Of African Dolls, Fashionable people and Why I love Kenya.

Me and Barbie have never been friends, I have always wondered why that is all we have to offer our kids, the barbie. I remember when I was growing up, our neighbours kid had a rag doll, I loved that doll, I stole it once and hid it under my dress and went to church. We had to go through their home to get to church and it was just lying there e laro (ask your luo friend to translate that) there are somethings that are untranslatable.

We always sat on the front row. My mom (mama kanisa/ Madam) always sat up there, at one point she came and pulled me by the ears out of church, me am there shangaiing now what is it again!!!! kumbe doll was peeping out of dress. Whooping the end; But I loved loved those dolls. So you can imagine to my absolute delight when I met Lilian Achieng'. Her dolls took me back. I am going to get several for all those baby girls who were born last year and I am yet to visit. Meg and Pat do not stare at me am still coming. 
I love them! and I want to encourage all mamas to get their girls these dolls. I was going to summarize  what Lilian wrote me, but let me just put it up here in her own words. And you know I am not a journo, so best I just let her speak for herself.

Ladies and Gents the beautiful Lilian Achieng' in her own words

Am a visual artist. Art has been my passion since childhood. I paint on canvas and I also make dolls. It’s a good creative outlet for me. I started making dolls in childhood. Back then “in the old age” most parents didn’t really buy their kids loads of toys like the kids of today, it was a simple background. The kids of the neighbourhood made their own toys and played together, which was a good thing coz it made us very creative at a tender age and we had fun playing together with all the neighbourhood kids. 
Those were the days when KBC – the only TV station, started /opened at 5:00 pm, so kids didn’t spend the whole day infront of the TV. In a nutshell art/creativity for me began in childhood. I was inspired/challenged to start making these African dolls coz I noticed that in the supernarkets/toy shops, they mostly stock white dolls.  
African dolls, even the “African barbies” are very rare to find, and if you find them, they are very very few. Now this is strange that in a country whose population is more than 80% black African, the shops don’t stock African dolls. Psychology studies have been done is America on the impact of white dolls on black children and they concluded that it damages their self esteem and perception of beauty. One of my African American friends was telling me about this. 
Now I don’t think this problem only applies to African Americans, I feel it also affects us black Kenyans. One of my customers told me how growing up she used to play with the white Barbie dolls and those white Barbies with their long strait blond hair, made her feel sooo bad about her own African kinky hair. Parents should seriously think twice about the impact those white Barbie dolls have on their children. 
Children’s self esteem and perception of beauty starts being formed at that tender young age through the kind of toys they play with. All these inspired me to make African dolls. Another strange thing I have encountered is that most of the people buying my African dolls are the Wazungus! It leaves me wondering what’s up with our people! Have we become so westernized that we no longer care about what looks African. It’s not because they lack money, coz even in the average neighbourhood where I live, I have seen little girls playing with big white Barbie dolls- the ones that cost 2k and above. 
I agree with everything 150%!! I thank you Lilian for sharing your work with us.

The other reason I love them dolls, they are soft and huggable, so the babies can go to bed with them, you can't make your child sleep with that plastic barbie. And best of all they pick up your baby's scent so when they are away you can hug the doll and cry and cry.

Lilian can be reached on Facebook at Hand Made African Dolls. Click away and tell a friend.
And here is a sneak peek of some of her artwork.

Salute kenyan talent sista! oh and the brothers who read this blog too. I have not forgotten you. Next week we will go full blast men's fashion!


I am aware that this is a fashion blog and I should not talk talk about things not related to fashion. But priss! Rules are there to be broken; Miss Tina got married!!!! Aki I love this woman. I have been to her concert, the world tour when she turned 60. She rocked mighty!! 
Anyway My Tina got married to her long long time Boyfriend Erwin Bach in this magnificent Armani  Privè. She had all her female guests wear white. Now that is a way to stand OUT like a queen. Curtsy please to the Queen.

And please if you are thinking ati ohh she is 73 and just got married I still have time?, my friend they have been together for 27years! so best you start looking for that man like yesterday! I have made a mental note to self to say out loud that thing I have just written there to myself when am taking a shower kesho.

Haya kula ngoma! I has been long since I posted a music video so here is one of the songs to the soundtrack of my life.

Some boys think they are God's gift to women, some boys think they are sweet enough to eat, some boys have lips you cant help kissing MWAH! MWAH! (woi woi I love this song and the lyrics) back when music was music

Why I love my City, This CITY of blinding Lights and blinding Thieves

So since today is not a day of a lot of fashion outfit-wise let me tell you a funny storo. I am sure some of you have already read that story of what happened in tao today. Anyway I had got off at Bus Station heading towards small bros office which is huko nyuma on River Road. I piga a corner on Tom Mboya street Junction, I see this massive crowd ahead of me. There are people on the roof tops of the building opposite me, its a hotel. Some are hanging on some electric cable trying to get to the balcony of that building; and everywhere smart phones are in the air. You would think it is a Black Eyed Peas concert. See now that is not a good scene. Every Nairobian knows this is the time to duck!

Usually the best thing I should have done is make a quick U-Turn, head back to Bus Station and use another route, oh nooooo am a Kenyan and kenyaness ilingia box ile mbaya mbovu, I stop to ask another chick filming the thing with her phone "kwani whats happening?" Dont ask me why kenyans ask questions in that format. "whats happening" is enough, but a question is not a question in Kenya without KWANI. I am in the mix! Inching closer to the scene, I want to know more, like am a paid journo. 2 minutes later a few meters away from me tear gas explodes!!. I jump into the next those tu small shops, the guy wants to chase us, they close the door, but the next door can't close, so tear gas is streaming in like there is no kesho! and of course the thieves are grabbing one shoe. MAYOOOOOO Mayoo!!! You guy! I have never cried involuntarily like that for 10 people! I cried the crying of those fake mourners at funerals of my luo people, of makamasi and tears! Usicheze na tear gas! I fika the office and there is a cop friend of my bro there, I tell them the story and they crack up those one of dying on the floor! kumbe the cop had already told them the story.

How do I love this country, the only place where being a sufferer is fun! That would never happen in direction ya village market! Masuffer wa mungu, big up yourself!


I had to leave you with something kidogo nice on the outfits front yawa. You know Charlie, my inhouse model. I love this girl. Here she is looking radiant and all afro chic! I am going to do that hair hivi karibuni when my hair grows. Be inspired. Have a laid back weekend.

Keso mimi na kwenda Pwani!!!!!!!!!!!! That is why I have not done a spell check, Sharon where are you suali!! so you can do this job?!!!


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