Africans on the silver screen

Idrissa Akuna Elba (39) – Hm….

Tall, sexy, suave, dapper, refined, and effortlessly handsome. Idris Elba (half Sierra Leonean, half Ghanain) is surely every discerning woman’s (and gay man’s) dream man. In the American series, The Wire, Idris Elba proved something seemingly impossible; making a low-life drug dealer look sexy, attractive, classy and likeable. If there is a more attractive African man on our television and/or movie screens at the moment, AfroGay would like to know who he is.

Henry Cele (RIP) – as Shaka Zulu

That body and voice … oh my goodness gracious me!!! Cele deserved some sort of award purely on account of those two attributes. Sadly, he never seemed to do much else after Shaka Zulu and died at the tender age of 58 due to medical complications and, likely, melancholy at having not realized his full potential as an artist.

Egyptian – Omar Sharif

North Africans tend not to see themselves as African, looking more to the Middle East for their roots. But of course they are African by virtue of the continent on which they live. So, Omar Sharif is African.

Methinks Sharif likely appealed more to women than the occasional, discerning, male in his heyday. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, except that this blog is really about men who have made other men go weak at the knees. Somehow, Sharif doesn’t seem to fit into that category quite so well despite his delicate features.

From Benin – Djimon Hounsou (center)

Djomon Hounsou modeled for Yves Saint Laurent before making the electric appearance in Amistad. It’s difficult to find a more homoerotic image of an African actor on the big screen, and Hounsou must be given credit for titillating us so memorably. Ooh, la, la.

Not exactly pin-up material but he’s African; Akon

Not an actor (in fact AfroGay doesn’t think much of Akon’s musical talents but who cares about talent nowadays when you can synthesize almost any voice and find enough people to pay for it?) and debatable whether he has the body to be walking around in public in his underwear. But you know what they say: if your talent doesn’t readily speak for itself, take your clothes off. The man from Senegal seems to have taken the lesson practiced by so many others to heart even though he certainly looks better with his clothes on.

What Akon (reportedly 38 years old but he claims to be 21) hasn’t taken to heart is Africa. In 2008, Akon was signed for a one night show in Kampala, Uganda, by a telecom company. Then he became such a diva and refused to travel forcing the postponement of the show at the last minute. An official from the sponsoring company had to fly all the way to Atlanta to beg Akon to board the plane for the rescheduled gig. Eventually Akon agreed, went to Kampala and put on a totally forgettable performance. It should be noted that he threw the same stunt with the Kenyans, where he was a no-show three times.

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

An American of Ugandan origin, AfroGay must admit he had never heard of Ntare until about two months ago.But he has built a solid track record as an actor (look out for him in Blood Diamonds), photographer and stage actor. No, no pictures of him nude but this is, AfroGay feels, a soft-spoken artist going places.

A final, and sobering point, to make is that almost all these Africans, apart from Cele of course, have had to either be born elsewhere or leave the ‘dark continent’ in order to realize the success they have as artists.