Salone News

Idris Elba comes home

21 December 2019 at 02:59 | 2030 views

Commentary

By Abdulai Braima

He is one of the most sought after Africans on the planet and certainly the most successful artist of Sierra Leonean origin in the western entertainment industry. He is an actor, a writer, a director, a producer, a rapper, a DJ... the list is long.
Gloriously long!

Idris Elba has been so successful in, especially, the film sector that the English movie makers have forever been touting his name as potentially the first Black man fit to be selected as the lead actor in their most iconic film series. “James Bond” , which is an archetypal English institution in itself. This is a filming franchise that speaks to the very heart of the aristocratic hue of the western world. It is a cultural holding point that is so iron-vested in the English consciousness that it would be regarded by many conservative minds as the last barrier to their reserved sanctuary.

If the powers that control the western system are finally able to overcome the many hurdles of a prejudiced world and accord Idris his deserving place in the history book of movies, it would be a paradigm psychological shift nearly as remarkable as the election of Barack Obama to the US White House. Sierra Leone, fingers crossed, could still be home to a real James Bond in the flesh. But whatever happens next, “brother Idris”, as president Bio fondly refers to him, will remain OUR AFRICAN JAMES BOND!

The moving image of President Julius Maada Bio meeting with Idris Elba at State House and Elba receiving his Sierra Leonean passport was an occasion that should fill all of us with great joy.

Idriss Elba with President Bio

As the president himself explained, he had to rush to Freetown, from his very busy schedule in the regions, to ensure that this ceremony is performed in his presence and receive his personal seal of approval.

By this act president Bio demonstrated his understanding of the underlying symbolic significance of this ceremony to the national interest.

Elba with First Lady Fatima Bio (second from left) and Chief Minister David Francis (first from right)

This move also speaks very highly of the President who is always prepared to dash anywhere in pursuit of the national interest and to secure our collective goals.

Formally welcoming Idris to Sierra Leone, HE president Bio acknowledged that, as a nation, “we have gone through a lot” that has played havoc with our national image. He said “it is going to take a conscious effort” on the part of all Sierra Leoneans “to shed that wrong image” and “to create a new narrative that will help us as a nation”.

The president ended his remarks by handing over to Idris the country’s diplomatic passport and also conferring upon the director and film maker the unique title of “brand ambassador of Sierra Leone”.

At this solemn ceremony in State House the irrepressible passion for country eloquently shines through Idris’s humility as he receives his diplomatic badge of citizenship from our president.

“My dad and my uncle left Sierra Leone in the late sixties and came to London with two bags and a prayer”, he revealed, in his soft calming tone.

Idriss also told his audience about the personal desire that he had always held to one day come home to Sierra Leone, adding, “my mother used to tell me that if I am to come back I must come with something more than just my two long arms.”

Nursing that advice, Idris worked hard, in a very challenging environment, to ‘get something’. In other words, to succeed in making something of himself.
And by every standard, the brother greatly succeeded in achieving the goals beyond many a dream.

So Idris Elba has finally come home to Sierra Leone. And he came with “something”.
That most precious thing that any man can give to anyone-HIS HEART!

Idris has vowed to use “determination” to respond to the call of the president and answer to the tug of his heart “to help rebrand Sierra Leone”.

And interestingly, our “newest” Sierra Leonean citizen also revealed that he has already been beaten to the race to come back home by two of his own cousins who are professionals and have already left London and are settled in Freetown. “I will be following in their footsteps”, he promised amidst strong applause from all present.

So if anyone is interested in redrawing the Migration Map, please be sure to chart the routes BACK to the roots.....because this time round, OUR PEOPLE ARE COMING HOME, MA!

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