Momppy Mpoppy is a black and trendy doll, created by Maite Makgoba, founder of Childish Trading and Manufacturing. She rocks the latest fashions and she sports a beautiful Afro, complete with a tiara.
Maite Makgoba hopes that Momppy will play a part in changing the way that black children look at themselves. She started her business after realising that black dolls available on the market did not appeal to children, as they looked too traditional. “That is not the reality of today,” she told AFP. Among the different Mpoppy outfits are “Denim Dungaree Delicious”, “Rockstar Tutu”, “Mohawk Fro” and “Seshweshwe Fabolous”. Each doll costs R180 (US$14). The company also makes matching clothes for girls who own the doll.
“This is more than just a business. We are creating awareness, that our dark skin and thick Afro hair are pretty as they are,” said Makgoba. “We want kids to see beauty in Mpoppy, to see themselves while playing with her. “We want kids to see beauty in Mpoppy, to see themselves while playing with her. Dolls are often white, people in magazines are white, even in a country like South Africa where the majority are black. Black children are confronted with growing up in a world that does not represent them, everything is skewed towards whiteness.”
Parents and children have quickly taken to the doll. Nokuthula Maseko, a 30-year-old mother of two, said her children had fallen in love with the doll, after she came across it on social media. “I like the fact that the doll looks like my kids, in a world where the standards of beauty are often linked to Caucasian features,” said Nokuthula Maseko. “The kids love the doll.”
“This is a big social movement. It can help prevent body image insecurities among children,” she added.