Vilakazi Ofosu on making dolls of different races to redefine beauty

Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu on making dolls of different races to redefine beauty

Doll maker Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu is serious about changing stereotypes when it comes to beauty, and she is using her dolls to ensure young children embrace their skin colour and hair. 

Vilakazi Ofosu doll
Vilakazi Ofosu doll/ Supplied

Children's minds are shaped from a young age. The games they play and the toys they use help shape their beliefs. 

Sadly, for many years, there has been a lack of representation in children’s toys, especially when it comes to dolls. Many of them are blonde with straight hair. Sadly, this led to some children wishing to change their natural hair and their skin colour.  

This is the same story of Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu's daughter who told her mother, "Mommy, please make my hair flowy." After reflecting, Khulile realised it was the dolls that her daughter was playing with that made her wish for "flowy hair". 

READ: PHOTOS: Cape Town man has a collection of over 1,500 Barbie dolls

This birthed the desire in Khulile to start creating dolls that looked like her daughter and had natural hair. 

She is now a co-owner of Sibahle Collection – a range of dolls with natural hair.

Khulile started the brand with Caroline Hlahla, whom she used to work with, to manufacture natural textured hair extensions.

She says she understands how important hair is in boosting one's self-confidence. 

Their Sibahle dolls are unique in that the facial features and clothing bear resemblance to local cultures and traditional attire. 

READ: Venter family from Pretoria have human-like dolls as 'children'

They also have dolls with albinism and vitiligo, afros and braids. 

She believes this will help young children embrace their look and hair. 

“There’s a need for every child to see themselves in their toys,” says the doll maker. 

Image courtesy of: Supplied

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