Meet Keleshe: The New Doll With Natural Hair
If there was one thing mother Mushiya Tshikuka was most tired of, it was being unable to find dolls for her daughters, despite the number of them in stores.
Year after year, Tshikuka searched various stores, determined to find the toy that her daughters wanted most. But as hard as she looked, she was unable to find one that looked like her daughters.
"I refused for my little gorgeous black girls to have white dolls because I was not in the mood to confuse their confidence," she wrote in a My Natural Doll Instagram post. "Every black doll I saw had yarn, straight hair, long synthetic whitish curls or were just BALD."
I remember going to the store, MANY stores actually, looking for a black doll because Christmas was approaching & my girls were old enough to say “Mommy, I want a doll”. I refused for my little gorgeous black girls to have white dolls because I was not in the mood to confuse their confidence. I had worked so hard on it. But every black doll I saw had yarn, straight hair, long synthetic whitish curls or were just BALD. See, my children were born with a head full of kinks. Where was that doll? I went from store to store, Christmas after Christmas, year after year & would simply give up & buy them a book. The black doll in America's biggest doll store, was dressed in slave clothes. She was a former slave. I refused to buy them a doll that didn't look like them or celebrate their greatness & beauty. When friends & family got them little white barbies for birthdays, I would return them. I know it sounds harsh, but I was very in tune with the psychological effects of toys on children's self esteem way before the research proved my thoughts. But as they got older, they demanded dolls more & more. And since I couldn't find their reflection in dolls, I decided to create dolls in their reflection. Hence, the birth of My Natural Doll. She has Dark skin 100% Virgin Kinky hair from the Runway Curls Hair line, that can be twisted, braided & washed just like our own hair. Her name is Keleshe. You are not just buying a toy. You are buying SELF LOVE for your child & changing her life. People tell me that I have accomplished a lot in life for our women & our community. And while I really don't realize it, I will say this. Creating @MyNaturalDoll is one of the proudest accomplishments I will ever achieve in this life for this world. And now, all of your daughters can have a @mynaturaldoll. #mynaturaldoll #blackdoll #blackbarbie #christmasgift #runwaycurls #thedamnsalon #teammushiya #keleshe #naturalhairdoll #BlackFridaySale #mynaturalgirl #naturaldoll #naturalhair #naturalhairdolls
Because her daughters were "born with a full head of kinks," the black dolls on the market weren't realistic. So, she made the decision to fix the hole in the toy market in which she searched to no avail.
Finally, Keleshe was born: an 18", 22 oz, doll with chocolate brown skin, kinky curly 100 percent virgin African textured hair, and an African print baby doll dress.
"You are not just purchasing a toy... You are investing in your child's self esteem and self love."
Photo Credit: My Natural Doll/Runwaycurls