Molemo Kgomo of Ntombentledolls tells us more about the creation of black South African dolls
Tell us about Ntombentledolls?
Ntombentle was created in 2005 as a result of not finding a black doll
for my daughter at the time. Even when I could find one, it did not represent
us and was not suitable. This, then, gave me an idea to start making
dolls for us and our children. Ntombentle represents the beauty of
african kids and women.
What inspired you to create these dolls, Black dolls at that, and how did you start?
I looked for black doll manufacturers and found some in China. I went over there, and talked to them about my idea and what I wanted them to
do. I bought sample material from marabastad and flew it there; so they could see how I wanted the materials to look and feel. I
bought them reading material, as well, so that they could atleast
understand what I wanted to achieve.
What were the challenges in starting and what are the challenges you are still faced with? If any.
The biggest challenge I had, then, was that I couldn’t get them into toy
stores. I would be told things like black dolls will not sell and there was no
demand for them. I believe the time was not right then, and
perhaps they were not ready for black dolls. The kids were liking their
dolls, even when I was selling a few at a time, the parents that
bought them were very happy with the product.
How do people get hold of your dolls?
People can get hold of the dolls by e-mailing Ntombentledolls@gmail.com. The dolls cost R220 each, and for Wholesale and
Distribution, they can e-mail me directly at Molemo.email@example.com
I would encourage people to buy these dolls to show the kids that
black is still beautiful. And they must appreciate themselves and not be
ashamed of who they are, or how they look.
The Zulu and Ndebele Ntombentledolls are finished of locally, the bead work is
done by ladies in Hammanskraal and KwaNdebele.