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The Congo Dandies: living in poverty and spending a fortune to look like a million dollars

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“La Sape” is a unique movement based in Congo that unites fashion-conscious men who are ready to splurge money they don’t really have on designer clothes. Dressing in stark contrast with their surroundings, these elegant ambiance-makers become true local celebrities… but this fame comes at a price. The Republic of the Congo in Central Africa can’t boast of high standards of living. Yet, there are men here who are prepared to spend a fortune on designer suits. They call themselves “sapeurs” – members of the “La Sape” movement. “La Sape” comes from French and stands for “The Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”. For its adherents, it’s all about style and elegance, the right combination of colours and textures, brand-names and the highest quality materials. They derive true joy from showing off their attire on the streets of Brazzaville – the country’s capital and the centre of the “La Sape” movement. Walking down dusty streets lined with clay houses, they turn heads and feel like kings. And there’s no price they won’t pay for this. In fact, behind the image of success these dandies project, there are often stories of significant financial troubles caused by their extravagant hobby. To afford the price tag of their designer clothes, “sapeurs” have to save, borrow and even steal money, sometimes bringing ruin to their families. But even the grim consequences of their indulgent dressing habits often don’t stop “sapeurs” from spending money they don’t really have. They are in constant competition with each other and investing in their image is more important to them than improving their living conditions. Dressing smartly becomes a true addiction that is very hard to conquer. However, some “sapeurs” do strive to find a balance between looking chic and being reasonable with their spending. They insist that the “La Sape” movement isn’t about designer suits but rather developing impeccable taste. They make an emphasis on learning to dress well but within one’s means. This way, style and elegance will demand fewer sacrifices from their devotees and will be accessible to more sophisticated men. SUBSCRIBE TO RTD Channel to get documentaries firsthand! http://bit.ly/1MgFbVy FOLLOW US RTD WEBSITE: https://RTD.rt.com/ RTD ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/RT_DOC RTD ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/RTDocumentary RTD ON DAILYMOTION http://www.dailymotion.com/rt_doc RTD ON INSTAGRAM http://instagram.com/rt_documentary/ RTD LIVE https://rtd.rt.com/on-air/
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Text Comments (32725)
skidrowsux1977 (1 minute ago)
First dude is gay. Straight up.
Andrew Hernandez (2 hours ago)
Wtf they speaking French all the time? Got no own languages?
Jess Mcneill (2 hours ago)
"he preferred to have children with me, so that means he loves me." nooooo honey, no!
ehegner (4 hours ago)
This is actually the culture of these people, I have a lot of Congolese friends, they idolize fashion with big brand names, and bleching they skin... I don't think my opinion matters... This is what they believe sadly
JaJa Binx (5 hours ago)
I wouldn’t be surprised if you squats and shits in the street.
Chloe Wilson (6 hours ago)
6:20 Guy: Look! film that over there! Camera man: *films digger in the others direction 😂
William Jones (7 hours ago)
Was this filmed in America 😂😂😂
screwed like (9 hours ago)
ooowwh a very hot day i should wear a very heavy suit to feel cold 🤔
Kallus Garnet (13 hours ago)
These poor guys are too old to be playing dress up.
Wasia M (15 hours ago)
they can owned those things but they cant own good house and environment for their wife n kids..
Wasia M (15 hours ago)
what an idiot and ignorant poor people trying to kick the dog.. u are the same poor than that dog
Well Done (15 hours ago)
As we speak my husband is getting jealous.
Hari Permana (15 hours ago)
Better than spend that on drugs
Dra O (17 hours ago)
Dayum! REAL African blacks are just like “other” blacks, in that they ONLY care how others perceive them (clothes, shoes, watches, auto rims, cars). It’s genetically-encoded if one is black. Screw planning for your future or providing more for your family (ie buying land). Baffling.
Clean Up Guy (18 hours ago)
Looking great in that suit!
jayson zapanta (18 hours ago)
Now its time for me to dress up, in a simple way, not expensive but heartthrob
William Perkins (19 hours ago)
Because no matter where on earth a nig will always nog.
