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THE CONGOLESE SAPE #2. Brazzaville.


Héctor Mediavilla

SAPE: Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes. At the beginning of the XXth century when the French arrived in Congo, the myth of the Parisian elegance was born among the youth of the Bakongo ethnic group, who were working for the colonizers. At that time, the white man was considered superior, someone showing better manners and elegance. In 1922, Grenard André Matsoua was the first Congolese ever to come back from Paris dressed as a genuine French. His arrival caused indescribable commotion and admiration among his fellow countrymen; he became known as the first Grand Sapeur. Having the respect and admiration of his community, today’s Sapeurs consider themselves artists. They add a touch of glamour to their humble environment through their refined manners and impeccable dressing styles. Each of them is unique showing a particular repertoire of gestures. They all share the same dream: To go to Paris and return to Brazzaville as an aristocrat of supreme elegance.


 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264045

A group of neighbourgs among whom are the sapeurs Willy Covarie (with a white cap in the centre), Doyen Germain (on his left) discuss next to the "atelier de couture", where they spend their time. Sapeurs often get their suits sewed up here, in the Pere Drean street.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 18/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063438

Willy Covary, one of the most admired sapeurs of the Bacongo neighborhood, poses in front of his house, after taking a bath. He is about to get dress to go out. On the right side, he is ready to show off in the city.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 09/12/2005

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063298

The sapeur Bienvenu Mouzieto takes off his hat and regards hismself at the mirror whereas his wife watches the TV. Many Bacongo families do not have electricity at home to watch TV.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo - 18/12/2005

autorisation orale uniquement

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063430

Doyen Germain, poses with his extended family in front of their home in Bacongo neighbourhood.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo - 03/01/2006

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0061494

Bienvenu Mouzieto walks with his 6 year-old nephew Stephane in the Bacongo neighbourhood.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo - 27/12/2005

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063439

One of the most famous sapeurs of the Bacongo neighborhood, Doyen Germain, poses in front of his house. On the left side, he is dressed in casual wear . On the center he just got dressed up to show off. On the right side, he poses with his family.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 05/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264038

A group of Bacongo sapeurs escort the fiancés at their arrival to the Parlament Palace. The sapeurs have been invited to add color to the wedding reception, they will eat and drink for free but also get a little sum of money for their participation.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 16/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063432

Despite working as a policeman and having been critized by his superiors, Ferolle Nguaby loves being a sapeur. On the left side, he is dressed with his police uniform. On the center he is dressed with a Scotish Kilt as an homage to the Price Charles of Walles. On the right side he poses with his only sister in front of his family house, where he lives with his parents, his sister and some brothers. He is part of the Picadilly group, which is the most innovative of the country.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 04/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063301

Entierro de un famoso sapeur llamado Jean Patrice “Damas” Massamba en el cementerio critiano “Ma Campagne” en las afueras de Brazzaville. Muchos sapeurs conocidos como Francos Uomoas, con corbata amarilla, despiden al difunto. ----- Burial of a well known sapeur called Jean Patrice "Damas" Massamba at the "Ma Campagne" christian graveyard in the outskirts of Brazzaville. Many important sapeurs like Francos Uomos, with a yellow tie, attend the ceremony.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 16/12/2005

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063435

The sapeur Delagrace, also known as the icon of beautiful colors, in and out of his rented room.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 02/01/2006

Only for distribution in France and Belgium.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264031

After the sapeurs parade for the 48th anniversary of the independence day of Congo many sapeurs related to the ASSACO association have come to a N'ganda (terrace-bar) in the Makele neighbourhood where the Communication minister, Alain Akoula, is supossed to show up . Many sapeurs from the Southern districts didn't want to show up because they don't want to take part in politics, they state they are free and independent.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 15/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063440

Aymard, a boy relative of the fiancés, poses in front of an old wall during a evangelist wedding celebration. On the right side, he poses with his cousins .

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 10/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium. Authorisation orale uniquement.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264047

The Massala group of sapeurs from Bacongo have been invited by the sapeurs of the northern districts to show off together. Now, they show off in a Talangai avenue.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 31/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063433

Basseka Kandza, a sapeur who was very active during his youth in the seventies, shows some of his old pictures ot that time. On the right side, he poses with his dog in the entrance of his house.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 29/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium. Authorisation orale uniquement.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264033

La Maim Bleue terrace bar is totally empty a Monday afternoon. The Maim Bleue, placed on the banks of the Congo river, is the trendiest place in Bacongo where sapeurs like to be seen every Sunday evening. During the summer season it's very crowded because of all Congolese that live in France and return on hollidays to Congo.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 01/09/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264044

