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Idris Elba plans to build eco-friendly city in Sierra Leone

The star says he wants to build a retirement home for his mother
Idris Elba
Idris Elba (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Idris Elba wants to build an eco-friendly smart city in Sierra Leone.

“The Wire” star is working with Siaka Stevens, his childhood friend, to develop a smart city on Sherbro Island after the region was given autonomy by the government of Sierra Leone to allow the construction work to go ahead.

“Originally we went there thinking how could we bring tourism to the most incredible 19 miles of beachfront,” Elba shared with the BBC.

The actor and occasional DJ hopes to help install wind-powered renewable electricity in Sierra Leone for the first time. He actor admits that it’s a highly ambitious project.

“It’s a dream, you know, but I work in the make-believe business,” Elba said.

“It’s about being self-reliant, it’s about bringing an economy that feeds itself and has growth potential. I’m very keen to reframe the way Africa is viewed … as an aid model. This opportunity is completely different,” he said.

Elba’s dad was born in Sierra Leone. This project means a lot to the movie star, adding that he’s “qualified to dream big.”

“Part of me wants to build that beautiful retirement home for my mum,” he shared.

“Never in my lifetime would I have thought I could build the foundation for a new smart city … I’m not qualified for that. But I am qualified to dream big,” Elba added.

Elba also revealed that he’ll be following his dad’s advice during the project.

“If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it properly. You do it good; you do it with all your heart because that’s the best you can do,” the actor —  who has previously starred in hit TV shows such as “Luther” — recalled his dad telling him.

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