Idris Elba is a world class movie star, a British national but his ancestry is traced to Sierra Leone and Ghana.
Full name Idrissa Akuna Elba, he was born on September 6, 1972 in London to Winston Elba, a Sierra Leonean man, and Eve Elba, his Ghanaian mother.
His parents were married in Sierra Leone and later moved to London.
Elba was raised in London and shortened his first name to “Idris” at school, where he first became involved in acting.
He is credited with a number of world class movies including the Beast of No Nation, which was filmed in Ghana and marked the beginning of Ghana’s Abraham Atta’s rise to stardom.
Beast of No Nation, a 2015 American war drama film followed a young boy [Abraham Atta] who became a child soldier as his country experienced a horrific civil war.
Shot in Ghana and starring Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh, and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe, the film was based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, the book itself being named after a Fela Kuti album.
Elba has visited Ghana a number of times and last week, he was in town, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and was also at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday to pay homage to the occupant of the Golden Stool, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
It is his cultural visit to Manhyia that has generated attention.
Sunday was the first Akwasidae of the year 2023, a 40 day traditional occasion observed every six weeks in Asanteman.
The first Akwasidae in every year is normally a big occasion.
Idris Elba did not want to be left out while he was in Ghana and therefore ‘donned’ a beautiful kente cloth and headed to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi for the occasion.
He exhibited his appreciation of tradition, custom and culture as he wore the beautiful kente cloth and walked majestically.
When it was his turn to exchange that golden handshake with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Elba stood a bit away from the King, bowed, pulled his cloth aside to show chest [the significance of that move is to show to the King and the king guards that he had no hidden weapon to harm the King] and extended his hand to meet that of the King.
During Akwasidae or any other occasion, when the King sits in state, it is not every person who gets the opportunity to extend the hand to meet his palm, some just get closer bow and move ahead, others stand afar, bow and move ahead.
It is only special guests, close associates and chiefs who gets the opportunity to touch the King’s palms.
‘Atta Poku’ on show
In many pictures of the actor at the Manhyia Palace which have been shared on social media, one of the lead protocol officers of the Asantehene, Nana Poku is seen “foreskinning” the actor according to social media users on how they viewed the event.
Trust Atta Poku, he is always there and makes sure he is noticed and captured by the cameras, whenever there is a big occasion at the Manhyia Palace.
He is the twin son of the late Nana Akwasi Agyemang, a Kumasi royal and onetime Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
Atta Poku is currently the Urban Roads Director and doubles that activity up with his protocol duties at the Manhyia Palace.
In this Idris Elba show, he is all over the man and social media users could not help but to express it in their comments.