In love with Rwanda: Tracing back Idris Elba’s connection with Rwanda

While appearing on The Ellen Show, hosted by U.S TV personality Ellen DeGeneres, the 46-year old actor spoke about his experience trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda. (Net photo)

It is not often that a prominent actor and ‘the sexiest man alive’ globally, would speak about a country many times. Literally that means endorsing whatever place they are speaking about for people to visit and see for themselves the unmatched beauty.

But for English actor Idris Elba, speaking about Rwanda, and how beautiful, and the country is underrated, is something he has made a habit. He will casually mention Rwanda during interviews and articles– something countries pay millions of dollars to prominent actors of his magnitude to do.

Recently, while appearing on The Ellen Show, hosted by U.S TV personality Ellen DeGeneres, the 46-year old actor spoke about his experience trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and reflected on his role in the 2005 movie “Sometimes in April” about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

“I went to Rwanda. I went to Rwanda and did what your wife did— I went up into the jungle and saw the gorillas and that is so moving. It is one of the best experiences of my life,” Idris told Ellen.

“It is life changing, right?” she quipped, “completely,” he answered, telling the show host “well done”, perhaps in reference to the Ellen DeGeneres Gorilla Campus she is working on with her partner Portia de Rossi to support Mountain Gorilla conservation and research.

DeGeneres, whose love for mountain gorillas, and Rwanda is well known, added that “they are so gentle, they are incredible,” she said of the mountain gorillas.

“I am so glad that you did that and I mean the country, talk about the happiest people, the friendliest people, a clean country. It is amazing,” said Ellen.

Elba then went on to talk about the movie he made in Rwanda on the 10th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, pointing out that despite the horrible and terrible occurrence, everyone’s spirit was still alive.

“Everyone was like that was the past, he we are, we are moving forward,” he said.

The highly rated and acclaimed movie produced in 2005 was written and directed by the Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck. The ensemble cast includes Elba, Oris Erhuero, Carole Karemera, and Debra Winger among others.

In July last year, the award-winning actor and producer, described Rwanda as an underrated, beautiful place.

In an interview published in the UK paper The Telegraph, the celebrity - whose full name is Idrissa Akuna Elba - talked about places he recently visited, specifically pointing out Rwanda's natural beauty, cuisine and people.

“I remember having this incredible steamed fish dish in Rwanda, cooked wrapped tin foil with onions and garlic, which was amazing, as was the country itself. Rwanda has amazing climate with such lovely people,” he was quoted as saying.

The actor is known for playing in the popular HBO series 'The Wire', and was named among the 'World's Sexiest Men' by People Magazine.

He 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.