South African company Afro Girl has just released the multilingual Hunadi doll, which speaks speaks in 4 of South Africa's 11 official languages. Hunadi comes dressed in traditional pink shweshwe clothing and wears locally handmade leather shoes and accessories, while her packaging unfolds into a dollhouse.
“I remember growing up, my doll Lucy went everywhere with me, from the jungle gym in the park, to braais with the neighbours. A doll is a little girl’s best friend and confidant. It has always been my dream to make sure every little girl can have a doll that they can associate themselves with," said Afro Girl founder Stacey Rethman.
Rethman says it's the objective of Afro Girl to inspire children through storytelling and the celebration of African uniqueness. Hunadi tells her story in English, Sesotho, isiXhosa and isiZulu. According to Jim Cummins from the University of Toronto, research has shown that learning to speak in a mother tongue has a very important role in children’s overall development. Children who speak more languages are often more flexible in their thinking.
Hunadi, the first in the Afro Girl range is based on a little girl from Limpopo. A portion of the sales of the doll will go to a NPO close to Afro Girl’s heart in an aim to assist with grassroots upliftment in education.
“I very much believe in the link between languages and a person’s sense of belonging. I am so proud to be able to introduce Hunadi, and hope that she can be more than just a companion, but as an enabler of inclusivity across South Africa,” said Rethman.
Hunadi is sold via www.afrogirl.co.za
and Takealot.com and retails for R850.