Monday, September 14, 2015

Natural Hair Dolls by Healthy Roots

Everyday one enters the internet and finds someone or a group of people doing extra ordinary things! While going through Bino & Fino's blog, I came across the Healthy Roots Dolls.

Healthy Roots Dolls is a collection of African-American, Haitian, Nigerian, Pacific Islander and Afro-Brazilian dolls designed to combat racism and racial stereotypes by encouraging young black females to embrace their natural hair.

Meet the Healthy Roots Dolls: Marinda (The Pacific Islander), Zoé (The African-American) , Gaïana (The Haitian) and Dara (The Nigerian)

The founder and creative director Yelitsa Jean-Charles explained, “Healthy Roots teaches girls of color self-love through education, diversity and positive representation. If the toys we play with influence how we perceive ourselves, imagine the kind of impact we can have with a toy that aims to inspire and empower.” The project also includes an instructive hair care manual and book series that would teach girls how to take care of their natural hair.

3D Version of the Healthy Roots Dolls

The Healthy Roots Dolls Package

Healthy Roots Dolls - Big Book of Hair Manual

A $35K Kickstarter campaign was launched in support of Healthy Roots. Their aim is to get these dolls in the arms of little girls. Therefore, they need to reach a minimum order of 2,500 dolls. 

Watch the video below and learn more about the Kickstarter campaign:

This is the kind of cause I like to support. This project would help to create a positive awareness of our different skin tones, hair textures and facial features that represents the beauty of the African Diaspora among our children. So please do go ahead and back this project. Kindly click here

Happy donating!!! *waves & smiles*

Bino & Fino: The African Educational Cartoon

I grew up watching educational programs such as Sesame Street and BBC Children Programs. They really helped with building up my childhood. But when I look back, I can't recall any nice authentic educational children's program that promoted the African culture. Bino & Fino has come to change that! I'm so glad because I want my son and his future siblings to have an educational upbringing of our African culture. I have actually written about Bino & Fino before on my blog. I am just glad to see how it has upgraded and affected not only Africa but the whole world.


Bino and Fino is an African educational cartoon from Nigeria about a brother and sister who live in a modern day city in Africa. In each episode Bino and Fino, with the help of their friend Zeena the Magic Butterfly and their family, discover and learn things about Africa and the world. The show is for children mainly between the ages of 3 and 6. The series show aspects of: African Culture, African History, African Geography and much more. The show was created for parents who were finding it difficult to find positive, fun, educational content about Africa for their children to watch. The creator of the show is Nigerian, Adamu Waziri. The show is produced by EVCL which is an animation studio based in Abuja, Nigeria. 

I can't wait to get a copy of both DVDs and also their dolls. Looking forward to my children learning about their continent and its diverse cultures. I, too, am looking forward to learning a lot from Bino, Fino, their family and friends.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My List of Disney African Princesses

You all know I'm a serious fan of Disney movies, especially the Disney Princess franchise. Now, I never had an issue that Disney has not done a movie about an African Disney Princess (Sorry but for me Tiana doesn't really count because she is not a pure African breed...sorry again!). But now, I'm hearing Disney wants to do a movie about an African Princess (Yaaaay!!!!) but she is not pure African but a white American girl whose father has proclaimed her a princess by claiming a piece of unoccupied land between Egypt & Sudan calling it North Sudan (SAY WHAT!?!?). Read the story here and here.

Now, that really got me pissed!!! *boiling* Of all the African Princesses, na this person wey no be real princess (At all!!!) wey Disney wan make movie (Speaking in Pidgin English). No way! Disney for the first time ever has disappointed me, a faithful Disney fan!!!! This got me researching for real African Princesses (and Queens) that existed and made meaningful impact in their era. And men are there plenty of them! And am going to share just a few of these wonderful African Women Royalties with you.

Africa's Royal Women have been noted to be highly successful warriors, builders, business-women, and administrators, whose exciting personal stories celebrate their achievements during times when most women had little or no power. 

