Annoyed by seeing retailer cabinets in Ivory Coast lined with virtually solely light-skinned dolls, Sara Coulibaly determined to create options by which native youngsters may see themselves.
5 years on, Coulibaly’s firm Naima Dolls employs round 20 younger ladies who had been scrambling on a latest afternoon to package deal 32 fashions of dolls with darkish pores and skin in time for Christmas.
“Our hope in the present day is to present youngsters the means to make good choices,” she stated in her workplace in Abidjan, adorned with African masks and colourful wax prints.
“I need them to take heed to the truth that they’re lovely, that their tradition is gorgeous and their tradition is wealthy,” she stated, ruing the widespread use of skin-lightening lotions throughout Africa.
The names of Coulibaly’s dolls all come from totally different areas of Ivory Coast. The preferred is Adjoba – or “Born on Tuesday” within the Akan language of the southeast – a two-year-old woman with plump options.
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An architect by coaching, Coulibaly says she attracts inspiration for her designs from concepts and folks she has met.
The dolls are manufactured in China and Spain, though she hopes to open a manufacturing facility in Ivory Coast within the subsequent few years to fulfill rising demand. She at present produces 150,000 dolls per yr.
At a grocery store in Abidjan final week, Coulibaly’s dolls caught the attention of many vacation buyers.
“We bought used to white individuals’s dolls and now we will see Black pores and skin, the African lady,” stated Aude Koffi as she surveyed the choice. “That’s what I favored and that’s the reason I got here to take a look.”
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