The first interactive African American STEM doll to trailblaze the tech and toy industry was developed by a Black woman!!!! Let’s take a quick moment for a hair flip!
Motivated by the pursuit of personal fulfillment through community impact, Bukola Somide, a fun and passionate Black woman who loves dancing and being a mom to a beautiful 8-year-old little girl, discovered her life’s purpose through computer science.
After giving the IT industry 17 years of her talents and working for big tech giants like Intel, Somide arrived at a point in her life where she needed more meaning beyond what a 9 to 5 job could provide. She wanted to see more people that looked like her thrive in this industry and decided she wanted to help fill in the gaps by cultivating innovators. Somide wanted to give back, and instill confidence and staying power in the future of computer science, Black and Brown girls.
Her passion and willpower lead her to create “Somi the Computer Scientist” – an interactive African American doll that focuses on exposing kids to Computer Science (CS) concepts in a fun way. This speaking doll aims to engage, educate, and inspire children everywhere. The Somi doll also touches on Cyberbullying, to bring awareness to what it is and encourage better online conduct.
This gorgeous, relatable, brown doll that can speak over 220 words, proves that you can be beautiful, fun, and smart too! From natural coils and braids wrapped in beads to affirmative attire that’s both stylish and pays homage to Somide’s Nigerian culture, not only is Somi a doll that every girl of color can see themselves in, but she’s also an accessible, educational experience that they need.
Representation matters in tech because it gives hope to under-served children who may otherwise think their dreams are impossible due to lack of accessible role models. A child seeing a doll who looks like them, engaged in Computer Science, helps to shatter a mental ceiling by reshaping their perspective.-Bukola Somide
Somide joined us for a fireside chat on Instagram Live. During our incredible time together, I asked her what her top affirmation was for herself. “I am enough,” the founder and entrepreneur shared. “Sometimes I have doubts. Sometimes I feel inadequate. This vision the Lord has given me is huge, and I have to remind myself that he gave it to me because he has equipped me to do this…He’s got my back! I’m not alone.”
Watch our full conversation on Instagram here.
Learn more about Bukola Somide and the beautiful Somi doll here.