“Queens of Africa is about promoting positive attributes in the African child, with the aim to empower them, so they can become more self-confident, and be proud of who they are.” ~Taofic Okoya
As a little girl, I loved dolls. I prefered playing with dolls, more than any other toys. I enjoyed dressing them up in different outfits, and doing their hair. They looked like fairy tale princesses. They were so beautiful. I wanted to be just like them. I believe those childhood years of playing with dolls, shaped my perceptions of beauty. And according to those perceptions, “beautiful” did not look like me. We didn’t have black dolls during my childhood years, so my mother ended up buying me dolls that did not look like me. This resulted in a lot of insecurities. I believed I wasn’t beautiful, because I didn’t look like these dolls.
That’s why, I am so grateful to Taofic Okoya, from Nigeria for creating the Queens of Africa dolls. These dolls represent the beautiful cultures of the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba groups of Nigeria, and they are dressed in traditional Nigerian dresses and headgear.
Because of the Queens of Africa dolls, girls get to interact and play with dolls that look like them, while appreciating their culture and heritage. Hopefully, these girls will appreciate their own beauty, instead of aspiring to look like someone else, like I used to.
Well done Taofic Okoya!