Idris Elba has quite the resume to his name, none of which can top 2018 People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. He’s played characters from all around the world, from South Africa to West Africa, to America, to Brittain. Is Idris Elba British?
Idrissa Akuna Elba was born in the Hackney area of London, England in 1972. His father is from Sierra Leone and his mother is from Ghana. Though he was born and raised in Britain, he holds citizenship for Britain and Sierra Leone. Therefore, Idris is British.
Idris Elba has been in a number of movies and television shows, he’s released music and does DJing. There’s not much that this Brit can’t do. But what a lot of people may not know is that his musical career started before his acting, back in 1986 when he first started DJing.
Hackney, with a population of just over 280,000 is found in the inner portion of London and is officially named The London Borough of Hackney and was created in 1965. Hackney came into the world’s limelight in 2012 when the borough hosted many of the events of the London Olympics.
The spelling of the name has changed throughout the years, with first written evidence in 1231 as Hakney. Other changes were made after that as well before it was settled on Hackney. The borough is much older than all the name changes though.
The Romans built The Roman Road, which is now known as Ermine Street, that connected London to York. Ermine Street runs through Hackney, and even today parts of the Roman street run though as a couple of streets in the inner borough.
Sierra Leone is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa with a population of over 7 million people. There is evidence that the country has been inhabited for over 2,500 years by settlers from other African nations.
There are between 15 and 20 different ethnic groups that make up the country, the difference in numbers is due to some statistics break it down by language, while others break it down even further to different dialects.
Though the country has been around for over 2500 years, and is part of West Africa, in Africa, it wasn’t until 1961 that it gained its independence from British rule.
Dual citizenship is when a person holds a passport for two countries at once. In Elba’s case it’s Sierra Leone and Britain, for which Hackney, London falls under. It wasn’t always easy for someone to get dual citizenship.
As recently as 1960 the majority of countries around the world, 62 percent of them, didn’t agree with dual citizenship. These countries felt that if someone wanted another citizenship then they should have to renounce their original citizenship. Many people did just that.
By 2020 the pendulum swung has swung the other way, with 76% of countries not requiring citizens to renounce citizenship, while also making it easier for people to get dual citizenship. 66% of the states that allow dual citizenship allows people to renounce their original citizenship if they want, while 10% will not allow renouncement.
Bit of a Shock
Idris Elba might be a Brit, and you can tell right away when he starts to talk, but for a while, nobody knew. Before making it big, when he was still out auditioning for parts, he would always talk with an American accent.
It wasn’t until the fourth audition for a pilot called The Wire, for which he got the part, when one of the executives asked which part of America he was from. He came clean and told them that he was from London. Nobody could believe it. It was quite a while later before many audiences and fans found out.