Wamuri identifies as a sapeur, a term used to refer to a person who dresses elegantly.
Wamuri who lives in Kibera said that he sacrifices a lot to afford his collection of designer clothes, shoes and hats whose worth is around KSh 1.8 million.
“When a sapeur wants a shoe or shirt, he ensures that he save the money till he gets what he wants. So instead of five means a week, one could have two meals to afford the outfits,” he said.
Despite the current economic hardships faced by many Kenyans, Wamuri asserted that he still buys designer clothes, with his shirts including going for between KSh 10,000 and KSh 15,000.
“You must keep buying new clothes to remain among the best sapeurs.
Looking back at his childhood, Wamuri said he only had one outfit he wore day in day out and resolved that he would own nice clothes when he grew up.
“I came from the countryside when 13 years old and would wear my school shorts even during the weekend. When my dad finally bought me a pair of trousers, I wore them for over five years as it was oversize because he did not want me to outgrow them quickly. We lived around Parklands, and I used to see the Indian boys wearing fitting trousers. So I decided that I would dress up well when I grow up.”
Wamuri did menial jobs for the Indians and saved up to buy himself new outfits behind his father’s back.
“My father was a very tough man.”
Wamuri becomes a sapeur The fashionista, a customer care operator, started learning about luxury clothing brands in the 1990s and eventually became a sapeur.
“I was inspired by the fashion of Congolese musicians coming into Kenya, including Alus Mabele, Koffi Olomide and Papa Wemba.”
However, Wamuri noted that he has does not spend all his earnings on outfits.
“I have bought around three pieces of land and took my brother to school. So I have balanced my lifestyle.”