Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses Dolls

Queens of Africa doll
Queens of Africa doll

Growing up, the prominent option for dolls in the market were European dolls with European features, like Barbie dolls. The only other option was to make our own dolls with wool, bamboo, wood, raffia, and other materials. For a parent looking to offer his daughter, or niece, a “hip” doll, he/she basically had to get these European dolls that looked nothing like us (nothing wrong with that, but self-love starts with seeing one’s likeness in the most basic daily toy). Some of my friends resorted to coloring those dolls chocolate, so that the doll would look just like them, or braiding their hairs, and dressing them with left-over fabric from their Mommy’s wrappers or Boubou. I was quite pleased by the work of entrepreneur’s Taofick Okoya who created two lines of dolls: the Naija Princess, and the Queens of Africa. The Naija princess is more affordable for the average Nigerian family, and the Queens of Africa is the ‘haut-de-gamme’ of his collection.

Queens of Africa dolls
Queens of Africa dolls

His dolls basically have ‘African’ features, and are from three of the main tribes of Nigeria: Nneka is from the Igbo region, Azeezah is Haussa, while Wuraola is Yoruba. The dolls all wear African clothing from their particular regions, and have their hairs in braids, Afro, or plated. It is simply beautiful. As Mr. Okoya said himself, he first started because his daughter was getting confused about her skin color wishing hers to be just like that of her doll. See… how, even as kids, we get brainwashed? This is where we teach young girls to love and appreciate who they are, their skin colors, and the gorgeous hair they were endowed with naturally and divinely. I am so proud of Okoya’s dolls, which has beaten Mattel’s Barbie on the Nigerian market, and are now sold around the globe. I raise my hat to him, and wish for him to keep up the work, and for others to make dolls more representative of our different cultures: i.e. having Maasai dolls, Bushmen dolls, Bamileke dolls, or making them more “hip” for our daughters. Please do check out the website of Taofick Okoya, Queens of Africa Dolls.

8 thoughts on “Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses Dolls

  1. That’s amazing! Even more so how his dolls beat out Barbie in Nigeria. Those are very good points when it comes to toys or characters they could be based on. I didn’t have many action figures who looked like me growing up. Even my little sister when she was a kid had trouble with finding dolls who looked like her and one time, when she gave a Black Barbie (which was relatively new at the time we were children) to a Caucasian acquaintance, she immediately put it away and thought it was ugly which made my sister cry. Representation matters and it helps build confidence to children. It’s something I wish I knew more about back then.


    1. yes… representation matters, and we need to represent ourselves for ourselves… make dolls who look like us, and share with our children, expose them, so that they know themselves as beautiful too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree and I’ve been appreciating representation even more these past few years of my life. They should make those dolls and other toys to help foster that self-esteem knowing those children can see themselves in those characters.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s