Former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington has become an official citizen of Sierra Leone, making him the first African-American man to gain citizenship in the African continent based solely on DNA.

The Texas-born actor has spent several months working with Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma for his nationwide initiative that seeks to raise $250,000 to help improve the lives of one million children in Sierra Leone. The Reach One Million campaign was created by Washington after he discovered through DNA that his roots sprang from the Mende tribe of Sierra Leone. The mission of the campaign strives to “engage and educate everyday Americans on the plight of the children of Sierra Leone, where 47% of the country’s children under the age of 5 are afflicted with malaria and 28% percent (sic) of the population are unable to meet basic food requirements.”

Taking interest in spending more time in Sierra Leone to learn in the land of his heritage, Washington fought to secure dual-nationality and celebrate his family’s links to the African country.

He writes via text to Perez Hilton:

(I am) completely numb yet elated. I am at a lost (sic) for words. I am now a citizen of Sierra Leone. I need to send two photos for the Sierra Leone Passport that awaits me in Freetown. President Koroma now goes down in history as the ‘first’ African President to issue an African-American full citizenship based on DNA. Congrats to all who have been on this historical journey with me. Mission Accomplished. That said, I’m so moved right now that I am literally wiped out with the gravity of this new reality. Going home to celebrate with my ‘dual citizenship’ with my family.”


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