Update: Queen of Africa Dolls (affiliate) are now available!
Around nine years ago, a businessman from Nigeria named Taofick Okoya created a line of dolls called “Queens of Africa.”
The tagline Okoya uses for his special line of dolls is “Empowering the African girl child.” The Queens of Africa dolls come in the various ethnicities that live on the continent of Africa. The dolls also come with the various black hairstyles worn by African women, such as different kinds of braids and afros.
“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,” Okoya told Forbes Magazine in a phone interview.
“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,” he continued.
The body parts of Okoya’s Queens of Africa dolls are made in China, but the dolls are assembled in Nigeria. Okoya also does a good deed by employing local Nigerian stay-at-home mothers who work in their houses to assemble the dolls.
“It takes about three hours braiding the hair. One of these women has made 60,000 Naira (equivalent to $300.00)doing this,” Okoya told Forbes.
There’s also some good news for black American and African girls who live in the U.S. Okoya’s Queens of Africa dolls are going to be available here in The States very soon.
“We’re planning on taking part in American toy fairs where we can meet with retailers. Our ultimate goal is to be sold by the major stores in the U.S,” Okoya also told Forbes.
“I personally believe it will be less difficult to sell the dolls in America, compared to Nigeria. In Nigeria the doll culture is still being developed, so it’s easier to sell within a market that is already there, as opposed to having to create that market,” he continued.
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