From picking refuse to Hollywood: The inspiring story of Blood Diamonds actor Djimon Hounsou

Popular Hollywood actor, Djimon Hounsou became known after he rose from feeding on garbage bins to breaking barriers in Hollywood

– After leaving his home country in Benin to Paris as a teenager, Djimon initially failed woefully in his academics – Djimon would later excel in both the model and acting industries, making him a sought-after entertainer Though nothing good comes easy, determination always keeps one focused whenever one is in the most hopeless situation. The story of Djimon Hounsou is one that would inspire any day. His Hollywood fame never came on a silver platter.

The popular actor from Benin had to leave his country for Lyon, France at the age of 13 with the hope of becoming a doctor. Due to his discouraging academic record, he dropped out of school and his brother had to throw him out, making him homeless, Face to Face Africa reports. In his moment of great confusion, the young teenager moved to Paris, depending on street leftovers for food.

The actor differentiates between being intelligent and smart, saying they are not the same. “Being educated and being intelligent are two different things. I thought I was smart enough… and I wanted to be an entertainer,” he said. “I stopped going to school as a way of saying I was matured, a way of saying I was going to choose who I was going to become,” he added.

His limelight came when he was noticed by a fashion photographer who linked him up with the popular French designer, Thierry Mugler. In 1990, he left for New York as one of the happening models in Paris industry. After some stint in music videos, the Beninese started his acting career the same year.

When he learnt to speak English, he moved from playing minor roles into the big game as was seen in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. Djimon got two Oscar nominations for how he acted in In America and Blood Diamond. His other star appearances, later on, were in Guardians of the Galaxy and Furious 7, among several others. He married the love of his life, a celebrity model, Kimora Lee Russell in 2008 and they gave birth to a son named Kenzo in 2009.

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