What do you do when you can’t find dolls for your children that reflect their African heritage? Well if you’re Chris and Ada Ngoforo, a Nigerian couple, living in London, you make them yourself. The entrepreneurial couple designed their own line of talking African-themed doll line called “Rooti Dolls.“
The 12 Rooti dolls are programmed to speak in several African languages. Amongst them, there’s Nina, a “vibrant girl” with Nigerian parents, who “loves watching Nollywood” and can interact in the Nigerian languages of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibibio; there’s Ama, a “bubbling dynamic girl” whose “dream is to be a doctor someday,” and can speak the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo; and there’s also Keza, with parents from Zimbabwe and Zambia. She “loves adventures, reading and listening to beautiful music” and can communicate in Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, and Nyanja.
In a recent CNN interview the couple explained their desire to create the Rooti dolls:
“Over the years my wife and I have found it extremely hard finding real black dolls that can truly connect with our little daughters,” he says. “The dolls out there in the market are nothing close to the real image of a black child in terms of features and other attributes — they are either too thin, too light or chiseled-faced, and even the complexions of most of the dolls are kind of whitewashed,” says Ngoforo.
“The unfortunate effect of this stereotypical misrepresentation is a case of low self-esteem among black children who have been directly or indirectly made to believe less in themselves as a black child. They have been made to believe that you have to look like a white doll to be accepted as beautiful or even good.”
To learn more about the dolls or to make a purchase, you can visit their website: http://rootidolls.com/new/6-educational-dolls