Molemo Kgomo is the owner of Ntombenhle Dolls, which she began making 10 years ago when she realised that she could not find her daughter a doll that looked like her.
The dolls are manufactured overseas and assembled in South Africa. Some of the dolls’ material is sourced locally where they are also dressed by a group of ladies and a gentleman in Pretoria.
Ntombenhle Dolls customers are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents. More importantly, they are for the kids, who use their parents’ phones to call Molemo and order a doll. Molemo is also set to do a range for boys: “The inspiration behind including a range for boys is that dads’ have also been asking if boys will be included at some point. There seems to be a lot of demand so I am working on producing something that boys will enjoy too.”
Here’s what Molemo says about the public’s opinion of her Ntombenhle dolls: “The public has really taken to the dolls and children absolutely love them. It gives me goose bumps every time I hear a child say "It looks like me!" A lot of parents say that this is long overdue and I think the market is ready!” she says.
Molemo’s daughters love the range so much that they have the whole range. Her entire house is full of her Ntombenhle dolls.
Molemo wants parents to teach their kids to love and appreciate themselves: “Talk to them about their self-esteem and build up their confidence. Talk to them about their own beauty and stop competing or comparing them to other kids. Let's change the way we also think about beauty as adults.”
Molemo was born in Limpopo and grew up in Natalspruit, Ekurhuleni. She is a Gauteng girl and has been living there all her life.
The Ntombenhle Dolls retail for R260 (with an additional R50 for courier services depending on where you are based) and can be purchased through the Ntombenhle Dolls Facebook page, the online store at ntombenhledolls.co.za or by emailing email@example.com.