facebook   Twitter   linkedin   email          

  • Thabo and Mpumi Motsabi's goal was to create dolls that represent African children. 
  • They entered - and won - the Shoprite Hustle competition in 2018. 
  • With the help from a Shoprite Group buyer, they found a new manufacturer to supply dolls at the right price and volumes.
  • Today the dolls, Khana, Pula and Nandi, are exclusively available in Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets in South Africa. 


Husband-and-wife team Thabo and Mpumi Motsabi’s dream to provide a range of dolls to celebrate African children has come true as their beautiful range of dolls is available exclusively in Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets throughout South Africa. 

The Motsabis’ entrepreneurial journey started with them wanting to create dolls that their daughters could relate to and that showed them they were beautiful.

They founded their company, Toys with Roots, in 2015 with just one product and one supplier. In 2018, the company was one of the winners of the Shoprite Hustle competition for small businesses. 

They approached the Shoprite Group to stock a range of dolls, and while buyer Monique Richards really liked the product, they could not meet certain pricing requirements.

“Our buyer facilitated a partnership with an existing toy supplier, whose mentoring helped us align with the Shoprite business processes as well as find another company that could produce the volumes we needed at the right price.”

- Thabo Motsabi


The result is Rainbow Kids - a range of three dolls named Khana, Pula and Nandi which sell for R99.99 each and are available exclusively in Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets nationally.

Through their partnership with the Group, the Motsabis have achieved their goal to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds also have access to dolls that represent them. 


“I wanted our daughters - who were seven and four years old at the time - to know that they are beautiful just as they are. When I was growing up there was nothing that celebrated me as a child. I wanted a different reality for my daughters.”

- Mpumi Motsabi



Toys with Roots in the media:

Interview with CNBC Africa

The Mashstartup Podcast with Mashudu Modau