Collection: The aunties of the "tontine"

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By: Dago Maggy

feminism, afro-feminism, photography, gender equality

This photo essay highlights the courageous women of the CECI tontine cooperative.

They are thirty tontine members based in Kpalimé, a town of 75’000 inhabitants south-west of Togo, two and a half hours drive from the capital Lomé.

In Togo, as in many West African countries, the name “tata” or “auntie” is an affectionate way of addressing a woman. A tata does not necessarily refer to a father’s or mother’s  sister, but to any adult woman, without necessarily being related.

Addressing financial insecurity amongst women is a feminist issue.

One of the measures aimed at empowering women financially is the “tontine” mutual fund. The tontine is highly developed in African countries. It is a collective savings method that enables women on very low incomes to save and finance their personal and professional projects.

Adzo, seller of Ignam, 2023.

These women juggle the demands of the household and the home with the burdens of professional responsibilities.

Accountancy, 2023.

The accountability book of the tontine CESI.

Counting the money, 2023.

At a meeting of "tontine" members, each woman publicly contributes her savings, amid applause from her fellow members.

Tennis Africa

The doughnuts Dodzi sells are as round as tennis balls.

Beadworkers Mawuli and her daughter Christine, 2023.

Mawuli is immortalised with her daughter Christine, stringing beads with passionate concentration.

Adzo, 2023.

Abra and her daughter I, 2023.

Sharing a tender moment between mother and daughter.

The pearls, 2023.

Joyceline, 2023

Kékéli, hairdresser, 2023.

A mischievous look for this intimate portrait during a short break.

Jocelyne, drug seller, 2023.

The illegal sale of medicines is still very important in West Africa, and is a source of work for the local population.

Essivi, Maluwi et Dodzi, 2023.

Changing roles: the women of the "tontine" play table football.

Dado, seamstress, 2023.

Dado wields scissors and needles with skill, bringing to life garments that are stories in themselves.

Mawuli, Adzo, Adjo, Akuvi, Dodzi, Essivi (from left to right), 2023

The courageous women of the CECI (Savings bank for internal credit ) association in Kpalimé, Togo.

The heap of palm seeds

Palm seed oil is one of the major incomes of the community in Kpalimé.

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