“If dolls are rocking their natural hair in afro style then why shouldn’t I?”

Their Natural HairThis is what I hope young girls will be saying once they start getting access to The Natural Doll. Inspired by the lack of options available for her own daughters, Congolese hair dresser Mushiya Tshikuka set out on a mission to create a doll that would make them feel more proud to wear their natural hair.



  • “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.”
  • “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 and would simply give up and buy them a book.”

Spirit of Determination

In Mushiya’s own words;

“In a world where the dolls we play with and the role models we see shapes our perception of beauty and our self-confidence, it is important that our little girls are constantly exposed to a reflection of themselves – beautiful dark skin and kinky hair like that which grows out of their own head.”

After dedicating a lot of time and effort to finding a doll that would help young black girls embrace their natural hair, she created My Natural Doll, which has dark skin and 100 per cent virgin kinky hair. Which much like real hair, it can be twisted, braided, and washed, and can even be dyed if the owner chooses.

The doll is named Keleshe and comes dressed in bold, African-inspired prints. The toy currently retails for $145 which, yes, compared to other dolls on the market might be expensive, but if it helps young black girls feel more proud of their natural hair, then it’s worth it.


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