Former Miss SA Bokang Montjane has challenged black African parents to buy African dolls and clothes for their children, as that would help them to know more about their roots.
Montjane recently launched a range of children’s clothing, dolls and accessories under the brands Super Shabba and Princess Bokang.
She said it was time parents redefined the true meaning of beauty in a child’s eyes.
“For a long time I think moms and dads haven’t been thinking about this and they couldn’t find these stores selling dolls and clothes with African prints, princesses and superheroes.
“I would say teach your kids from a young age to embrace, love and appreciate being African. We need to teach our kids to love the colour of their skin tone, regardless of how light or dark they are.
“It’s about time we as parents teach our kids that there is nothing wrong with being African,” said Montjane.
Montjane was born in Ga-Mphahlele, Limpopo.
She met her husband, Kaizer Chiefs footballer Siphiwe Tshabalala, in 2010.
Montjane said that because of the support Tshabalala had given her over the years in her career, she decided to partner with him to create their own range when they discovered that they were expecting their son, who is now three.
“We were becoming parents and wondered whether we were having a boy or a girl. Obviously a guy would want a boy and a mom usually would want a girl. I thought to myself: What am I going to dress this child in?
“Children’s clothing did not offer anything that related to the African child. And I thought about how I grew up playing with white dolls that had blonde hair and blue eyes, which defined what beauty was.
“I then thought to myself the reason why I grew up so confidently was because of what my parents instilled in me, but not everybody has parents like that.
“I realised there was a huge gap in the market.
“So we decided to create an African superhero called Super Shabba, obviously after my husband, who as a young man from Soweto grew up with very little and made his way to the top.
“Then we have the princess, Bokang, which is a story and character built around me, a girl from a rural area who made it as well, in terms of becoming Miss South Africa,” said Montjane.
Tshabalala said he wanted to create a legacy that could inspire people in the townships.
“I hope that in the years to come, I won’t be remembered only for playing football.
“I hope my legacy will be that of a boy from Soweto who inspired African kids through football, and gave a message of hope and dared kids to dream big, because dreams can come true if you work hard enough.”