My name is Suzanne Kponton, I was born in Scotland and raised in Lagos Nigeria with my parents and 4 other siblings. After attending international schools in Lagos I went on to live in Switzerland for 3 years and later attended university in the United States where I earned my bachelors degree in business management. I returned home to Nigeria and started working in logistics and then further afield in oil and gas servicing. I met my husband in Lagos and we moved to Togo in 2014 where we reside now with our 4 children.
What led you to organize café jeudi?
When we arrived to live in Lome from Lagos it felt very foreign to me. There was the language barrier, 3 small children at the time, and very difficult to meet other parents. I felt alone, I missed my family and my friends and I missed my comfort zone so to say. After being in Lome about 9 months and longing to go “home” someone invited me to a Cafe Jeudi, an international coffee morning hosted at a private house. a chance to meet and talk to other women from Togo. I met so many lovely women who were warm, welcoming and some that English was not their first language stepped out of their comfort zone and made an effort to speak English with me. As the years went out people came and people left and the coffee mornings were a place where newcomers enjoyed the company and exchanges as well as sharing experiences ….. I later began organizing the morning coffee events and it gave me great joy and pleasure to see people coming together, enjoying moments with one another and forming lifelong friendships.
How do you feel about supporting The Victoria Grace Foundation?
From the minute I met Jennifer ( the founder of the foundation) there was a clear connection with similar interests. The more I spent time in her company the more I learned about Victoria Grace Fashion and what lead her to create the sustainable fashion brand. The many experiences and story of her life which lead her to take this path amazed me beyond words. I feel very lucky and privileged to walk this path along side Jennifer and support the cause of the foundation in giving back to the communities and environment which has become part of our everyday lives. I strongly believe that together we can make a difference and change the lives of many.
What is Togo to you ?
This is a very difficult to put into words what Togo is to me. It’s part of my families heritage, history and home. It’s where we are raising our family, where people smile and appreciate the little they have. A nation that is rich in culture and arts and expressive through those channels. My journey in Togo is just beginning and I’m excited to see where it takes me.