Culture The Beauty of Africa

5 Black American Celebrities With African Citizenship

black American Citizenship Africa
Written by Teresa Mwangi

With Ghana leading the pack, West African countries shape the black American citizenship Africa narrative. They are the reason why famous celebrities from the US have dual citizenship, their second nationality being in Africa.

For centuries now, the world views black people in the US as a representation of African ancestry. The story of their origin dates back to the days of slavery when an estimated 12 million Africans moved to America between the 16th and 19th centuries. They worked in the fields mostly, and this is how black culture came to be in the US.

In addition, history has it that the slaves pioneered jazz music. With this history, black Americana celebrities strive to connect with their African heritage. And one of these ways largely involves black American citizenship Africa.

Which African Countries Offer Dual Citizenship To African American?

A dozen African countries offer African Americans dual citizenship. They include the following.

  • The Gambia
  • Kenya
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa
  • Ghana
  • Gabon
  • Burkina Faso
  • Angola
  • Algeria
  • Cape Verde
  • South Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Zambia
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Cameroon

In this breath, here are African American celebrities who hold dual African citizenship.

Idris Elba

Idriss Elba

Idriss Elba. [Music in Africa]

Hollywood star Idris Elba enjoys his African roots. His father hailed from Sierra Leone where he got citizenship on his first visit to his paternal ancestry. Elba, whose first nationality is British – but who spends so much time in the US for his film exploits – says Africa feels like a second home.

In fact, he is running a campaign to launch modern film studios across Africa. The first one is in Tanzania and will cater for the film needs in East and Central Africa. He also plans to launch another in Ghana to cover West Africa.

Samuel Jackson

black American Citizenship Africa

Samuel Jackson. Photo/Kemi Flani

Samuel L. Jackson, another decorated Hollywood actor, discovered his Benga ancestors and applied for citizenship in Gabon. He exemplifies black American citizenship Africa together with his wife, with whom they have dual citizenship with. His roots trace back to the Gabonese Bantu tribe.


black American Citizenship Africa

Ludacris gets Gabonese Citizenship. Photo/Pan African Vision

American rapper Ludacris holds Gabonese citizenship courtesy of his wife Eudoxie Mbouguiengue, a native of Gabon. After many years of waiting, the rapper finally got his citizenship approved in 2019.

Dave Chapelle

black American Citizenship Africa

American comedian Dave Chapelle with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Ado. PHoto/

The black American citizenship Africa narrative isn’t complete without mentioning American stand-up comedian Dave Chapelle. Ghana is his humble African abode. The radiance and inclusivity in Ghana enticed him, and so did Steve Wonder, who is his biggest inspiration in taking up Ghanaian citizenship.

Tifanny Haddish

black American Citizenship Africa

American actor Tiffany Haddish. Photo/ AfricanNews

Tifanny Haddish got citizenship from Eritrea in 2019 as a way to connect with her father’s heritage. She applied for dual citizenship, and she got it during Eritrea’s Independence Day celebrations.

What Qualifies You To Be African American?

An African ancestry qualifies American citizens to be African American. It suffices to say that black American citizenship Africa has to do with one’s African roots. People of African descent who are of the Black racial group have a cultural and historical connection to the African American community.

Being an African American is generally based on self-identification and perceived cultural affinity with the African American community and not strict genealogical or legal criteria. Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that not all African Americans have their ancestry roots in Africa.

How Do I Get Dual Citizenship With Africa?

Black American citizenship Africa could be through the following things.

  • Naturalization
  • Marriage
  • Birth
  • Adoption

As it is the norm, you will fill out an application for dual citizenship and provide details about your ancestry and other personal details. In some cases, you may have to spend a specified amount of time in a particular country to be considered for dual citizenship.


While the US Constitution recognizes black Americans as fully-fledged natives of the US, systemic cases of discrimination, inequality and racism give rise to dual citizenship. These black American celebrities enjoy their ancestry devoid of the historic societal and administrative discrimination present in the US.  Black American citizenship Africa gives them a much-needed sense of identity and purpose in life.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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