Ever wondered why dolls and most childhood toys hardly exist in colors and style that promote the african ideology?
It took a Nigerian man Taofik Okoya, 43 who wanted to change the trend by surprising his niece with a gift of a doll. After being unsuccessful in finding a black doll that his niece could identify with, he decided to make one himself.
Taofick Okoya from that point onward decided to take matters into his own hands and create an Afro-centric doll. He wanted a doll that Nigerian girls could identify with, something with skin colour and style that resembled themselves.
On that day Queens of Africa was born, a doll that promotes strong feminine ideals but also celebrates Nigerians, their traditions ,customs and fashion.
Costing around £4.50, Taofick is selling up to 9,000 units a month, outselling Barbie in Nigeria and representing 15% of the toy market.
The dolls’ look is modelled on three of the country’s biggest tribes and aims to promote strong feminine ideals, like love, peace and endurance.
A black doll with skin colour and style of Nigerian girls
A black doll Selling World wide
The black doll comes complete with traditional outfits and accessories to match. Surprisingly the Queens of Africa are not only popular in Nigeria and Africa, customers are coming in from America Brazil and Europe. All this possible thanks to their online presence.
Speaking to ELLE about his dolls outselling Barbie in his native Nigeria, Okoya said:
‘My mission is to make the Queens of Africa a symbol of hope, trust, and confidence by promoting African history, culture, and fashion.’
Okoya has had some setbacks, a major one is when he was told that he won’t be able to sell the dolls on the shelves of mainline stores in America and will have to limit his business to specialist stores. Despite this challenge he is determined to make his venture work and prove doubters wrong.
Taofick Okoya talks African dolls, African heritage and girl-child empowerment
To partner with Peregrine Reads on this initiative or to share your ideas, kindly send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your suggestions are highly welcome and appreciated!
Do you have an article you’ve written or would like to write? Something else you’d like to share with us on Peregrine Reads? Wish to be Interviewed? Don’t hesitate to send submissions/Interview request to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You.