J R's Place (19 hours ago)
mr sherburt (19 hours ago)
Hannah A. Gehrels (22 hours ago)
These men are aware of something many criticizing them are ignorant of: Life is short and unpredictable. Americans arguably spend years slaving themselves to a system that dictates their freedom. These men truly have freedom. In addition, we all have the same ending— rich, poor, wise, foolish. While their behavior may be perceived as folly for some, what we are witnessing is simply: humanity exercising choice over his happiness. Judge if you wish but the only “foolish” act these men have done is allowing the public to peer into their lives to chastise them. Their wives married them aware of who they are, no one contributing criticism is contributing money to support their addiction, and they have reached the pinnacle of self-actualization: doing that which they truly love. How many of you murmuring and complaining can say your spouses would allow you that level of forgiveness and unconditional love while you wrecklessly supported your habit? No individual here is willing to let nations and opposing cultures into their private lives to pick apart their decisions. Life is short. Go spend it howsoever you choose.
Rosalyn Kerr (22 hours ago)
Pobre pero con estilo... 👌
Ray Lmn (23 hours ago)
Dandies aside, I just love french. Learnt a bit ages ago. Wish I was totally fluent.
RXIN (1 day ago)
if i go broke fuck a job this guys getting robbed on the dead locs
Agent Smith (1 day ago)
Did that piece of shit kick the dog 5:30🤨
hugsica (1 day ago)
Mending gotong royong boss bersihin lingkungan kotor gitu
The editing in this is superb, these fools dont realize that this docu made them look like scum all the while they are bragging about their clothes no one gives a damn about. Amazing 👏
Arthur Wellesley (1 day ago)
What a farkin douchebag
sarika Bajaj (1 day ago)
very funny
Yes indeed it is stupidity. But if you look closely, you can see that this is the effect of colonization and how they idolize Western culture ( French) due to years and years under their rule. These are the Western view of how a gentlemen should dress like, rather than Congo's view of gentlemen. Most of the time, colonization left a long term disadvantage to the colony, economically and sociologically.
mr.sparkle (1 day ago)
Im hitting the congo with my rolly the gold necklace,tennis chain and bracelet with a tailored suit and a lime green top-hat! Watch ill be getting bad ass congolese on their knees if you please from the back cut no slack booty smack, take my jizz like white cheeze whizz and raise my kidz!
mr.sparkle (1 day ago)
I so wish he had an upstairs neighbor and the moment he walked outside they were just dumping out their toilet right onto his fancy outfit, i could quit the internet if that happened.
Snekgawon (1 day ago)
Damn, and I tought us Indonesians had it hard from the extensive slavery and the political conflicts after we gained independence
Salim Musah (1 day ago)
"normally if I hadn't bought these shoes, I would have bought a plot of land" I know his wife feels some type of way about these
1hard2findbro (1 day ago)
The saddest thing is that models that come from here that make it big never go back. Africa will be Chinese in 20 years. If you don't make the most of your land someone else will.
Sam Fitt (1 day ago)
This is just laziness why not use your time and money to invest in a business that will make you a million dollars . Oh well I'm just a rare person who thinks that way . Two years to buy a pair of shoes or a plot of land for dignity self-esteem interesting .
Jx 500 (1 day ago)
well, at least they look good..
βlue Яing (1 day ago)
22:25 The one on the left looks like a Cuban gambler trapped in a black mans body and the one on the right looks like a Mexican hooligan trapped in a black mans body 😂😂😂😂💯
Thungdeno Humtsoe (1 day ago)
Two years saving to buy a pair of shoes, Oh my God! Cool outside, empty inside. ☺️
iphil25 (1 day ago)
Bandile, you said it all. Fools, that's what they are.
Marie Niyo (1 day ago)
la sapelogie! Means congo.