Hatshepsut (meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies; 1508–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III who had ascended to the throne as a child one year earlier. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. Hatshepsut's reign was much longer and more prosperous. She was successful in warfare early in her reign, but generally is considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established international trading relationship lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt. That wealth enabled Hatshepsut to initiate building projects that raised the calibre of Ancient Egyptian architecture to a standard, comparable to classical architecture that would not be rivaled by any other culture for a thousand years. She managed to rule for about 20 years. One of the most famous things that she did was building Hatshepsut's temple. Read more about her here.

Princess Cleopatra narrates was born into a royal household full of intrigue and fears of assassination, she desperately wanted to survive to become a responsible and just queen. Her story chronicles from her life in the Egyptian court and her frantic flight to Rome with her father, Ptolemy XII, to seek refuge and alliance with the Romans against their enemies and her sisters, who both sought the throne. You can read more about her here.

Nzingha, an Angolan princess in the 16th and 17th centuries, was born in a land in which women were predestined to be subservient to men's whims. Nzingha, however, broke that rule and, following her father's footsteps, became a leader after his death. It is recorded that Queen Nzingha was knowledgeable, intelligent, and brave. She was opposed to Portuguese slavery and European ways of life, although she secretly learns the outsiders' language and uses it to her advantage. You can read more about her here.

In the sixteenth century, Queen Bakwa Turunku built the capital of Zazzau at Zaria, named after her younger daughter. Eventually, the entire state of Zazzau was renamed Zaria, which is now a province in present-day Nigeria. However it was her elder daughter, the legendary Amina (or Aminatu), who inherited her mother's warlike nature. Amina was 16 years old when her mother became queen and she was given the traditional title of magajiya. She honed her military skills and became famous for her bravery and military exploits, as she is celebrated in song as "Amina daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man." Amina is credited as the architect who created the strong earthen walls around the city, which was the prototype for the fortifications used in all Hausa states. She built many of these fortifications, which became known as ganuwar Amina or Amina's walls, around various conquered cities. You can read more about her here and here.

Daughter of one of the kings of the four tribes that formerly ruled Uganda, Elizabeth of Toro is among the most intriguing and accomplished contemporary African women. She is only the third African woman to graduate from Cambridge University and Uganda's first female attorney. In the 1960s the princess embarked on a highly successful career as an international fashion model, partly to persuade the West of the beauty and sophistication of the Ugandan people. In the 1970s she turned to public service and was appointed as the foreign minister in 1974. During the politically sensitive years of transition to the current democratic regime, she was Uganda's ambassador to the United States. You can read more about her here. 

Sarah Bonetta Forbes was from Egbado, a Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Her ancestors can be traced to present day Abeokuta, Nigeria. This African princess, escaped death from a wicked king in the present day Republic of Benin (Dahomey) courtesy of a British Naval Captain (Frederick Forbes) during the early part of the 19th century. Captain Forbes brought her to England when she was about 6/7years old. Queen Victoria was impressed by the young princess' exceptional intelligence and raised her as her goddaughter in the British middle class. She got married to a West African Business man, Mr. Davis who took her back to West Africa where she finally settled in Lagos, Nigeria. She lived and lectured in another Female Institution until she was about 37/38 years, and had 3 children. Her first child Victoria was named after Queen Victoria, who was also her God-mother. Sarah Bonetta Davis as she became known had a tragic end, dying of Tuberculosis on a Portugese Island, where she was sent to recover. You can read more about her here.

Some of these African royal women lived in great luxury, while some lived in exile as freedom fighters. As a result, many of these royal women ruled in extremely difficult times, marked by palace intrigue, foreign invasion, and harrowing adventure. These are the kinds of African Queens and Princesses that should be used as African Disney Princess movies. Click and read the list of a few other African royal women:

Princess Tata Ajache of Dahomey

So please Disney, reconsider from the list above and pick a TRUE African royal woman that would make a wonderful Disney African Princess Story....not one that doesn't even have a proper history nor is a pure African princess! Thanks Disney!

Enjoy the video below on African Royal Women.

The Royal Story by Nia Imani inspired from the book titled "African Princess" by Joyce Hansen