Ivory Coast company brings Black dolls to African children

By Loucoumane Coulibaly ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Frustrated by seeing store shelves in Ivory Coast lined with almost exclusively light-skinned dolls, Sara Coulibaly decided to create alternatives in which local children could see themselves.

Reuters December 23, 2020 00:10:31 IST
Ivory Coast company brings Black dolls to African children

Ivory Coast company brings Black dolls to African children

By Loucoumane Coulibaly

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Frustrated by seeing store shelves in Ivory Coast lined with almost exclusively light-skinned dolls, Sara Coulibaly decided to create alternatives in which local children could see themselves.

Five years on, Coulibaly's company Naima Dolls employs around 20 young women who were scrambling on a recent afternoon to package 32 models of dolls with dark skin in time for Christmas.

"Our hope today is to give children the means to make good decisions," she said in her office in Abidjan, decorated with African masks and colourful wax prints.

"I want them to be conscious of the fact that they are beautiful, that their culture is beautiful and their culture is rich," she said, ruing the widespread use of skin-lightening creams across Africa.

The names of Coulibaly's dolls all come from different regions of Ivory Coast. The most popular is Adjoba - or "Born on Tuesday" in the Akan language of the southeast - a two-year-old girl with plump features.

An architect by training, Coulibaly says she draws inspiration for her designs from ideas and people she has met.

The dolls are manufactured in China and Spain, although she hopes to open a factory in Ivory Coast in the next few years to satisfy rising demand. She currently produces 150,000 dolls per year.

At a supermarket in Abidjan last week, Coulibaly's dolls caught the eye of many holiday shoppers.

"We got used to white people's dolls and now we can see Black skin, the African woman," said Aude Koffi as she surveyed the selection. "That is what I liked and that is why I came to have a look."

(Editing by Aaron Ross and Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.