British actor Idris Elba was in Ghana recently, calling on the country’s president Nana Akufo-Addo and highlighting the need for the construction of a film studio in Ghana and across West Africa. What, however, caught everyone’s attention was his visit to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the capital of Ghana’s Ashanti region.
He was at the palace for the first Akwasidae of the year 2023, a 40-day traditional occasion observed every six weeks in the Ashanti Kingdom. The event celebrates the historical achievements of the Ashanti Kingdom and pays homage to the Ashanti King, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Queen mother Asantehemaa Nana Konadu Yiadom III.
Elba was dressed in beautiful kente cloth for the occasion. He exchanged the golden handshake with the Asantehene and greeted patrons at the event which fully displayed the amazing custom and culture of the Ashanti people.
Elba’s wife Sabrina shared a photo on Instagram of her husband dressed in the Ghanaian kente cloth. “My African King”, she wrote.
Elba was followed around by his movie production crew who took shots of the event for an upcoming movie about the essence of having film studios in the country and West Africa as a whole.
British actor, musician and DJ Elba was born to immigrant working-class parents – his father is from Sierra Leone and his mother was born in Ghana. He was brought up in east London before finding fame in America. He is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), drug trafficker Stringer Bell on the HBO series The Wire, and DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther.
Watch the video of his visit to Ghana’s Manhyia’s Palace: