- Beyoncé, OUT Magazine
I love these “Queens of Africa” and “Naija Princess” dolls by Taofick Okoya. The 43-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur decided to start his “black Barbie” business a few years ago, after struggling to find black dolls for his niece.
The dolls have different hairstyles, ranging from weaves to braids, and some wear traditional Nigerian clothes. Taofick says he sells between 6 000 and 9 000 dolls a month in Nigeria and estimates that he has 10-15% of a small but fast-growing market.
Taofick also says his initial dolls were bigger and curvier but the kids didn’t like them so he plans to re-introduce them once the brand is more established.
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About a year or a two ago, I came across an article somewhere on the web that talked about how Sierra Leone locals were trying to revive their country’s tourism industry after it had been marred by years of a terrible civil war. In particular, part of these efforts were being channeled into building up both a culture and industry around surfing, a sport originally developed by the native Polynesians in Hawai’i, as the western coast of Sierra Leone is home to a number of beaches that make for some pretty good surf locations.
Whilst not on the level of more mature surf industries and primary surf locations, there are at least four beaches in Sierra Leone that those who visit the country can venture on to with their surfboards in tow: River No.2 beach, Aberdeen beach, Bureh beach and Sulima beach.
Out of the four listed above, Bureh beach seems to be gaining the highest level of popularity, probably due in part to the Bureh Beach Surf Club (BBSC) of which some of its members are pictured above as part of a photographic essay by Sierra Leone-based photographer Tommy Trenchard.
The BBSC was set up in 2011 as a non-profit organization in and is the country’s first and only surf club. Bureh is a small fishing village that is about an hour and 30 minutes drive from the capital Freetown.
So if you were thinking of visiting Sierra Leone, or looking for a place to vacation in Africa, these spots are definitely areas to consider. For those who possess ECOWAS passports, you can get passport stamped upon arrival if all your documents are intact. But be sure to check with the Sierra Leonean embassy where you live before departing. Non-ECOWAS passport holders will need visas upon arrival into Sierra Leone.
@SMB_DBN #ThisIsAfrica Shoot with #DJTira S/O to u Grootman
Photography by @NEK_STICHSMB