Children at SOS Children's Village Maputo 'turned on the charm' last week when Djimon Hounsou visited the village. The youngsters, some of whom have by now claimed the title of 'actor', first met the Hollywood star on set filming for a movie called 'The Blood Diamond'.
As 'extras' on the set, the children had met Djimon and were keen to show their new friend where they lived. Djimon's strikingly tall stature was described as 'big - REALLY big' by one of the excited children who thronged around Djimon during his visit to the village.
Visiting one of the family houses, the Hollywood star was touched by the commitment shown by co-workers and SOS Mothers. 'I can't believe what I have seen here… this is fantastic for the children,' said Djimon, who was already carrying one of the children around in his arms.
Playing with the children while walking around the village, it was easy to see the star's affinity with the children. There was much laughter and shouting as Djimon and some of the children acted out a few of the scenes that they had been shooting over the past month.
Accompanied by members of the film crew, Djimon Hounsou presented the village with various gifts, including plenty of toys for the children. Much to the children's delight, Djimon also distributed sweets.
Turning to the SOS Mothers who were watching this happy and relaxed scene, he said, 'You are the Queen of Queens in Africa, my mothers. You are so important to these children.'
Born in Benin, Djimon immediately recognised the music of Salif Keita as music blared out signalling the start of an informal party. Joining in the dancing, Djimon and the crew members were clearly enjoying the company of the village families.
Writing in the village guest book, Djimon Hounsou enthused, 'Thank you for helping the kids dream of a brighter future.' Then, echoing the village child's description, he added, 'Always dream BIG BIG.'