest by Jean Basinga, I will put on a tie blue, white, pink by Pierre Cardin and a pair of varnished tectonic footwear by John Foster. I really like sporting my Kenzo go well with – made in Italy!”

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Increasingly more ladies are becoming a member of the dapper dressers, together with 44-year-old businesswoman Ella Kiadi who began eight years in the past.

The ladies within the membership are often called sapeuses.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi
picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

“It is like somebody who has an incurable illness and should take drugs, that is what Sape is like,” says Nino Valentino.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

Human assets supervisor Basile Gandzion, 51, has been a sapeur for 30 years.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

“Out of all my garments my favorite merchandise of clothes is my hat,” says 58-year previous bricklayer Yamea Bansimba. He has been a sapeur for 50 years.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi

“Jika is right here. The garments inspector, I’ve arrived, all of the labels are right here. A Y3 skirt, Zara and different labels, crocodile footwear, 40 cm socks, do you are feeling me. I’m right here, Jika the Parisian,” is how 28-year-old Serge Bakama Boke – aka Jika – introduces himself.

picture copyrightTariq Zaidi
picture captionSome begin younger with the sapeur type, like five-year-old Israell Mbona, within the pink hat.

At simply 5 years previous, Israell Mbona (proper) has been a sapeur for 3 years. Even at his younger age, his kilt is from Scotland and his footwear are Versace.

Photographer Tariq Zaidi’s ebook Sapeurs: Girls and Gents of the Congo is printed this month.

All pictures by Tariq Zaidi



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