Born out of a mothers quest to empower her daughter and other African girls, Fatuma Abdullah’s creation – the Akiki doll, is helping to create a positive self-image for African and black girls.
“When my daughter started crèche, she came home one day and said, ‘mama I want my hair to be straight’ and I looked at her and said no our hair is not straight, our hair is curly, and then she was like yeh but I want my hair to look like so and so and I thought to myself I need to do something about this,” recalls Fatuma.
The Akiki doll and Akiki’s short stories (her first book) launched in May 2016 and are used as teaching tools to put across the message of self-love, appreciation and self-worth.
Akiki is addressing the diversity gap and celebration of African children in children’s play and literature. “This was confirmed when bringing up my children, the readily available toys and books are very Eurocentric, not representative of us. Akiki came into existence so African children have a positive kiddie character they can identify with, affirm positivity and connect children through stories in an African context that teach and entertain.”