Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Queens of Africa Dolls Available to US Buyers

Queens of Africa dolls photo courtesy of QoA Facebook administrator

My first blog on the Queens of Africa dolls was written on July 18, 2012.  I wrote two followups, one on July 23, 2012, and the other on August 3, 2012.  At the time of these posts, the dolls were not available to US customers.  After reading a recent online article, I contacted the company's Facebook administrator for ordering information and also asked permission to use a photo from their Facebook photo album as my Facebook cover photo.  Permission to use the photo was granted and US shipping information was promised. 

The dolls are now available via the company's United Kingdom agent, who is offering them in separate listings in an eBay store with worldwide shipping.  Combined shipping is available.

As a refresher for those who did not read my previous posts, the three original dolls are Nneka (medium complexion), Azeezah (dark), and Wuraola (light).  According to the most recent article, referenced, above, in addition to the head sculpt used for the three original dolls shown above, there is another head sculpt as well.  The article also states "the dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups – Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba." 

Even though I have not seen the dolls in person, I have ordered the original trio for their historical significance.  I find it admirable that Mr. Taofick Okoya, the creator of the dolls, has gone through such great lengths to create dolls to help empower his nieces and other children of African descent "to be confident and mature ethically. The dolls... [books and other] materials are designed... to subconsciously promote African heritage."  I love this!





Learn more about the dolls and the company's mission, at the Queens of Africa website.

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16 comments:

  1. I remember seeing an article about this on Yahoo recently, although it probably linked backed to the Guardian article itself. I think it's great what he's doing and wish him much success.

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    1. I too wish him much success. I am also thrilled they have opened up the market to the US as well as other areas.

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  2. I did not know that Mr. Okoya had created the Doll line years prior. After recently reading the article online I was excited to hear that Mr. Okoya was inspired to create a line of dolls that his niece and other African Girls could relate to because it wonderful for a child's self esteem. In addition, the article mentioned that he also plans to create dolls a little larger in size to resemble what African culture deem as beautiful. Also as an entrepreneur I found it delightful that Mr. Okoya pretty much cornered the market in Nigeria because the article read as though he's the only doll company in existence there.

    I look forward to hearing more about these dolls here in the U.S. and when yours arrive in the mail. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Sandy,

      I am interested in seeing the fuller figured dolls and other changes planned for the Queens of Africa.

      Yes, it appears he has cornered the market. Perhaps others will have an "aha" moment as a result.

      Along with promoting self-esteem in girls of African descent, the dolls should pique interest in Nigerian culture for others who might want to diversify their collections or the dolls their children own.

      Of course there will be another followup post after my dolls arrived. I hope they are as lovely in person as they are in their photos.

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  3. Thank you for so this information!! I was hoping the dolls would be available for US customer. I love this story and the fact that he moved mountains to make this happen. I can wait for me set!!

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    1. Hi Brini,

      You are welcome!

      I just received shipping confirmation on my dolls. I hope you are able to get a set soon.

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  4. How neat! I like the cultural aspect of these dolls. Are these dolls playscale or larger? They look 1:6, but sometimes you cannot tell for sure by photos only.

    Congratulations on getting them - having them coming to you, that is. I am sure that you will provide a detailed review once you have them.

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    1. Hi D7ana,

      Yes, they are playscale or Barbie sized.

      Thanks for the congrats! Yes, a detailed review will follow.

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    2. Okay, I like that news ;-)

      Looking for to your review .... Are they here yet? (Kidding)

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  5. Thanks for this information, Debbie. I look forward to viewing your photos and reading your review once your dolls arrive. If this company does follow through with plans to make fuller figured dolls, I plan to purchase those!

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    1. I look forward to seeing the fuller figured dolls, too, Roxanne. Hopefully, we will also see articulated bodies later as well.


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  6. I love the idea its great! The only issue I have is I'm disappointed they/he did not create natural ethnic looking hair dolls.This doll speaks to me and says I do not like who I really am.Its true today I have read articles about Africans now being obsessed with bleaching their skin and perming their hair.This to me is no different than Mattel dipping their Barbies in black paint.I love the idea of empowering African girls....black girls but if I had the money and power to do this I would have made sure those dolls where realistic in features.We see OOAK artist doing it ..transforming black Barbies into natural hair queens.Im sure their are some Nigerians with perms but part of uplifting our African heritage is accepting and loving thier culture which includes their tribal clothing and how they really where their hair..Thanks Debbie for keeping us in the know of dolls!

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  7. Excuse my typeo's please....I'm using my phone and its hard to go back and correct!

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    1. Hi Doll Party,

      There are versions of the dolls with braids and other traditional, non-straight hair styles. They fall into a different price range. The eBay UK agent is not currently offering these but hopefully will soon. Trust me, I asked, because my preference is for naturally textured hair.

      When given a choice, little girls of any color still prefer dolls with hair that is "combable." The fact that this company offers straight hair as well as dolls with natural hair styles is a plus. I am sorry this post did not make that clear. But if you watch all the videos, you will see the versions with the more elaborate hairstyles of braids, twists, and thread-wrapped hair. I also added a link to the company's website within the post where photos of braided hairstyles can be seen. Oh... if you are on Facebook, additional photos of the dolls can be seen there. Here is the link.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!