The “Queens of Africa” range of dolls highlight various African ethnicities, as well as a variety of African hairstyles (customers may opt for dolls rocking an afro, or alternatively one with braids or braid extensions), reports Forbes.
Okoya’s mission is to spread a message which enforces young black girls their self-esteem, allowing them from an early age to have role models they can relate to. This summer, Okoya and his posse of dolls will travel across several cities in the United States, to meet and greet American clients, while further expanding the Queens of Africa footprint.
‘I got into the doll business by chance. At that time my daughter was young, and I realized she was going through an identity crisis,’ Taofick tells me when I reach out to the Lagos-based founder over the phone. He further adds, ‘She wished she was white, and I was trying to figure out where that came from. I used to always buy her white dolls, and it never got to me that is was relevant which color her dolls were. On top of that, we have DSTV in Nigeria where children watch the Disney programs, and all her favorite characters were white. I started to understand why she’d feel the way she did, ‘cause it was all that she’d been exposed to,’ the Queens of Africa dolls creator explains.
The report goes on to say that even though the dolls’ body parts are manufactured in China, they are assembled in Nigeria. And here’s the good part. Taofick also empowers local communities of stay-at-home mothers, who make money off of braiding the dolls’ hair and creating outfits.
“It takes about three hours braiding the hair. One of these women has made 60,000 Naira (roughly $300) doing this.”
You can get the FULL story at Forbes.
Buy/See the dolls at Amazon.