Tag: Nelson Mandela

Idris Elba Named Essence Magazine’s 2013 “Sexiest Man Alive”

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Idris Elba’s talent may have landed him the role of the late and legendary Nelson Mandela in a new biopic – but his good looks swept the woman of Essence off their feet as they named him 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive.  Elba has had a banner year with the release of two high-profile movies: the first was a July release of the action film Pacific Rim but it is his role as Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom that has brought him considerable buzz.

Aside from the talent he delivers on-screen, Elba is also admired by women for his whimsical charm and let it be known, according to Essence: “When Elba smiles, he dazzles. We’re seeing stars, moons and rainbows right about now.”  The magazine chose the British actor to join the league of men who have received the “Sexiest Man Alive” title by a variety of magazines.

People recently released that their pick for this year’s Sexiest Man Alive was musician Adam Levine – and theGrio responded by compiling our own list of black men in Hollywood who are just as deserving (note: Elba was a top pick).  Click here to see the 50 reasons Essence gave for naming Elba as their choice for 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday night. He was 95.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” said Jacob Zuma, the South African president, about Nelson Mandela.   Zuma announced Mr. Mandela’s death.  Mr. Mandela had long said he wanted a quiet exit, but the time he spent in a Pretoria hospital this summer was a clamor of quarreling family, hungry news media, spotlight-seeking politicians and a national outpouring of affection and loss. The vigil eclipsed a visit by President Obama, who paid homage to Mr. Mandela but decided not to intrude on the privacy of a dying man he considered his hero.

Mr. Mandela ultimately died at home at 8:50 p.m. local time, and he will be buried according to his wishes in the village of Qunu, where he grew up. The exhumed remains of three of his children were reinterred there in early July under a court order, resolving a family squabble that had played out in the news media.

Mr. Mandela’s quest for freedom took him from the court of tribal royalty to the liberation underground to a prison rock quarry to the presidential suite of Africa’s richest country. And then, when his first term of office was up, unlike so many of the successful revolutionaries he regarded as kindred spirits, he declined a second term and cheerfully handed over power to an elected successor, the country still gnawed by crime, poverty, corruption and disease but a democracy, respected in the world and remarkably at peace.

The question most often asked about Mr. Mandela was how, after whites had systematically humiliated his people, tortured and murdered many of his friends, and cast him into prison for 27 years, he could be so evidently free of spite.

The government he formed when he finally won the chance was an improbable fusion of races and beliefs, including many of his former oppressors. When he became president, he invited one of his white wardens to the inauguration. Mr. Mandela overcame a personal mistrust bordering on loathing to share both power and a Nobel Peace Prize with the white president who preceded him, F. W. de Klerk.

And as president, from 1994 to 1999, he devoted much energy to moderating the bitterness of his black electorate and to reassuring whites with fears of vengeance.  The explanation for his absence of rancor, at least in part, is that Mr. Mandela was that rarity among revolutionaries and moral dissidents: a capable statesman, comfortable with compromise and impatient with the doctrinaire.

When the question was put to Mr. Mandela in an interview for this obituary in 2007 — after such barbarous torment, how do you keep hatred in check? — his answer was almost dismissive: Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.

Continue reading “Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95”

Idris Elba Set to Star in Thriller “Bastille Day”

idris elbaAfter fighting criminals on the streets of London, “Luther” star Idris Elba is now ready to fight terrorists in Paris as he is set to star in the Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content thriller Bastille Day.  Andrew Baldwin wrote the script and the director has not yet been set.  The story revolves around a U.S. operative who is tasked with interrogating and eventually making a young American boy “disappear” in order to avoid embarrassment to the U.S. government after the boy is linked as the prime suspect to a terrorist attack on the Paris metro. After a several more attacks, the operative realizes the boy is innocent and also may be the only link to the person actually orchestrating the attacks.

Though Elba still doing some work on his television series Luther, in the last year he has begun to ramp up his work on the feature side with big roles in Prometheus, Pacific Rim and Thor: The Dark World, which opened this past weekend and has already almost made $200 million worldwide. Elba can be seen next in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom which is already getting award season buzz for his performance as Nelson Mandela. 

article by Justin Kroll via variety.com

Robin Roberts Honored with Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPY Awards

Happy 95th Birthday, Former South African President and Activist Nelson Mandela

220px-Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)Despite his current health status and the speculation that ranges from a critical condition to on the road to recovery, today is Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday, and we want to celebrate his incredible life and work on this momentous occasion.  Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa, a Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family.  

According to Wikipedia, Mandela attended Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the African National Congress and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. 

