British actor Idris Elba, who also has Sierra Leonean citizenship and heritage, has called for a peaceful general election in Sierra Leone, which will take place on Saturday.
“This election please let it be peaceful,” he said in a message in Pidgin English.
He reminded young people that they have the “power” in this vote, and that if the country is destroyed due to violence, it will be down to Sierra Leoneans to have to patch it back up again.
“Not only is the world watching,” he said, but the whole of Africa.
Saturday’s vote will be the country’s sixth presidential vote since a military takeover in 1992.
It will see the incumbent, President Julius Madaa Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) go up against Dr Samura Kamara of the All People’s Congress (APC).
There have been arrests of critical opposition voices in the the run up to the vote.
Elba’s comments come on the same day that the Commonwealth Observer Group in Sierra Leone, led by former Nigerian Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, called for peaceful elections that will reflect the will of the people.
“The eyes of more than 2.5 billion people of the Commonwealth – more than 60% of whom are young people under the age of 30 – will be upon Sierra Leone. Watching, in solidarity and in hope,” Prof. Osinbajo said.