Actor and DJ Idris Elba, 45, born in Hackney, got a commemorative paving stone from the organisers of the MOBO Awards. The stone will be embedded in London, at a location where the star grew up.

The MOBO Awards stands for “Music of Black Origin” and was established in 1996. The MOBO Award show is held annually in the United Kingdom to recognise artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music.

The Hollywood star was honoured with a ‘Paving The Way’ gong for his achievements in the arts and contribution to British culture.

The recipients of the Paving The Way Award pay tribute to the area that influenced them in their careers by laying a commemorative paving stone at a place of their choosing. The stone is then inscribed with the words chosen by the same artists.

Previous recipients of the award include Wiley, Ms Dynamite, Sir Lenny Henry and Nicola Adams.

Elba received his gong during the The Mobo Awards event that took place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Wednesday November 29, 2017. The event was hosted by Maya Jama and Marvin Humes.

Elba, who is also knowns as DJ Big Driis/Big Driis the Londoner, stated: “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.”

He added: “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.

Article by Valentina Guidi. 

George Millington