Barbie turns 60 with the launch of diverse "Sheroes" collection

American toy company Mattel is releasing a range of dolls in the image of some of the world's most celebrated young women.

The launch coincides with the 60th anniversary of the firm's best-loved doll, Barbie.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, actress, model and activist Yara Shahidi and film director Ava Duvernay are among the ' she-roes' being honoured by Mattel.

But the announcement has sparked another conversation around issues of representation. What's taken Mattel this long to create dolls all children can relate to?

Azania spoke to Sibahle Collection co-founder Khulile Vilakazi Ofosu and founder of Momppy Mpoppy Maite Makgoba both of whom are leading the way when it comes to producing diverse dolls.

My journey started because of my daughter. One day she came back from school and said I want flowy hair, I must admit I did not pay attention to the type of toys she was playing with. I went around the market and wanted to find a doll representative of the African child. I went overseas and found one but they were not really hitting the sport. That is when my partner and I decided to venture into the space.

Khulile Vilakazi Ofosu, Co-founder - Sibahle Collection

We had a couple of stores that did accommodate us on the shelves but it is also an issue of margins. Some of the biggest challenges as well is the fact that when a child goes to the store, they already know the brand and we come in and introduce a whole new brand. The child has already been exposed so much to international brands.

Maite Makgoba, Founder - Momppy Mpoppy

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


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