South African musician and businesswoman Lerato “Lira” Molapo has made a name for herself by becoming the first African to have a Barbie doll made in her image.
Barbies 60th campaign includes Lira
“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”Barbie Martell
The ‘Lira doll’ is part of Barbie’s 60th-anniversary campaign to inspire more girls through diversity.
“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.”Lerato “Lira” Molapo
Other global stars to have Barbie editions
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.
Honored to be selected as a Barbie Role Model to help inspire the next generation of girls 🙏❤️ @Barbie #Barbie60 #YouCanBeAnything #barbie pic.twitter.com/5LBZMsNXqJ— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) March 7, 2019
“Recently a lot of parents have been coming up to me and telling me that their kids look up to me, those words literally blew me away. I was honestly so shocked and felt this huge responsibility because I remembered how important my role models are.
Fast forward to a few days and I’m here at Indian Wells, I see all these kids that look so happy to see me and they ask for pictures and autographs. Honestly, I wanted to cry because my heart feels so full in these moments and I realize that it isn’t just about tennis, it’s about inspiring the next generation.”Naomi Osaka, Twitter
Other artists include Frida Kahlo, NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, supermodel Adwoa Aboah, US actress Yara Shahidi and US filmmaker Ava DuVernay. 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.”