Photos by Daniele Tamagni

La Sape: A Highlight On Congolese Men’s Fashion

By Ntumba Mukendi

It all started with Papa Wemba and his entourage, a legendary Congolese singer and lead actor in the classic Congolese movie “La Vie Est Belle”. In 1979, after returning from the Afrisa trip to Europe, Wemba began promoting the Sapeur (‘Société Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants’) as a youth cult specifically centered around Viva La Musica band and its music. They started wearing expensive European close in a Congolese style. Baggie dress pants pulled up above the waiste-line to the chest which facilitated a visual for the dance moves.