Djimon Hounsou rose to stardom and gained worldwide recognition through popular political war film, Blood Diamond, starring Hollywood veteran actor, Leonardo Dicaprio.
The movie which was loosely based on the Sierra Leone Civil war is one of the most powerful screenplays documenting the story of Africa’s conflict diamonds.
Whilst he’s well known for preferring a lowkey and ‘underground’ lifestyle, this publication recently did a bit of research about his personal life.
The actor’s rise to fame is a classic rags to riches tale. Hounsou is believed to have migrated to France from Benin when he was 13-years-old after having dropped out of school. He embarked on the journey together with his brother Edmond.
The duo were homeless and survived on handouts – rummaging in trash cans for food and sleeping under bridges.
His life took a miraculous turn after he was discovered by the fashion designer, Thierry Mugler, who made him a fashion model.
His breakthrough into the modelling industry later led him into acting. He then starred in several commercials before embarking on full time acting.
Talk about putting Africa on the map, Hounsou is the fourth African man to receive an Oscar nomination for acting. The other three were Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, and Omar Sharif.