DOLLS THAT EM­BRACE SA CUL­TURES

Lu­vuthando Dolls em­brace and show­case South African cul­tures

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - 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 Etsy.com 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.lu­vuthandodo­lls.co.za/

https://www.face­book.com/ lu­vuthandodo­lls. Y’awa can be reached at 072 875 5979 and lu­vuthandodo­[email protected] |

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

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