With a pop­u­la­tion of 300,000 the Unit­ed King­dom holds the sec­ond largest num­ber (behind the Unit­ed States) of Jamaicans liv­ing out­side Jamaica. Still, the black doll mar­ket is under­de­vel­oped, with most shipped in from the Unit­ed States. UK-Jamaican teacher Saf­fron Jack­son decid­ed to do some­thing about this after fail­ing to find a doll for her infant daugh­ter.

All the black dolls I have seen were from Amer­i­ca, and most of them were either ugly or not to my lik­ing. I thought, why not cre­ate my own doll?” 

On Novem­ber 24 Jack­son released a Jamaican-patois speak­ing doll named Toya, the first from her Zuree doll line. When squeezed Toya says Jamaican phras­es includ­ing ‘Wah gwaan?’ (What’s up?), ‘Weh yaa seh?’ (How are you doing?), ‘Wha hap­pen?’ (What’s hap­pen­ing?) and ‘Me name Toya, and me a wah Zuree Doll from the beau­ti­ful island of Jamaica.’ (My name is Toya and I’m a Zuree Doll from the beau­ti­ful island of Jamaica.) See the adorable doll in action here;

In an inter­view with Jamaican news­pa­per The Star Jack­son said she hopes Toya helps black girls see their beau­ty;

The idea behind this is to show lit­tle girls that regard­less of their skin tone or hair tex­ture, they’re indeed beau­ti­ful. Hence, the name Zuree. It come from Swahili, and it means beau­ti­ful.”

Jack­son has received more than 400 orders since the launch, and the Zuree Face­book page has more than 3,400 likes. Orders are com­ing from all over the world;

Peo­ple love that it speaks Jamaican. I’ve been get­ting sales from Aus­tralia, Esto­nia, Ams­ter­dam, Ger­many, and all the­se places, which show there is a mas­sive demand for our cul­ture… My phone went off lit­er­al­ly non-stop.”


This is absolute­ly adorable. We are SO here for this!

You can find out more about Toya and the Zuree doll line here.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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3 Comments on "New Jamaican Patois-Speaking Doll Takes Off in the UK"

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This is so beau­ti­ful. I love the Jami­a­can patois.


Wait, a Jamaican patois-speak­ing dol­ly? Weh yaa seh?! Love it!… er, I mean… Big up to the dol­ly mas­sive!


I just want to know how to bye the­se dolls this is like a dream come true for me an my gran daughters.please make action men as well,this is beau­ti­ful.