The Massala group of sapeurs from Bacongo have been invited by the sapeurs of the northern districts to show off together. Now, they they make a halt near a terrace bar where they will show off and have some drinks. Sapeurs are not so popular in the northern neighbourhood so when a large group show off neighbours are more surprised than in Bacongo.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 31/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063303

Some close relatives to the fiancés clap during the speech of the Evangelist preacher that animates the wedding ceremony. Some presents lay on the table.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 10/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063300

Romario and his friend, show their Weston shoes and their silk socks at the funeral of a well known sapeur called Jean Patrice "Damas" Massamba at the Saint Pierre Claver Catholic church of the Bacongo neighborhood.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 16/12/2005

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264029

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0063302

A group of sapeurs wait during the funeral of a well known sapeur called Jean Patrice "Damas" Massamba at the exit of the Saint Pierre Claver Catholic church of the Bacongo neighborhood.

Brazzaville, Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 16/12/2005

Only for distribution in France and Belgium. Authorisation orale uniquement.

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264028

Pelragie, wife of Yves Saint Laurant, the president of the Free France Association, stands, during the reception of the promotion of his new music album. The show hasn't started yet. Around 60 sapeurs from different parts of the city have been invited to this show in avenue Matsoua. The minister of communication Alain Akoula is the special guest. Sapeurs and the public are very proud of his presence and participation.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 30/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264043

Funeral of Ngoma Dimitri, who was shot by some nordist police. Despite he was not a sapeur he was a beloved young of the neighbourhood so many sapeurs have attended the funeral at the Sant Pierre Clavé Catholic church in Bacongo

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 22/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264027

A group of sapeurs from the ASSACO association make an impromptu parade at the Pierre Savoyard Memorial building during the African fashion week festival...

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 17/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264050

Akisse, the president of the Congolese sapeurs stands, during the promotion of the new music album by KVV Mouzieto, while some sapeurs show off near him. The show hasn't started yet. Around 60 sapeurs from different parts of the city have been invited to this show in avenue Matsoua. The minister of communication Alain Akoula is the special guest. Sapeurs and the public are very proud of his presence and participation.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 30/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264046

After the sapeurs parade for the 48th anniversary of the independence day of Congo many sapeurs related to the ASSACO association have come to a N'ganda (terrace-bar) in the Makele neighbourhood where the Communication minister, Alain Akoula, is supossed to show up . Many sapeurs from the Southern districts didn't want to show up because they don't want to take part in politics, they state they are free and independent.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 15/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264048

KVV Mouzieto the sapeur, dressed with a blue and whit striped suit, organices the reception of the promotion of his new music album. Around 60 sapeurs from different parts of the city have been invited to this show in avenue Matsoua. The minister of communication Alain Akoula is the special guest. Sapeurs and the public are very proud of his presence and participation.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 30/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264032

The Massala group of sapeurs from Bacongo have been invited by the sapeurs of the northern districts to show off together. Now, they show off in a Talangai avenue.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 31/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264040

The Massala group of sapeurs from Bacongo have been invited by the sapeurs of the northern districts to show off together. Now, they they make a halt near a terrace bar where they will show off and have some drinks. Sapeurs are not so popular in the northern neighbourhood so when a large group show off neighbours are more surprised than in Bacongo.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 31/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264041

After the sapeurs parade for the 48th anniversary of the independence day of Congo many sapeurs related to the ASSACO association have come to a N'ganda (terrace-bar) in the Makele neighbourhood where the Communication minister, Alain Akoula, is supossed to show up . Many sapeurs from the Southern districts didn't want to show up because they don't want to take part in politics, they state they are free and independent.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 15/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0264036

Traditional wedding reception of Pincia Antsimba and Gildas Louz Kindamba in the house of the fiancée. Gildas Louz lives in Paris and loves the sape. He has invited some friends sapeurs.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 23/08/2008

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0182822

Ferole N'Gouabi poses in the entrance of his family house. Ferole is one of the few sapeurs that wears a Scotish kilt. He got the first one from a relative who lived in U.K. After that, he and his friends from the Picadilly group have got some more tailored in Congo. He likes to be original and different from other sapeurs.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 13/08/2008

SPAIN OUT - PAS DE VENTE EN ESPAGNE

 

Héctor Mediavilla / Picturetank MEH0182798

Zenga Zenga and Aboubakar Massamba show off in front of the boutique where they work as a marketings agents. They are old sapeurs and gain some extra money with this part time job. They give out fliers La Sapologie boutique in the city centre.

Brazzaville, Congo, the democratic republic of the - 04/08/2008

SPAIN OUT - PAS DE VENTE EN ESPAGNE



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