Over the Years
But who is Chantal Donvide?
“Qui éduque une femme,
éduque une nation”
Whoever educates a woman, educates a nation
Nongni Chantal Donvidé is the director of Aklala Batik. Born in 1975, she is originally from Benin. Art is a shared passion that unites all members of her family and she is proud to contribute to this tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. Her father is the initiator and founder of the current Centre Artisanal in Kpalimé, which has since become state-owned and run.
Like her mother, Chantal completed an apprenticeship in tailoring. She also validated a batik training in just one month. She learned the techniques of batik in different workshops and began to create her own designs, which due to their originality and quality soon became very popular in her community. Chantal therefore started to sell her products independently from an early age on. She has organized conferences to show young women how to start their own businesses and how important it is to achieve financial independence. In addition, she went to the villages to show them different models of savings and to set them up together.
In 2012, Chantal participated in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), which supports women entrepreneurs in Africa in their professional development. She received an invitation from the Hillary Clinton Foundation to participate in a forum in the United States, where she exchanged with women entrepreneurs from all over the african continent and visited the White House.
In 2015, she received the title of “Woman Leader of Togo” from the fashion house Vlisco.
In 2019, she received the Prix du Président Faure Gnassingbé at the artisans fair MIATO in Lomé which will send her on a fully covered scholarship abroad of her own choosing. Chantal has decided to use this scholarship for further training in plant-based colouring techniques in Mali.
Today, Chantal has fulfilled her dream and runs her own education center for underprivileged young women.