Sunday Night in Brazzaville

Congo’s capital, Brazzaville, is the home of Le Sape (short for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes) – a collective of dandies who take great pride in their appearance, and even greater pride in their colour co-ordination. The movement has its roots in the colonial 1920s, and although many of the adherents live what might (comparatively) be considered the slummier parts of town they manipulate networks of family and friends to provide them with the finest (usually French) designer gear. Every Sunday, hundreds of //sapeurs// get dressed up to the nines, dance the rumba, and just basically show-off their unique sense of style to all and sundry.

(They were the subject of a recent Guinness advertising campaign – which was fairly true to the real experience, only of course no one in Congo actually drinks Guinness…)

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