To learn more about his work to overthrow apartheid in South Africa, his decades-long imprisonment, leadership of the country at its President, and how he inspired freedom fighters and activists around the world, click here.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

First Look: Idris Elba’s ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ Poster

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Idris Elba is poised to make a big splash at the movies this year.  Not only is the sexy British actor headlining Guillermo del Toro‘s latest sci-fi epic Pacific Rim, he will be also playing Nelson Mandela in the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. His performance as the legendary South African leader is already generating tremendous buzz.  Elba himself has not been shy about touting his upcoming movie.  In a recent interview with The Guardian, Elba called his version of Mandela “hands down the best.”

He went on to clarify, “Not in terms of performance…but my film’s about his entire life. Anyone wanting to understand who Mandela was should go and watch my film.”  “Morgan Freeman is outstanding. Terrence Howard is an outstanding actor. But my film is about his life,” Elba added, referring to Freeman’s 1999 movie Invictus and Howard’s depiction of Mandela in Winnie – a 2012 film which never made it to theaters.

Now we’re getting our first glimpse of Elba as the iconic man. A promo poster for the movie has been released (pictured above).  Elba may have some stiff competition from his fellow black actors come awards season with both Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale) and Forest Whitaker (The Butler) earning early praise for their starring roles in prestige pictures due out this fall.  Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is expected to be released on November 27, 2013.

article via thegrio.com

Idris Elba to Portray Mandela in Upcoming Biopic

Actor Idris Elba arrives for a State Dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cameron is on a three day official visit to Washington. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Actor Idris Elba arrives for a State Dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House on March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Cameron is on a three day official visit to Washington. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

“Not in terms of performance,” he clarifies. “But my film’s about his entire life. Anyone wanting to understand who Mandela was should go and watch my film.”  Although the British-born actor is aware that his movie won’t be the first to portray Mandela’s story on the big screen, he does believe that it will capture a more complete portrayal of the South African leader’s experiences.

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ESPN To Give Robin Roberts ‘Espy’ Award For Courage

robin roberts espy award

NEW YORK — ESPN is staying in the family in giving its Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Robin Roberts at its annual ESPY awards this summer.  The “Good Morning America” anchor is being saluted for how she kept viewers involved in her treatments for two serious illnesses. She had breast cancer in 2007 and last year had to undergo a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder. Roberts returned to “Good Morning America” last month.

Roberts came to sister company ABC from ESPN, where she was the network’s first black female sportscaster.  Most past awards recipients have sports connections, like former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt last year. But the ESPYs have also honored Nelson Mandela and the four men who tried to stop one of the Sept. 11 hijackings.

article by Associated Press via newsone.com

R.I.P. Nigerian Novelist Chinua Achebe, Grandfather of African Literature

Chinua Achebe in 2008 at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., where he was a professor at the time.(Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, widely seen as the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82.  From the publication of his first novel, “Things Fall Apart”, over 50 years ago, Achebe shaped an understanding of Africa from an African perspective more than any other author.  As a novelist, poet, broadcaster and lecturer, Achebe was a yardstick against which generations of African writers have been judged. For children across Africa, his books have for decades been an eye-opening introduction to the power of literature.

Describing Achebe as a “colossus of African writing”, South African President Jacob Zuma expressed sadness at his death. Nelson Mandela, who read Achebe’s work in jail, has called him a writer “in whose company the prison walls fell down.”

Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, published in 1958, told of his Igbo ethnic group’s fatal brush with British colonizers in the 1800s – the first time the story of European colonialism had been told from an African viewpoint to an international audience. The book was translated into 50 languages and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

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First Photo of Nelson Mandela in 2013 Revealed; Granddaughters Say “His Health is Very Good”

Nelson Mandela with his  youngest great-grandson, Zen Manaway. Family says photo was taken Saturday February 2, 2013. (Photo courtesy 'Being Mandela'/COZI TV.)

Nelson Mandela with his youngest great-grandson, Zen Manaway. Family says photo was taken Saturday February 2, 2013. (Photo courtesy ‘Being Mandela’/COZI TV.)

Nelson Mandela’s granddaughters are currently in New York City promoting their new reality show Being Mandela.  During an interview with the Grio, the sisters gave an update on their 95-year-old grandfather’s health.

“His health is very good. He’s surrounded by family,” Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s granddaughter Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway said. “We go to the house all the time. He’s really happiest the most when he spends time with his great grandchildren. So before we came on the trip we literally went to go see him to say bye. So he’s in really really good spirits. We’re very happy.” Continue reading “First Photo of Nelson Mandela in 2013 Revealed; Granddaughters Say “His Health is Very Good””