Black Excellence

Nigerian Doll Maker Makes ‘Queens Of Africa’ Collection & Even Outsells Barbie

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As a young girl, who didn’t have a Barbie doll to play with? I had Veterinarian Barbie, Dr. Barbie, Mermaid Barbie and my personal favorite was the Olympic barbie that came out for the 1996 Olympic games. I’ll never forget watching “The Magnificent Seven” out there killing it especially my girls Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu and Keri Strug. Yall Remember! lol

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Barbie is probably one of if not the most popular toy item in history. It has Barbie and Ken dolls with all different occupations and there are even some (keyword) with different a ethnicity so that each little girl has a Barbie that she can most relate too. Well what do you do when you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of Barbie dolls with different minorities for the little girls to play with? Well then you make your own that’s what! A man by the name of Taofick Okoya from Nigeria did just that seven years ago when he couldn’t find a black doll for his niece to play with. Meet the ‘Queen of Africa’ collection..

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Since Okoya has started his collection, the ‘Queens of Africa’ have now beaten Barbie and has become one of the best-selling toys in Africa’s most populous country. The 43-year-old Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 ‘Queens of Africa’ and ‘Naijia Princesses’ a month in Nigeria, and claims to have up to 15 per cent of the country’s toy market.

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I absolutely LOVE his idea!! Okoya stated in a recent interview how important it was to have black dolls on the market for young girls because if all they see are blonde hair and blue eyes everywhere especially in their toys..what message is that sending to their impressionable minds? It portrays that that look is what beauty is and what is accepted and that is just not true. Beauty comes from all different races, nationalities and cultures and it should all be celebrated. He also stated that even though he made the mold and the designs for the dolls, the parts for the dolls were actually made in China. After that’s done, the parts are shipped back to Nigeria and the assembly of the doll itself along with every hair braid design and every hand sewn outfit you see on the dolls are all done there with a team of about 15 members. He really wanted to make this doll affordable for anyone’s budget in Nigeria so they dolls can range from $3 to $28.

MDG : Queens of Africa dolls Queen-Of-Africa-Dolls-Collage tumblr_inline_n05pkpwasY1rhtfsvIf you want to learn more of Taofick Okoya and how his vision came to be, check the clip out below

and their website Www.QueensOfAfricaDolls.Com. They have a ‘Queens Of Africa’ Collection and a ‘Naija Princess Dolls’ collection available for sell but you got to be quick if you want one because they do sell out fast.

I think the message behind his vision is so beautiful and inspiring and I hope his company keeps expanding more and more in the future.

Until Next Time Loves..

XO

Erica Leigh

 

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