British actor Idris Elba has been awarded citizenship of his father’s native country Sierra Leone. He received the move with joy describing it as an honor “the biggest honor I could get from my country”.
“I’m no stranger to Africa: I’ve been in Africa, I’ve made films in Africa, I’ve championed Africa,” he said. “But Sierra Leone, it’s a very different feeling because it’s my parent’s home.”
The British actor is scheduled to visit Sherbro Island, renowned for its pristine beaches, and spend Christmas with President Julius Maada Bio, an anonymous official told AFP news agency.
Speaking to the BBC, Elba said that the Sierra Leone passport would allow him to “come back home as a son of the soil”.
He arrived in Sierra Leone on Wednesday evening for what is billed as a “private visit” according to the BBC reporter in the country Umaru Fofana.
Idris Elba is a writer, actor, producer and musician. This is his first-ever visit to his ancestral homeland.
“His father had migrated to the UK where he met his (Elba’s) Ghanaian mother. Sources say he plans to invest in the country’s rich tourism sector but that his trip is a private visit,” Fofana added.
He becomes the second big global showbiz star to move to invest in the West African country. Last year Senegalese-born American musician and entrepreneur, Akon, visited Sierra Leone and announced investment plans.
Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for the white-sand beaches lining the Freetown Peninsula.