NAB Analyst Rosi Quaremba moved to Australia from Botswana eight years ago.
“My husband is from Argentina and I am from Botswana. One day, my daughter asked me a question about her skin colour,” Rosi said.
“She said ‘Mum, are you and me brown because we ate too much chocolate?”
Rosi thought it was important that her daughter feel represented and see others like her.
That evening she took her daughter to Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre to look for brown-skinned dolls.
“Eventually, we found one brown-skinned doll in the entire shopping complex, but it wasn’t realistic, so we looked online and ordered some from the States.”
At the time, Rosi said, there was also a lot of negative representation of African people in the media.
“I want my daughter to love her colour and I want her to love where her mum is from too.
“So much in the world at the time represented people of colour negatively, I wanted her to see positive representation somewhere,” Rosi said.
Growing up in Botswana, Rosi said there were no dolls of colour at all.
“I grew up with Barbies, in Africa! I thought, I’m not going to let history repeat itself.
“Instead of sitting there and complaining that people don’t see enough representation of brown skin, I thought, why can’t I do it?’”
So Rosi and her husband Gabriel established the business Choklit Dolls, creating a range of dolls representing different ethnicities, and the business is a NAB customer!
“Choklit dolls are unique. They represent an array of cultures and nationalities worldwide, promoting acceptance, individuality and self-worth,” Rosi said.
“We named our first doll Monusi, after my daughter. It’s exactly her skin colour, it’s got spirally hair like her – even the clothes and the shoes are hers,” Rosi said.
Since then they have also added two more dolls – Naledi, which means brightest morning star, and Lesedi, which means light, to the collection.
“My daughter was so excited. She presented the dolls to her class at school so she could share her story. We did this because of her,” Rosi said.
“It’s really fulfilling. This is where I want the future to go. So that my kids do not have to struggle to find anything for their kids that represents them.”
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