Growing up, I was never a girlie girl neither was I a tomboy but I spent a lot of time with my elder brother and dolls were not really my thing. However, my one encounter with a doll was with a childhood friend of mine. Her name was Celia and she had a blue doll.
All features were incised on the doll. It was plastic(I have never liked plastic-ish things). It was hideous. She called it "Monica"- I didn't like the name. She would sometimes drag it through murky water and it had stains and things(
things that I lack words for) stuck in its crevices. It gives me the creeps just describing it. Let's just say I never really warmed up to that doll or any other doll for that matter.
I was 5.
Fast forward 20years later. I saw a doll that I loved. A doll that I warmed up to(
..,and No, I'm not needy nor I'm I experiencing a quarter life crisis..lol).
Meet Lillian Achieng' Wayodi.(Pictured above)
Lillian is an exceptional artist who designs and makes handmade African dolls. She studied Business Administration in college and began her business with a little pocket money she had saved up. She re-invested each and every penny she made till she registered her business.
|..,this is my favorite.|
The beauty with art is that its easy to improvise, recycle and re-create a product that one can make money from and so no one should complain about little or no resources. Simply, seize the day and do what you need to do.
Lillians business has not been without challenges. However, the irony of her main challenge is that living in Africa where 80% of the inhabitants are black, her main clientele is composed of caucasians/wazungu who like African handmade products. Only a few black people buy her dolls. Apparently, most people seem to prefer the white barbie dolls and there is a mentality /mindset with Africans of wanting imported
products..“white” looking products. People need to realize how psychologically damaging it is to an African child if all they are
exposed to are white dolls. It damages their self esteem and
perception of beauty. A study was actually carried out. Check
out this link.
Also, its interesting to note that most of the dolls
stocked in the shops here in Kenya(..,and i'm sure most African countries) are white
dolls. African/black dolls are extremely few.
Do we think
so little of ourselves that we can’t even stock our shops
with that which reflects who we are? I am very pro African. I would like to
see our African people buying African dolls for their children.
Here are pictures of some of Lillians products:
Like Lillian, let's ALL be pro-African and support products and projects that speak volumes about our rich heritage. Each dolls costs Kes 1500. She can reached via here FACEBOOK page and delivers internationally.
Buy African,Build Africa!!
If you're a young graduate who has delved into business(or are thinking of doing so), E-MAIL me and get featured on 'My Hustle'.