Introducing the stylish taxi bikers of Kinshasa
Part extra-legal solution to chronic traffic problems, part gang of freewheeling sartorial renegades, the Wewa are a distinctive, and dapper, fixture of the Congolese capital city.
With an official headcount nudging 12 million, and public transport infrastructure that makes a midsummer Central Line commute seem a dream, getting around Kinshasa is not for the weak of spirit. It’s a city where gridlock is an accepted part of the urban rhythm, provoking an ingenious, though not altogether legal, solution. Meet the Wewa, the renegade motorbike taxi force that keep the cogs of Africa’s third-largest city turning, getting its citizens from A to B by weaving between the bumpers on the city’s choked streets. And all with the peacock-ish flair you can only expect from the city that gave the world the renowned sapeurs.
Earlier this year, photographer Vincent Dolman was in the Congolese capital on a work assignment, and arrived home with a series of images of these two-wheeled chariots of the people. See them below, exclusive to i-D.
Photography by Vincent Dolman