Move over, Barbie

For many years, ethnic diversity (or the lack thereof) in the toy industry has been a hot topic. But now people are taking a stand, and making dolls and toys that are representative of the multi-ethnic world. Nigerian businessman Taofick Okoya is one of the people who has found a way to challenge the existing ideals of beauty and ethnicity with his range of ethnic dolls called Naija Princesses.

The dolls are tailored to local tastes and feature African characteristics such as thicker hair textures in various styles, fuller facial features, and traditional, colourful outfits and headdresses. The dolls are designed as a representation of Nigeria’s three largest groups: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Unfortunately, they still have very skinny bodies. Okoya says his early doll samples had bigger bodies, but the children didn’t like them.

“For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”

Last year, Okoya sold between 6?000 and 9?000 dolls a month, outselling the Western competition, Barbie, across Nigeria.

It is reported that Okoya is also in the process of inking a deal with South Africa’s Game, owned by Massmart and part of Walmart, to sell his dolls in 70 shops across Africa.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 8141 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 9305 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.23
(-0.06)
ZAR/GBP
21.20
(-0.17)
ZAR/EUR
19.17
(+0.19)
ZAR/AUD
11.58
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.10)
Gold
1903.70
(+0.30)
Silver
24.28
(-0.58)
Platinum
893.00
(-0.22)
Brent Crude
41.25
(0.00)
Palladium
2368.00
(-0.12)
All Share
55073.29
(-0.48)
Top 40
50412.70
(-0.55)
Financial 15
10700.67
(-0.83)
Industrial 25
74545.00
(-0.48)
Resource 10
52281.91
(-0.53)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo