Gaëtan Etoga and Yannick Nguepdjop are on a mission to celebrate diversity in the community with the creation of a new line of black dolls. With their new line of dolls, the pair has set out to tackle the lack of color in the toy industry.


“Black dolls are hard to find, and they don’t get much exposure,” the pair said in an interview with My Modern Met earlier this year. “Even when you can find some, they are expensive. We wanted to solve that first problem. The second one is an identity problem; we want Black kids to have toys that look like them.”

Hailing from Cameroon, but residing in Quebec, the pair created Ymma, a toy line geared towards Black and biracial children. The pair cited a 1940s study in their interview from doctors Kenneth Clark and his wife Mamie. The study showed that Black children not wanting to play with the dolls that looked like them and generally preferred white dolls.

“The doll test video, when you look at it, it’s heartbreaking,” Etoga said in an interview to HuffPost Quebec. “These little children, they did not rub shoulders with toys that looked like them from an early age. I think in some places in society there are certain [factors] that make them believe that their hair and noses are not beautiful. But what we tell them is that it is wrong.”

The dolls range from $20-$25. And of course, come with accessories to help them switch up their look.

“We hope to see our dolls in every household in the world,” the Ymma founders said, remarking on their goal of not only selling dolls, but pushing other companies in the toy industry to follow their lead. “It’s true we are a business, but it’s not just about selling dolls. It’s about change. Kids are the future; we want to make the world a better place for them.”

Congratulations to these amazing Black fathers. They are unquestionably teaching young girls and others that Black is indeed beautiful.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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