Image 1 of 1


KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - FEBRUARY 12: Khaditoza Gola, the leader of the Leopard Sapeur with his son Khaditoza Exauce, age 16 and daughter Samba Khaditoza Anastasie, age 14, close to their home on February 12, 2017 in Kinshasa, DRC. The word Sapeur comes from SAPE, a French acronym for Sociéé des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants. or Society of Revellers and Elegant People. It also means to dress with “elegance and style". Most of the young Sapeurs are unemployed, poor and live in harsh conditions in Kinshasa, a city of about 10 million people. For many of them being a Sapeur means they can escape their daily struggles and dress like fashionable Europeans. Many hustle to build up their expensive collections. Most Sapeurs could never afford to visit Paris, and usually relatives send or bring clothes back to Kinshasa. Mr. Khaditoza has one of the largest collections of clothes, shoes and accessories of all Sapeurs. (Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson)