British actor Idris Elba has shared his experience meeting the Asantehene during his recent trip to Ghana.
The award-winning actor, 50, sat down with The Late Show host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, March 8 to promote his new film ‘Luther: The Fallen Sun’ and talk all about his upcoming documentary about Ghana.
Elba, who has Ghanaian and Sierra Leonean parentage, said the trip was a fascinating one. He was responding to questions on his viral photo in kente.
“I was in Ghana making a documentary about gold, The Gold Coast and how human beings are fascinated by gold,” he explained during a segment on the show.
“While I was there, in Ashanti kingdom which is in Kumasi, the Ashanti King said hey I am a big fan, why don’t you come to my yearly procession and meet all of my kingdom of which is a very big, vast kingdom.”
Elba, who is also a successful DJ and has released music under the name DJ Big Driis, continued his narration on how he ended up in a Kente cloth as opposed to his regular jeans and top.
“So, I showed up in my jeans and they were like no..no. You got to wear this and that was the outfit,” he said. “It was really a fascinating day and I mean that was beautiful. The tradition was rich.”
He concluded his response with the symbolism of wearing a Kente and greeting the king.
“This is a Kente outfit. [points to the picture] It is a system. When you meet the king you have to lower the shoulder down a little bit and then shake the king’s hand,” he said, adding that it was his first time wearing it and was afraid it would fall.
“My thing kept unraveling and I was like I am going to meet the king and this is going to fall and I will be standing there in my boxers.”
Idris Elba last February visited Ghana on a work trip and was spotted at the Akwasidae festival in Kumasi greeting the Asantehene and his retinue.
The celebrated actor and People’s Sexiest Man Alive revealed in a meeting with Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that plans were underway to establish a film studio in West Africa including Ghana.