Rooti dolls are HERE!

Meet the Rooti dolls! Talking African figures wearing colourful clothes challenge racial stereotypes by breaking the Barbie mould

  • Dolls created by Chris and Ada Ngoforo who felt their children did not know enough about their roots
  • The couple have now made 12 dolls from different African countries
  • Each doll can speak a range of different African languages

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

PUBLISHED:  13 March 2013

A range of dolls have been created to help children of African origin to stay in touch with their heritage. The dolls were created by Chris and Ada Ngoforo, from London, who were concerned their children did not know about their West African roots. They decided to take matters into their own hands and what started off as a project to help their family, has now transformed into a business venture.

Ama is described as a 'bubbling dynamic girl' whose 'dream is to be a doctor someday,' says the company's website. She speaks the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo
Nubya is originally from Cape-Town whose parents moved to London years before her birth, say her creators. The doll is programmed to speak Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, and Afrikaans

Ama is described as a ‘bubbling dynamic girl’ according to the company’s website and speaks the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo while Nubya, whose parents moved to London from Cape Town years before her birth, is programmed to speak Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, and Afrikaans. They have launched their own range of toys, called Rooti Dolls, which are programmed to speak in several native African languages. The couple have now made 12 dolls from different African countries.

Chris Ngoforo told CNN: ‘We observed that over 90 per cent of children born or living in the diaspora and millions in Africa do not speak or understand their mother tongues.’Our research made us understand that the reason for this is not because our children don’t want to learn their mother tongues, but more because there are not many essential tools that can easily be both educational and fun at the same time.’

Shiroh, of Kenyan and Somali mixed origin can speak a range of languages, including Swahili, Kikuyu and Luganda
Keza parents are from Zimbabwe and Zambia, so she can speak Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, and Nyanja

Shiroh  of Kenyan and Somali origin can speak Swahili, Kikuyu and Luganda while Keza whose parents are originally from Zimbabwe and Zambia can speak Shona, Ndebele, Bemba, and Nyanja, according to the dolls’ creators.

Rooti Dolls was set up by Chris and Ada Ngoforo who were concerned their children were losing touch with their West African roots
Rooti Dolls http://www.rootidolls.com was set up by Chris and Ada Ngoforo who were concerned their children were losing touch with their West African roots. Among the dolls is Nina, who can speak Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and Ibibio and loves to watch ‘Nollywood’ – popular term for Nigerian movies. Then there is Ama, who dreams to be a doctor, and can speak the Ghanaian languages of Twi, Ga, Ewe and Krobo.The couple hope the dolls will breakdown stereotypes and provide a more accurate representation of black people.

Debbie Behan Garrett, author of ‘The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls’, said: ‘Today’s black dolls have evolved from negative caricatures to play-scale representations of haute couture fashion models and other positive images of babies, toddlers and adult black people.’

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s