Idris Elba

Birth Name: Idrissa Akuna Elba

Place of Birth: Newham, Essex, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 6 September, 1972

*Sierra Leonean (father)
*Ghanaian (mother)

Idris Elba is a British actor, producer, director, rapper, singer, and DJ. His roles include The Wire, Luther, Pacific Rim, and Beasts of No Nation. He is also known as DJ Big Driis, Big Driis the Londoner, 7 Dub, Me Innit, Big Driis, and Idris.

Idris is the son of Eve (White) and Winston Elba. His parents are both African. His father is from Bonthe District, in Sierra Leone; in 2019, Idris was given Sierra Leonean citizenship. His mother is from Ghana. His father is said to have Krio ancestry. His mother likely has Akan roots.

Idris is married to Canadian model, media personality, and U.N. goodwill ambassador Sabrina Dhowre, who is of Somali descent. He has a daughter with his former wife Hanne “Kim” Nørgaard; and a son with his former partner Naiyana Garth.

Idris’s paternal grandfather was named Moses. Moses was a sailor and policeman.

Idris was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2018. He is the third non-white man, and the third man of significant African ancestry, to have been given this title by the magazine (Denzel Washington, in 1996, is the first, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in 2016, John Legend, in 2018, and Michael B. Jordan, in 2020, are the others, fitting both criteria). Idris is also one of three English-born men to have thus far been given the title (Jude Law, in 2004, is the first, and David Beckham, in 2015, is the second).


Curious about ethnicity

31 Responses

  1. Oaken05 says:

    Apparently, his father was Creole Sierra Leonean (, which I kind of assumed since he has spoken Krio a few times.

    • Oaken05 says:

      So, like a lot of countries, Sierra Leone is mult-ethnic. Please change “Sierra Leonean” to “Creole Sierra Leonean,” a distinct ethnic group in the country, that is unless the source I cited isn’t deemed reliable enough. I feel like we have at least two documentations, now, that his father is very likely of Creole ethnic background.

  2. Oaken05 says:

    I’ve been able to find that his father was from Bonthe District in the south of Sierra Leone. This district’s largest ethnicites are the Mende and then the Sherbro. “Idrissa” strikes me as a Muslim name, which would point towards Mende ethnicity, but that’s just a guess.

    Still can’t find where in Ghana his mother is from. I kind of doubt that Elba and White weren’t the original surnames for either parent, or that Eve and Winston are their actual given names since I’ve been able to find absolutely no additional background on either of them than what’s been publicly known.

    • Oaken05 says:

      I’m still 99.9% sure his mother was Akan, but there is no documentation or any kind of background on where she was from in Ghana, so it makes it hard to pinpoint which Akan subgroup she was from.

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