Why Are Poor South African Teens Buying Expensive Clothes And Destroying Them?

In Soweto, South Africa, luxury clothing brands are gleefully ruined on purpose in "West Side Story"-like dance face-offs.

There's a different kind of battle going on in South Africa's townships. Teenage gangs are facing off with each other to see who is more materialistic, extravagant and wearing the most expensive clothes.

To the victor goes nothing but a lot of ruined clothes and temporary respect from their peers. 

Meet the Izikhothane, groups of mostly low-income teens in some of South Africa's most impoverished neighborhoods. The teens buy clothing and bling, closets full of Versace shoes, Armani shirts and Sfarzo belts, only to often destroy the items in huge dance battles that involve flashy moves, getting doused in custard and burning cash.

If it sounds bizarre, it makes sense to the Izikhothane. As South Africa's first free generation, the Izikhothane say they're expressing themselves, buying what they want and saying what they want -- all luxuries, along with luxury brands, their parents never could attain.

The older generation is definitely less impressed. After the tortuous fight to end apartheid, is this really how South Africa's youth want to express their freedom? 

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