South African singer Lira makes history as the first African Barbie doll

South African musician and businesswoman Lerato “Lira” Molapo recently made history as the first female African to have a Barbie doll made in her image.


This “African Barbie” edition in the singer’s likeness is part of Barbie’s 60th-anniversary campaign that has the main aim of inspiring more girls through diversity.

“Barbie has been celebrating female role models and inspiring girls since 1959. But she isn’t done yet. There are glass ceilings left to be shattered. Barbie believes this generation of young women will be the ones to shatter them. That today’s girls will be ‘The Last Generation of Firsts’, to celebrate #Barbie60, we’re looking to the future”

“I’m deeply honoured to be Barbie’s first African role model and I am excited to align with a brand that is on a mission to show girls more diverse role, models. I have always been someone who endeavours the celebration of my skin tone and natural hair, and it is amazing to see this reflected in my doll, which I hope will inspire girls across the African continent. This is an enormous gesture and affirmation that the world is celebrating Africa for who we are.”

Lira further announced how proud she is to be awarded a one-of-a-kind Lira Barbie doll. “I am proud to announce that I have been awarded a one-of-a-kind Lira Barbie doll, as part of Barbie’s 60th Anniversary Shero campaign celebrating role models who inspire young girls to be all they can be. I am the very first African to be bestowed with this honour and I’m simply thrilled to be honoured in this way.”

Lira joins the global list with likes of tennis star Naomi Osaka, who tweeted earlier this year about being viewed as an influential female figure to young children.

Other celebrities who have had Barbie dolls made in their images include Frida Kahlo, NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, supermodel Adwoa Aboah, ‘Grown-ish’ actress Yara Shahidi, American filmmaker Ava DuVernay, American plus-size model Ashley Graham and the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics Ibtihaj Muhammad.

As reported by The Sauce, the one time Koroga Festival headliner and husband Robin Kohl who have been married for over nine years have called it quits on their marriage.

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