British star pays tribute to the two inspirational men who shaped his life



Award-winning British actor Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) pays tribute to Madiba in the riveting documentary Mandela, My Dad and Me, which will be screened on HISTORY® (DStv Channel 186) on Sunday, December 6 at 20h30 CAT.

Elba was inspired by his role in the acclaimed biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom to create an album, mi Mandela, based on his experience of playing Nelson Mandela and featuring the talents of both South African and UK artists.

He was influenced by the musical culture of South Africa, both present day and historically, and connecting to the music Mandela would have listened to throughout his life was a great help, said Elba, in preparation for the role.

Arrangements were made to record the album in South Africa and Mali at the end of 2013. Just before the project began, Elba’s father Winston sadly passed away, which further inspired the music on the album.  While working simultaneously on the album and promoting the film, Elba had BAFTA award-winning director Daniel Vernon document his movements. The film they had originally intended to create was centred on the recording of the album, but ultimately evolved into something far deeper.  Mandela, My Dad and Me not only documents one man’s struggle in producing his first album, but also his emotional quest to pay a fitting tribute to two inspirational men.

Says Elba: “Although difficult at times, Mandela, My Dad and Me was an incredibly fulfilling project and I’m thrilled to bring the film to Africa. HISTORY offers the perfect platform to share this story and I hope viewers will enjoy following my journey while producing my album Mi Mandela, which is a tribute to my father and to Madiba, one the world’s most inspirational icons.’’

Elba reveals that he based his portrayal of Mandela on his father, and that in order to speak like the former president of South Africa, he imitated the speech patterns of his dad, who was brought up in Sierra Leone and moved to Britain shortly before Idris’s birth.

Mandela, My Dad and Me is a Green Door Pictures, Shine North, Woodcut Media, Bob & Co production and it is distributed by Content Media.