British Hollywood star granted Sierra Leone citizenship

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:09 pm

British Hollywood star Idris Elba has been granted Sierra Leonean citizenship during his first ever visit to his fatherland.Elba was issued a Sierra Leonean diplomatic passport on Friday at a small ceremony at State House in Freetown by President Julius Maada Bio.
Elba arrived in the country on Wednesday for a four-day visit the government said is a private one.
“On behalf of this nation, I am grateful to formally accept you as a brother by handing over this diplomatic passport to you,” President Bio said while presenting the traveling document to Mr Elba at State House.
Born in England to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother, the actor whose real name is Idrissa Akuna Elba, is renowned for his role in Hollywood blockbusters like The Wire and The Avengers.
He also played Mandela in his biographic film – Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom.
Sierra Leone government officials say Elba intends to invest in the country, specifically on Bonthe Island, also known as Sherbro Island.
The Island located in the southern region of the country is home to a former slave trading post and it is where Elba’s father hailed.
Bonthe is also the home of President Bio.
Elba first met President Bio in September 2019 in London on the sidelines of a trade and investment conference on Sierra Leone, where he signed an MoU committing him to invest in the country.
In 2014, Elba aborted a planned visit to Sierra Leone after an Ebola outbreak.
He had planned to visit Sierra Leone and Ghana but he only stopped in the latter.
“I am humbled and thankful to become citizen of my father’s country in the presence of my favorite uncle,” Elba said at the State House ceremony, adding that although the visit was his first, it wouldn’t be his last.