What do you do when you can’t find dolls for your children that reflect their African heritage?  Well if you’re Chris and Ada Ngoforo, a Nigerian couple, living in London, you make them yourself. The entrepreneurial couple designed their own line of  talking African-themed doll line called “Rooti Dolls.

London Couple Makes Dolls To Challenge Racial Stereotypes


The 12 Rooti dolls are programmed to speak in several African languages.  Amongst them, there’s Nina, a “vibrant girl” with Nigerian parents, who “loves watching Nollywood” and can interact in the Nigerian languages of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibibio; there’s Ama, a “bubbling dynamic girl” whose “dream is to be a doctor someday,” and can speak the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo; and there’s also Keza, with parents from Zimbabwe and Zambia. She “loves adventures, reading and listening to beautiful music” and can communicate in Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, and Nyanja.

In a recent CNN interview the couple explained their desire to create the Rooti dolls:

“Over the years my wife and I have found it extremely hard finding real black dolls that can truly connect with our little daughters,” he says. “The dolls out there in the market are nothing close to the real image of a black child in terms of features and other attributes — they are either too thin, too light or chiseled-faced, and even the complexions of most of the dolls are kind of whitewashed,” says Ngoforo.

“The unfortunate effect of this stereotypical misrepresentation is a case of low self-esteem among black children who have been directly or indirectly made to believe less in themselves as a black child. They have been made to believe that you have to look like a white doll to be accepted as beautiful or even good.”

To learn more about the dolls or to make a purchase, you can visit their website: http://rootidolls.com/new/6-educational-dolls



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  • Glow

    I love that dolls are being made to reflect our features, and giving our little girls the opportunity to collect dolls that represent them, however, I have an issue with the price these dolls are commanding. As a mother of a 3 year old daughter, I have been trying to find reasonably priced dolls for her. Of the dolls I have seen, the prices range from $50—$100 per doll. If we are spreading the idea that our girls should have dolls reflecting who they are, shouldn’t they be more affordable? If anyone knows of any moderately priced dolls similiar to those featured, please share.

    • 9boots

      @ Glow

      Check out The One World Doll Project

  • vintage3000

    This is like seeing White/Asian/Hispanic dolls with african textured hair. With American Girl prices. Pass.

  • Courtney H.

    These dolls are beautiful! I enjoyed watching the video on the creators. I agree with other commenters that as long as the dolls have Afrocentric features, they can have natural hair as well. I am starting to wear my hair naturally, and natural hair is beautiful, too. Also, I think the dolls should be more affordable, so poor girls as well as rich ones can enjoy these beautiful dolls.