MC Soffia is a 17-year-old Brazilian teenager who raps about black pride, female empowerment and everyday racism.
She rose to fame when she was just 12, singing at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Read this blog for World Children's Day and discover other young leaders advocating for children's rights here.
"My artistic name is MC Soffia, but my name is Soffia Gomes da Rocha Gregório Corrêa. I started in the artistic world very early, nothing was planned. It happened when I was between six or seven years old.
Along with my mother and grandmother, I went to a children's party, promoted by DJ Vivian Marques, who created the project O Futuro do Hip Hop. In this project, children were taught the importance of hip hop and its four elements, DJ, MC, Grafite and Break. Of course, I participated in all of them, but right away the MC one caught my attention and the educator MC Cemporcento was very dedicated and inspiring.
This type of training workshop is very important for children and although there are already many workshops on the outskirts, there needs to be many more. The government has to invest in our future, regardless of whether we are going to become artists or not. Art leaves us more sensitive, with a lot of empathy, dreams and hope to change the world.
My contribution is in rap, I write songs for reflection and the search for solutions to improve the lives of black children and young people, especially black girls. With each letter, I am more and more inspired and I've seen the results. I am invited to participate in several important entities, such as UNICEF and the UN. I have many clips released and I've won many awards, including international ones.
I know many important artists and writers in the music scene. My history and my songs are in textbooks and educational books, even abroad, and look - I'm only 17. I feel like the warriors Dandara, Luiza Mahin, Tereza de Benguela and so many other inspirations that are with us today like Chimamanda, Sueli Carneiro, and Sharylaine. So many wonderful black women are helping to rewrite our history, place us as the protagonists and make everyone respect our place of speech.
I always like to remember that in rap there is the fifth element: knowledge, because if we don't research, study, and listen to the old school, that is, the older people in rap who paved the way for us, it doesn't make sense to be a rapper.
I come from a family of militants from both my mother and father's sides. Our fight is for survival, as we live in an extremely racist country. Black girls and women are at the base of the pyramid going through many difficulties, such as sexism, racism, xenophobia and other oppression, so it is necessary to fight a lot to change this situation. But it is also necessary to know that we have important achievements such as quotas in public universities and companies and the law 10.639/03 which obliges us to work on Afro-Brazilian history and culture in schools. But for all this to actually happen, it takes a lot of commitment from social movements.
We live in a very complicated time with COVID-19. Many children have dropped out of school due to countless difficulties, such as not having anything to eat, not having access to the internet, and not to mention the death of family members. It is important to know that most of the dropouts were black girls.
I believe that now with the arrival of the vaccine, everything will improve and I hope that these children go back to school and that the teachers, who as well as the health personnel were heroes and heroines, welcome children and young people with great affection so that elxs (the inclusive language form of the plural 'they' in Portuguese) can dream again, have hope, play, feel safe and so together we can write beautiful stories, rap, poetry and that we can become more human and ethical adults."