Sabrina Weekes (1 day ago)
Never heard of Westons before...they know more about expensive material items than me. Priorities are all mixed up as far as I can see. I love a SALE...a $5 outfit can look just as good as a $5,000 one
Fredo Santana (1 day ago)
Who would've known, Sadio Mane would be part of La Sape.
Noypi54494 (1 day ago)
In short......fake it 'til you make it
avda Greenslade (1 day ago)
Classic Nig Nog tactic, lives in a ghetto and has gold chains and a mercedes benz. This is why blacks live in poverty.
- (1 day ago)
4:30 BIG belly, Tiny suit
Lngshirt (1 day ago)
Yearly average wage in the Congo is $400.00 to $500.00 a year. He wears $1200.00 shoes and $500.00 suit. In comparison that would be like an average middle-class American wearing $216,000.00 dollar shoes and a $ 90,000.00 suit.
Lady Lovely Locs (1 day ago)
Mind blown.
Martin Willow777 (1 day ago)
Just buy a better house
kicking at the dog eh.. that's something this guy would do https://youtu.be/Oa3uz2wCDQM To be fair to this lot they're probably the most well dressed people on the planet... it's not like their fashion sense is weird and cringeworthy.. they're genuinely sharper than all these mugs commenting. like they don't blow all their money on some stupid crap. if you's are so frugal what over-priced piece of rubbish are yers commenting with? I bet there's all kinds of worthless junk all over your houses. and if not i'll bet you pissed it all up the wall. I like how the contest winner opened his Sapeur school and was teaching about fashion sense and steering them away from money spending. Hopefully he can inspire those around him to dress well and within their budget. Let's not forget this tradition started with Congolese soldiers who fought in World War 2, not with a bunch of vein pansies that we see here on a daily basis.
Michael Strong (1 day ago)
If you want real entertainment and comedy, head on down to the comment section!
Haraki Youness (1 day ago)
LGFG Fashion House (1 day ago)
here's a new fashion based show https://youtu.be/gQt2fVa_neM
David Cruze (1 day ago)
Tashi Gyaltsen (1 day ago)
Why the fuck fame designer in europe help this people becoz they advertise their design
Tashi Gyaltsen (2 days ago)
All the hate commenters see wat u wear and eat,and comment these people wear and show wat they strive and effort,they r living with their passion while we r slave of other peoples concept
Ion Hanciuc (2 days ago)
Comes cada dia? ???
Cargadores Originales (2 days ago)
He just a poor man whit class .
Ghana Dan Legacy4ever (2 days ago)
99% of the USA live on credit so this young man delusional behavior is the typical American lifestyle take away credit most people are in stark poverty in nanoseconds
Billy Brigade (2 days ago)
Weirdest shit I've ever seen.
Tashi Gyaltsen (2 days ago)
Happy people
M A (2 days ago)
Cory Dunn (2 days ago)
Looks like Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Flint, Camden, Trenton, Ferguson....
rafizi shahruz (2 days ago)
They are rewarding themselves with this outfit... and they are being positive and happy person... wherever they live..
Luisletos (2 days ago)
tous des grands patrons😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 achetez plutôt à manger, ou des livres des cahiers des stylos pour les gamins, et des choses pratiques de la vie, pour la famille!!! Ils ont des Weston au pieds, et ils dorment par terre 😵 intelligence, tu es où ???? En France on les appelle les clowns discount, avec leurs accoutrements qui fait beaucoup rire les petits et les grands, comme au cirque. Rien dans le cerveau 😂😂😂😂😂
Leonard Butler (2 days ago)
I am PUZZLED! 🤣🤣 This is beyond me!
Bongwater33 (2 days ago)
Lots of garish old suits end up in charity bags - at least someone is enjoying them1
Saigon oi (2 days ago)
Poor people do this everywere it makes you feel better inside and pimps
30dk09 (2 days ago)
I am sorry to say this but what a shithole country.
