La sape can be traced back to the period of colonialism in Africa, and in particular Brazzaville and Kinshasa. They brought second hand clothing from Europe as a bargaining tool to gain the loyalty of the chiefs. The Congolese elite not only included the houseboys, but also those who held lower positions as clerks in colonial offices and other places. A major influence on the Congolese elite, present during the s the so-called Roaring Twenties , was West African colonial workers who came to the Congo. The houseboys used their connections in France to acquire their clothing.