The color was pink. The flapper dresses were white. Flappers and a lot of us in the community were not allowed to have flannel, which was white cotton. So we just turned up at the department store, bought our clothes, but in the beginning, we were only allowed to put our flannel on at the department store and we were at the department store, we didn’t live in our own home.
Was it a big deal when people in the community thought you were out to get them, and they were actually telling you that you have to stay?
It’s funny because it actually happened at an event, and a female reporter had come forward with information, and that actually started off a whole wave of people, who weren’t coming to the school to protest the flappers. It was a big rally. But they decided to start a petition and the next thing you know, somebody came to the stage and said “the flappers aren’t coming to the school, so we should put up a sign that says ‘Not for Sale.'” So the school and the organizers were saying that they knew everything was going to come down, but they didn’t give a damn about the students, or the community. It’s just a bunch of teenagers just having a party.
Did they have their own signs?
Yes, they had their own signs. They had their own sign, but the event is held at an art installation at the school. Everyone was really upset with this idea, because the flappers had their own sign and when they had their sign up and it wasn’t like that, all of a sudden you have them calling you names, and making up the names of the flappers, so it just turned into a real race thing.
So why didn’t the flappers leave?
Because they didn’t want to. I think a lot of the flappers are still working at the school, I think they want to go to the next school.
After this incident, how do you think the school handled this?
I think they actually acted like a nice bunch of students, like kids. If you’re a student there, when you’re here, at a school like ours, or any school anywhere, you have to have respect for the student population. They didn’t disrespect us.
It was a rare opportunity to visit the National Museum of Africa in Kinshasa last weekend, but the opportunity took a tragic turn for the more adventurous.
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