Sometimes the beauty of entrepreneurship is evident when we use our knowledge of the environment in order to create a sense of pride through entrepreneurship opportunities, and at the same time we create opportunities for others to earn an income. In essences that is what business is about; to find a void in society and filling it up with the product or service.
I find it particularly even more rewarding when we add an element of pride on our heritage through the entrepreneurial spirit we posses. I have found two such similar companies (there could be more out there) Childish Trading and Manufacturing, and Queen of Africa Dolls.
Childish Trading and Manufacturing, is a South African based company that makes African themed dolls. The main character is Momppy Mpoppy. Momppy Mpoppy is often dressed in the latest fashion clothing with her afro sealing the whole African look. It is said that the reason the founder of the company came up with the idea was because she could not find black dolls in the market that appealed to the kids, she said that the ones on the market “were frumpy and unattractive, some in traditional attire. That is not the reality of today.”
I salute the lady; instead of sitting down and complaining she let her voice be heard through her product.
Another example is from Nigeria. Taofick Okoya is the founder of the “Queen of Africa” dolls. The idea came about when Taofick’s daughter wished that she was white. To a certain degree I do not blame the daughter. Most of the wonderful cartoon, movies and superheroes are not dark skinned at all, even in Africa. I have always been a strong advocate for African excellence in all spheres and there is not better start than with the young ones. Queen of Africa dolls are inspired by 3 of the country’s biggest tribes. These dolls showcase African culture through traditional clothing and accessories, they even have braided hair. Now kids from all over the continent can have “friends” and toys that look just like them.
I would love to see the day when local products and services are on par or better than imports. I would love to see the products being made in the continent at competitive prices, and empowering many African households.