Deeper than Hair, Identity and Discrimination

Actress, Writer, Filmmaker Sope Aluko debuts her first short film “Chidera” under her production company, ‘SopeBox Productions’, that bridges African Spirituality and Culture at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 

Dada” or “Dada Hair” is a term derived from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria given to children born with matted or locked hair.  They are considered spiritual beings with powerful divine gifts akin to Sampson in the bible.  The short film, “Chidera” produced by Miami native actress, writer, and filmmaker Sope Aluko debuts at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on Thursday, June 15th, 2023, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Ctr Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 at 1:15pm (screen 2)

The idea for the film stemmed from Sope’s real life experience. She recounts, “I was always fascinated by my younger sister’s battle for life when she was a baby due to her “dada hair”. My parents were devout Christians and didn’t believe in the “myths”, so when she was born with dada hair, they shaved her hair without performing the traditional ceremony. They later acquiesced and she was miraculously cured.  That was how the story of “Chidera” was born!”.

In 2019 Sope started her production company, “SopeBox Productions” with the premise of ‘giving voice’ to the positive and most engaging stories about the African Diaspora, particularly female-driven stories showcasing the resilience of African women like her deceased mother, and other women considered heroes before their time. 

My hope is that my stories will resonate with people globally and educate the diverse global audience about key areas of my cultural heritage, in a respectable and honorable manner,” says Actress Filmmaker, Sope Aluko.

Sope adds, “This story is not just about my culture and dada hair. I’m hoping that it will resonate with anyone who has felt victimized or experienced the stigma of being “different”.  Exclusion, judgement, bullying etc. at a time when we are all trying to ‘find ourselves’ during our ‘High School’ years can be crippling. I know I struggled during that time.”   

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