Monkengeli 1 is a narrative for Africans leaders, who are portrayed as nepotists leading their countries to corruption and decadence. Therefore, the main area of Mbikayi's focus was on the personality of The President Mobutu who portrayed best that vision and in addition had certain fashionable qualities that were mixed with both contemporary luxury and traditional authenticity. Like many African leaders, he created a mythological portrait of himself as chief of the Zairian people’ – a tribal chieftain who has the best of everything.
The inclusion of Mobutu Sese Seko as a character in some of Mbikayi’s works is driven by the need to support an argument parallel to that of the Sapeurs (The dandies of the Congo), but also by the performance value Mobutu gave to his body in public. Although Maurice Mbikayi (like many Congolese) did not support his dictatorial regime, he was nevertheless fascinated by his ability to make fashion and style supplements of power. Mobutu had, as Michela Wrong, a British journalist and author says, “a gift for the grand gesture, a stylish bravado that captured the imagination”.
Like the Sapeurs who transformed their bodies into media of Western dress codes – via “the power of visualization”, Mobutu was equally a “master” of this power in a rather African way, distinguishing himself as a political figure with a hat and cane.
In fact, the use of canes and leopard-skin hats was considered a major supplement of power in the Congolese traditional and political arenas years before independence. But in becoming president of an autocratic regime, Mobutu first overshadowed other politicians who used similar hats and canes, and then banned their use, in order to be the “only one” and therefore form a personality cult (which also became an inspiration for Sapeurs later). Like many African leaders, he “created a mythological portrait of himself as chief of the Zairian people”’ – a tribal chieftain who has the best of everything. By using the leopard-skin hat as a trademark, Mobutu added a personal mythological symbolism that identified him.This trademark later became a curious juxtaposition of machismo and decadence.
Mobutu's costume, next to the Sapeurs', shows a mixed relationship between colonisation and independence, or dictatorship and democracy; the use of one's body as an object or subject, or both, onto which hegemonic measures, and one's will to overcome them, are applied.