The magazine of the photo-essay
July/Aug 2021 issue
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
Sapeurs
by Tariq Zaidi
British photographer Tariq Zaidi documents a fashion subculture of Kinshasa & Brazzaville known as La Sape, Socíet́e des Ambianceurs et des Personnes ́Eĺegantes (or Society of Ambiance-Makers & Elegant People). Its followers are known as “Sapeurs” (“Sapeuses” for women). Most have ordinary day jobs as taxi-drivers, tailors and gardeners, but as soon as they clock out they transform themselves into debonair dandies. Sashaying through the streets they are treated like rock stars – turning heads, bringing ‘joie de vivre’ to their communities and defying their circumstances.
Elie Fontaine Nsassoni, 45-year-old taxi owner and sapeur for 35 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Ntsimba Marie Jeanne, 52-year-old businesswoman and sapeuse for 20 years, Okili Nkoressa,10-year-old school student and sapeur for 5 years, and Judith Nkoressa, 39 year-old policewoman and sapeuse for 18 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Natan Mahata, 8-year-old school student and sapeur for 3 years, in Kinshasa, 2019 © Tariq Zaidi
Maxime Pivot Mabanza, 43-year-old teacher of La Sape and sapeur for 36 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Yamea Bansimba Jean Claude, 58-year-old bricklayer and sapeur for 50 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Clementine Biniakoulou, 52-year-old housewife and sapeuse for 36 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Basile Gandzion, 51-year-old human resources manager and sapeur for 30 years, in Brazzaville, 2017 © Tariq Zaidi
Ella Kiadi, 44-year-old businesswoman and sapeuse for 8 years, in Brazzaville, 2019 © Tariq Zaidi
Israell Mbona, 5-year-old school student and sapeur for 3 years, in Kinshasa, 2019 © Tariq Zaidi
Nkodia Aurelie, 48-year-old businesswoman and sapeuse for 36 years, in Brazzaville, 2019 © Tariq Zaidi
Back to menu Back to menu