In the movie, directed by Mr Steve McQueen, Ejiofor , 36, played the role of a blackman who was kidnapped and sold into the American South slave trade in 1841.
He clinched the “Leading Actor” award, beating fellow nominees Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jordan Belfort in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, Christian Bale in `American Hustle’, Bruce Dern in ‘Nebraska’ and Tom Hanks in ‘Philomena’.
While receiving the award on Sunday night in London, Ejiofor expressed appreciation to the organisers of BAFTA and also paid tribute to the Director of the movie McQueen.
“You really brought us all through it; you had the real vision to tell this remarkable story.”
“The extraordinary life that he had, and to tell this story in a way to make it of such value, of such worth to all who were there”
“Thank you for this, it is yours. I’m going to keep it, but it’s yours,” Ejiofor told McQueen.
In the same vein, a Somalia-born Barkhad Abdi won the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his role as a Somalian pirate in “Captain Phillips”.
Abdi, who is a newcomer in the entertainment industry, thanked his co- star Mr Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass, the Director of the movie, saying that the duo “helped with whatever obstacle I faced, they believed in me, before I believed in myself”.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that Ejiofor, Abdi and Lupita Nyongo an upcoming Kenya-born actress, have been nominated for Best Actor, Supporting Actor and Actress respectively for the March 2 Oscar awards in the U.S..