For years, the doll market was dominated by Barbie, a usually blonde all-american doll produced by Mattel.
However, Barbie met her match with Queens of Africa and she’s coming to America.
The Queens of Africa dolls were created by Taofick Okoya in 2007. The line features dolls with different skin tones, hairstyles and attires that easily give away their African origin.
When the dolls were introduced into Nigeria, they immediately garnered a lot of positive reviews for their diversity. Although Barbie has recently ventured into the ‘diversity’ scene, producing dolls of different shapes and sizes as well skin tones, Queens of Africa outsold Mattel Barbies in 2014.
A lot of Nigerians praised the invention as a relief for various children who had sought Barbies that look like them. Even Okoya the creator of the doll said his inspiration for the creation of these dolls was his daughter.
According to him, she had expressed her desire to be white and he thought to make dolls that look more like her so she as well as other young girls would embrace their African roots.
Okoya also created a series of books to help young girls take more pride in their heritage and boost their confidence. He also made the books to create less dependency on Cinderella stories and rather divert attention to African queens and princesses.
Recently Taofick Okoya announced that he would be taking the dolls on a ‘coming to America’ tour in the United States between May and July.
He hopes the African diaspora and the prevailing unapologetic black culture will take a liking to his doll. He will also be making stops at Atlanta, New York, and Chicago.