Hackney-born actor Idris Elba, star of The Wire and Luther, is to pay tribute to his home borough by laying down in the area a commemorative paving stone awarded to him in the 2017 MOBO’s.
The Golden Globe winning actor, producer and musician, aged 45, was honoured with the annual ‘Paving The Way’ award for his achievements in the arts, along with his contribution to British Culture at the 2017 MOBO awards.
The awards took place on November 29 in Leeds.
The ‘Paving The Way’ Award was created in 2015 as a way to honour individuals who are essentially paving the way in music, entertainment, culture and sports for future generations.
Elba, who was born and raised in Hackney, was presented with a stone which will be engraved with his own words and placed in the London borough.
As someone who once faced homelessness, I know how important it is to have access to something better, to feel inspired and reach for your dreams. I’m blessed to have this chance to lay a paving stone in a place that I hold so dear and leave a legacy for future generations. Thank you MOBO for finally giving me that opportunity.
Previous winners of the award include Wiley, Ms Dynamite, Sir Lenny Henry and Nicola Adams.
In a statement, the actor said: “I feel incredibly humbled to receive this honour. I have always felt a need to shine a light and pay a lasting tribute to the place that helped shape me in Hackney. Thank you Mobo for finally giving me that opportunity with Paving The Way.”
Elba grew up in Holly Street, Dalston and attended the now closed Laburnum Primary School in Haggerston. In 2011 he opened an affordable housing project in his hometown, with one of the larger buildings, ‘Elba’, named in his honour.
Croydon-born grime MC Stormzy was also nominated in five categories, winning three out of five: ‘Best Male Act’, ‘Best Grime Act’ and ‘Best Album’.
3 MOBO’s, love you all, thank you ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/BKRwmFc7VM
— #GSAP (@Stormzy1) November 29, 2017
In a recorded message that was played on the night, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said: “”It’s more important than ever that we celebrate black excellence and recognise the achievements of black communities.
“This year grime artists played a huge part in setting the agenda for British music and in the General Election, your contribution helped secure the highest youth turnout in a quarter of a century, showing the positive impact grime has on our society.”