Cameroon: Meet Kate Fotso, cocoa revolutionary

By Georges Dougueli
Posted on Tuesday, 19 April 2022 18:34, updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2022 09:57

Kate Kanyi-Tometi Fotso doesn’t like to talk about herself, but her business dealings give a sense of her personality. Bruno Levy for Jeune Afrique
Kate Kanyi-Tometi Fotso doesn’t like to talk about herself, but her business dealings give a sense of her personality. Bruno Levy for Jeune Afrique

Located in Bonabéri, in the heart of Douala’s industrial zone, the offices of Telcar Cocoa Ltd are as sober and discreet as their hostess. From the moment you enter the premises, you get a sense for this imposing woman’s personality – and not without subtlety. Visitors greeting the security guards in French receive a response in English.

This is a way of reminding us of the origins of Kate Kanyi-Tometi, wife of Fotso, an English-speaker from the south-west, in a country where the decision to use one or the other of the country’s two official languages is a question of identity and social representation.

English is therefore de rigueur in these handsome offices, where white and wood are the dominant themes and the delicate aroma of cocoa is artificially maintained so that no one forgets the raison d’être of Telcar Cocoa Ltd, the company that has made her the richest woman in Cameroon.