Award-winning actor, DJ and recording artist Idris Elba is the latest opinion former to engage with African youth in MTV Base Meets…with MTN (MTV Base, DStv Channel 322, 12 September 2012). MTV Base Meets Idris Elba with MTN will follow the Elba as he meets with five idealistic young panellists from across Africa for an inspiring and illuminating discussion across a wide range of subjects including his early career, his dislike of fame, his passion for his art, the importance of education and the need to “think big” to achieve your dreams.
Elba, who was visiting South Africa in order to play the role of Nelson Mandela in the upcoming movie “Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom”, talked movingly about his art as an actor: ““Performance is fuelled by passion for the piece, for the music, for the words, for the film, whatever it is. If you love what you are doing you’re going to do it well. I mean if you have a sort of attachment to whatever it is you’re doing you’re going to do it well, so some of my best performances are because, you know, I just love the material, love the character and you just throw yourself into that.”
Born in Britain to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother, Idris Elba, otherwise known as Idrissa Akuna Elba, grew up in Canning Town, East London. The talented 40-year old actor is today a renowned and successful television, theatre, and film actor who enjoys a successful career on both sides of the Atlantic.
One of Idris’ first acting roles was in the soap opera “Family Affairs” and he subsequently worked in a variety of TV roles including “Ultraviolet” and “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries”. He soared to fame for playing Russell “Stringer” Bell, a Baltimore drug lord and aspiring businessman, in HBO’s critically acclaimed show “The Wire”. On television, Elba has also had recurring roles in the US version of “The Office” and “The Big C”, and plays the title role of Detective John Luther in “Luther”, which aired on BBC One. Elba has won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of DCI Luther. Other prominent film roles have included “American Gangster”, “Takers”, “The Losers”, “Thor” and “Prometheus”.
Under the moniker “DJ Big Driis” or “Big Driis the Londoner”, Elba is a successful club DJ and still finds time to enjoy his passion for hip-hop soul music as a successful recording artist and performer.
Meeting with Idris Elba on the programme will be South African anthropology student, poet and a dancer Lebo Masongo (21), actress Stephanie Schildnecht (27) from Swaziland, South African film maker Siyamthanda Phillip (22), actor and dancer Nji Alain (26) from Cameroon and multitalented artist, singer-songwriter, producer, rapper, choreographer and dancer Tawanda Mujaji (23) from Zimbabwe.
MTV Base Meets Idris Elba with MTN, recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa will premiere on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) on Wednesday 12 September 2012. The programme, presented by MTV VJ Sizwe Dhlomo, will also air on terrestrial channels in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Swaziland, Zambia and Uganda.
Idris Elba is one of many high profile opinion formers to have featured in the youth empowerment and mentorship series. Further thought leaders participating in Season 2 have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, Togolese international striker Emmanuel Adebayor, South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek and Hip Hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons.