British actor and producer Idris Elba has visited his father’s native country, Sierra Leone for the first time.
According to the government, he will receive citizenship as well as celebrate Christmas with the president Julius Maada Bio.
The British-born star arrived in the capital Freetown on Wednesday. Elba has a Ghanaian mother and a Sierra Leonian father, and was born in London.
The award-winning actor was named People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” in 2018. He is a rapper and DJ, but he is best known for his roles in playing Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), Marvel franchise films such as “Thor” and “The Avengers,”.
Elba, who broke to international fame starring in the HBO hit series The Wire, has spoken fondly on multiple occasions the need to give back to where he comes from.
He is partnering with the government of Sierra Leone to develop the island of Sherbro into a major tourist and business attraction for the country.
Elba is looking to invest in Sherbro through a company he co-owns, Sherbro Alliance Partners. He is also expected to attend the premiere of a movie about chimpanzees, Sierra Leone’s national animal, and will later visit the chimpanzee sanctuary of Tacugama, according to the BBC.
The TV and film star has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, winning one and was nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Elba made headlines this April when he married his fiancée, Sabrina Dhowre, in a three-day ceremony in Morocco. The two, who got engaged in 2018, exchanged vows at the Ksar Char Bagh hotel in Marrakesh on Friday, April 26.
He joins the list of growing black global celebrities investing in the lands and peoples of Africa. Last year Senegalese-born American musician and entrepreneur, Akon, visited Sierra Leone and announced investment plans.