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No More Barbie: Kenyan Toy Designer Creates Doll Line to Celebrate African Women

A Kenyan dollmaker created toys that inspire young girls to love traditional African culture.

Designer Nancy Nkirote Schürch launched the Mimi Authentic dolls line after she bought her daughter a white doll. That toy was special to her young one, but the fact that it was white made Nkirote Schürch think about the lack of representation in the toy industry.

In a profile with Media Max Networks, Nkirote Schürch told reporters that she wanted to create a toy that instilled pride in young Black girls. Her dolls represent indigenous native Kenyan ethnic groups such as the Maasai community, the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin.

During an Oct . 13 profile with CCTV Africa, Nkirote Schürch says her dolls will also be given to young girls living with HIV. “… We hope to give them a special friend to talk to without being judged or criticized.”

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