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Image courtesy of Djimon Honsou

In Conversation with Djimon Hounsou

We talk about the Beninese star's directorial debut, his role in A Quiet Place Part II, and on unifying Africans through The Gate of Return Marathon and Festival.

By Adaora Oramah

For anyone who saw the 1997 movie Amistad, the memory that remains years later is of a young Djimon Honsou, radiant in the role of Cinqué, a captured Mende tribesman from Sierra Leone who led a revolt against slave traders on the Spanish ship, La Amistad.

Honsou's electrifying performance illustrates the tribulations of Cinqué's quest for freedom. In one memorable scene he tells John Quincy Adams, played by Anthony Hopkins, about the power of his ancestors, invoking their presence to guide him through the Supreme Court trial that would return his people to freedom. Speaking softly, with eyes of zeal, Hounsou delivers a powerful monologue that conveys Cinqué's passionate connection to his Mende traditions:

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