Miami-Dade mother breaks into the big time with 'Black Panther'

Former marketing executive launched second career in acting

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - The blockbuster movie "Black Panther" is breaking box office records. It’s also breaking stereotypes by being the first major superhero movie starring a black superhero and set in a rich African nation.

Sope Aluko, a Miami-Dade County mother, has a prominent role in the film.

"I love the fact that my kid and every black kid across America is gonna see this film and say, 'Wow! We look like kings and queens,'" Aluko said.

A former marketing executive, Aluko plays a spiritual character in the movie. She quit corporate life nine years ago to pursue her lifelong dream of an acting career. 

"Now I am finally able to say I am an actor. It’s incredible," Aluko said.

Born in Nigeria and educated in England, Aluko has lived all over the world due to her parents role as diplomats. She speaks several languages. She has several undergraduate and graduate degrees.

She was successful marketing executive with a nice salary, but she always felt something was missing.

In 2009, Aluko lost her father and then not long after her mother. She said acting was her therapy and she got the courage to leave her comfort zone and live her dream. At the time, her boys were young and her husband didn't quite buy into it at first.

"My husband officially thought it was a hobby," Aluko said.

Fast forward to 2018 and her husband and sons joined her at the "Black Panther" premiere in Los Angeles on Jan. 29. 

And while her acting proves this is her calling, pursuing the dream in Hollywood, and being the mother of two growing boys in Miami is her most challenging role of all.

As an African-born actress who is now part of Hollywood history in "Black Panther," Aluko said this moment is special.

"For so long, Africans have been portrayed as a poor nation, as the kids with the flies in their eyes. We have gone through adversity, and we still persevere with our strength," she said. "That brings me so much joy because that’s the Africa that I know growing up, and that’s the Africa that they are gonna show.”

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