2 close buddies open shop for black dolls despite being told they are ugly

Two close buddies identified as Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu and Caroline Hlahla from South Africa and London respectively have opened toy shop for black dolls with natural hair.

The existing toy makers previously tried to tap into this market by painting black the western dolls. But the dolls did not have natural Afro hair.

The two, who coincidentally worked for a hair company, felt that the hair issue was becoming a huge concern, with young African girls refusing to accept their natural hair in preference to what they saw in the western world.

“My two-year-old daughter already wanted to go blonde. She was demanding for a flowing hair instead of keeping her natural and beautiful hair,” says Khulile.

So Khulile and Caroline started Sibahle Collections, a company that produces black dolls with natural African hair. Basically, this was more about changing the growing perception among African girls and women that Afro is not beautiful.

“Ideally we were venturing into this line of business because our aim was to let our children know that they are still beautiful as they are,” says Caroline.

However, getting the business off the ground was not a smooth ride. Khulile and Caroline say they approached a number of manufactures with the idea as they sought support, but they were told the black dolls were ugly and will never attract customers.

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