22/03/2018 13:47 SAST | Updated 22/03/2018 13:53 SAST

The Rise Of Africa-Inspired Dolls In The South African Market

...because black has always been beautiful.


In the past few years, South Africa has seen a rise in Africa-inspired dolls that are brown-skinned, have kinky hair and are dressed in outfits that represent the diversity of the country's cultures.

All the founders had one thing in common when they created these dolls — the hope that young South African girls would take pride in how they look because it's reflected in the dolls they play with.

We look at four of these creations:

Sibahle Collection

Sibahle is a Zulu word that means "we are beautiful". The dolls in the collection have features that resemble most African and Caribbean children's facial and body features.

"We decided to do this because we want our children to know they are beautiful the way they are. We hope the dolls' hair will teach our children how to take care of their own natural hair from a young age and to love the skin that they're in," said the founders, Caroline Hlahla and Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu.

Momppy Mpoppy

"This is more than just a business, we are creating awareness that our dark skin and thick Afro hair are pretty as they are," said founder, Maite Makgoba. "We want kids to see beauty in Mpoppy, to see themselves while playing with her."

Momppy stays fashion forward, black doll trend setter, all doll slayer #MomppyAndMe

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Ntombenhle Dolls

More than 10 years ago, Molemo Kgomo wanted to buy her daughter a doll that she would be able to relate to, and one that would help her little girl embrace her heritage and skin colour. "There were a few available ... but they were simply not true representations of black people," she told Entrepreneur magazine. It is then that Ntombenhle dolls were born.

A post shared by Mduduzi Mahlangu (@cymon65) on

Ntombenhledolls will be bringing you Taati and friends soon #namibian#beauty❤️

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Baby Thando

Created by Girlz Ink, baby Thando (meaning love) has an Afro and chocolate skin tone. "This baby doll will allow little girls to appreciate their uniqueness, beauty and it will also teach them to learn the basics in our languages such as singing, counting etc.," said the company.

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