Thursday, February 25, 2016

Meet LolanKiki

Kiki is made from light-brown fabric and Lolais fabric is darker
For years my friend Neo Motshumi has dreamt of making and selling LolanKiki, a range of ethnic cloth dolls she designed.

Drawn from all nationalities in South Africa, the dolls are a snapshot of SA tribes, including Zulu, Xhosa, Batswana, Bapedi, Basotho, Ndebele, Venda and Shangaan.

As South Africa is a very diverse country, Neo also included  dolls that represent our Chinese and Indian communities.

Neo and I have been friends since the early 90s, back when we both lived in Mahikeng. Last year we agreed that she should come from Durban to Phokeng for an extended visit with me.

She's a very creative individual and I needed her "out-of-the-box" thinking to spark my own creativity. In return, she needed my very practical nature to ground her as she creates and begins to market her range.

So I converted one of the rooms in my house into her studio. Her first visit was in October and since then she has come and stayed depending on both our whims. The result has been numerous dolls made and sold, with bulk orders to creches and individual orders both nationally and internationally. This is still the very beginning of her business, but finally she's seeing her dream through. I'm very proud of her.

About the dolls

There is a wide variety of outfits to choose from

Lola is made of dark brown fabric while Kiki is made from light brown fabric. Both dolls  have a variety of outfits to choose from, inspired by all SA tribes. There is also Chinese Lola and Kiki, who are yellow/gold and wear kimono-type dresses and Indian Lola and Kiki, who wear a sari or kurti.

The dolls also wear a brooch, necklaces and bracelets made from beads and carry a handbag that their friend can use to store their clothes.

The brooches

The handbag, necklace and bracelet
The package comes in a recycled newspaper gift bag.

Currently, the full package is available for purchase directly from Neo for R350.00. You can email her at to place your order. The dolls are also available on etsy (I've just activated a long-dormant account).

Additional clothes are also available to order for the dolls and can include shorts and tops. You can also choose to buy a custom-made outfit for the child to match the doll's clothes. In such instances, you will need to email Neo to discuss your order. Of course large orders from specialty shops and children's clothing shops are very welcome.  There are several women's sewing projects here in Phokeng, itching to get busy fulfilling orders!

Sample dress
Sample dress 2

As the resident storyteller, my job is to write stories about the adventures of Lola and Kiki and their friends. Medium-term, the stories will accompany Lola and Kiki doll packages and also be sold as stand-alone books.

Buying Info


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