Cape Argus


Luvuthando Dolls embrace and showcase South African cultures

- Staff Reporter

ONCE described as “a flower from Gugulethu”, Yolanda Y’awa is set to launch her black doll brand Luvuthando Dolls in South Africa during a series of unconventi­onal pop-ups and flash mobs. Luvuthando Dolls created a wonder-space where children had a free passport to be perfectly imperfect, Y’awa said. “We want our youth to embrace who they are, where they come from and know that life has endless possibilit­ies. Our dolls are there to change the perception that being black or having natural hair is unflatteri­ng and is not beautiful or bold. “Our dolls will share their stories of braveness and how to turn challenges into triumphs by just believing in the impossible during a series on YouTube episodes and short stories,” she said. The dolls come in different shades of black to promote black representa­tion and empowermen­t. There are also male dolls and a doll with albinism in the doll range to represent diversity.

Y’awa, who is also a fashion designer living with HIV for 20 years, is highly motivated and thus distribute­s and promotes the doll internatio­nally.

She recently showcased the dolls at MIDEM 2018 in Cannes, France, and Afrika Festival Nijmegen where she was also invited to perform. Her black dolls are also finding favour in the US, UK and in the Netherland­s ever since they have been sold via her online store.

Y’awa said she planned on opening a production plant for the dolls in the Western Cape where she would work with unemployed youth and women to empower them with skills and financial freedom.

Her goal is to become the leading black doll brand internatio­nally.

The inspiratio­n behind the doll brand is due to “previously being bullied and teased for being dark skinned” she said.

She is also inspired by her two children, Luvuyo and Uthando, after who she named the brand. Luvuthando means “feel the love”.

Y’awa’s unique mix of talents are an inspiratio­n.

She is a singer, fashion designer and motivation­al speaker – not to mention her formal ballet and African contempora­ry background.

At the release of her latest brand, she will show off a Heritage Doll collection inspired by many of South African cultures like Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Cape Malay/Muslim, Indian and Ndebele.

One of her passions is to give back to the less privileged and this has inspired her to donate a percentage of the doll proceeds to the Circle of Love 168-016 NPO.

Luvuthando Dolls are currently solely made by Y’awa with some assistance from her children and brother, Ludwe Y’awa.

Each doll package comes with:

A doll with a Yolanda Y’awa Creations designer outfit.

A fashion outfit. A mini diary. A care booklet An accessory for the little princess/prince, a doll toy and accessorie­s.

Every doll has an inspiring African name and the mini diary comes with the doll bio and also South African language words with an English translatio­n.

To find out more, visit: www.luvuthando­ luvuthando­dolls. Y’awa can be reached at 072 875 5979 and luvuthando­ |

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 ??  ?? LUVUTHANDO Dolls by Yolanda Y’awa were created to give children the space to be ‘perfectly imperfect’.
LUVUTHANDO Dolls by Yolanda Y’awa were created to give children the space to be ‘perfectly imperfect’.
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