Manta40ray (2 days ago)
As an African I am ashamed to see these retards.
jon doe (2 days ago)
Humans: what a curious species.
alvaro hernandez (2 days ago)
Me being mexican. I could never pull off those types of suits. Id probably would have someone yell at me “quítate esa mamada pinche cara de nopal”
Maggie Indeed (2 days ago)
Me: *studying all night for a test *day of test* My brain cells during the test: 1:19
CJ Yates (2 days ago)
Strutting around like PEACOCKS, and don't have a lot to piss in. Many of us in the west do the same thing, buy luxury shit we can't afford and go into debt for it. Everybody needs to wake the f*CK up , and think about what's really important. For people with kids, it should be perfectly obvious what that is, instead of being a deadbeat POS, take responsibility.
world watch (2 days ago)
"Hutiye" har color , har race, har nationality mein mil jate hain. Mujhe to lagta tha, mere desh mein hi log aise hain.
Daffney Delilah (2 days ago)
It reminds me of all the thug guys in my city wearing designer clothes and stuff. The difference is that the men in this video actually have manners.
RJ M (2 days ago)
When you take the instagram life too far
G.k Universe (2 days ago)
This is retarted. Fuck them clothes . take care of your family
denise jones (3 days ago)
OMFG!!!! IT reminds me of growing up in San Francisco these Guys are pimping!!!! Dam some of the guys did take longer then us girls to get ready and we dressed (Bad Ass).
Garnaris Shine (3 days ago)
Very ignorant man
Denise Darcell (3 days ago)
Typical Congolese men.
Beaky Twitch (3 days ago)
Status-obsessed. .. One way that people react to being treated like dirt. Bless them all !
Gaby Gaby (3 days ago)
My eyes have cancer now
Ben Ben (3 days ago)
Tonterias in Spanish.
Zerobladetion Wot (3 days ago)
Western people are lame 5:28 is the best part!!
Tea 1 (3 days ago)
Jibicus Maximus (3 days ago)
I am poor but I used to dress super fly, from charity shops, people used to say I looked a million dollars then I would say 'this shirt was £2.50 this hat, I found, trousers were £3.00 etc etc like hey say it's about colour combinations also, I Would say it's about small details, like the hanky in the pocket..
libra80sbabypeace (3 days ago)
lol no diffrence between the u.s. pay 200.00 and up on jordan shoes and gold chains and still walking on feet smh with no car and some womens not all will pay 500 for bundles but never the less dont buy food for there children
Hum Shak (3 days ago)
damned if u do, damned if you don't. let this man enjoy life. he does what he can to keep happy.
toro64xxx (3 days ago)
Flash status
Louis Dega (3 days ago)
What is she doing there with her rosy pussy 13:01
Kings lynn (3 days ago)
It's the same here. The kids are starving and the parents are driving expensive cars and have expensive bags and clothes. Never mind the weave and nails.
Luines Harpuines (4 days ago)
lisha lowery (4 days ago)
Hmm a 2000 dollar suit in a 4 dollar home ....(in the words of tommy from Martin)... u stupid
G.C. 88 (4 days ago)
5:30 elegant mother fucker
Lapis Lazul (4 days ago)
Blacks are obsessed with frivolous luxuries
jay adams (4 days ago)
Congo and other African countries are outsourcing a lot of work, especially the infrastructure to Chinese engineers. A Chinese engineer in the documentary I saw said he does´nt understand the Congolese. He said they got the knowledge first through Europeans and then the Chinese but they fuck up everything even though they get the knowledge, help and tool. For example the Congolese get their pay check by the Chinese companies and spend it all on the same night in the bar. They get fucked up and can´t handle the alcohol and on the next day at work they ask for an advance on their salary. I don´t remember the exact words but he formulated it pretty good.
TheSanfour123 (4 days ago)
Les esclave africain. Tfooo
Jaum Jaum (4 days ago)
Wit wit. 👍👍👍👍
Cute Flower (4 days ago)
Esto es lo más estupido que e visto y escuchado , tanta pobreza, niños descalzos y toda la gente alabándolos a estos payasos
I O (4 days ago)
ahhh racists will never understand liberty.. mocking these gents, while in your own lives you are dead inside and have no style.

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