By Angela Ukomadu and Tim Cocks
LAGOS (Reuters) - With a booming economy in Nigeria and more black children than anywhere else in the world, Taofick Okoya was dismayed some years ago when he couldn't find a black doll for his niece.
The 43-year-old spotted a gap in the market and with little competition from foreign firms such as Mattel Inc, the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. He outsourced manufacturing of doll parts to low-cost China, assembled them onshore and added a twist - traditional Nigerian costumes.
Seven years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his "Queens of Africa" and "Naija Princesses" a month, and reckons he has 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.
"I like it," said five year-old Ifunanya Odiah, struggling to contain her excitement as she checked out one of Okoya's dolls in a Lagos shopping mall. "It's black, like me."
While multinational companies are flocking to African markets, Okoya's experience suggests that, in some areas atRead More »from In Nigeria, Queens of Africa steal a march on Barbie