Home » Mallence Bart-Williams: Change Your Channel at TEDxBerlinSalon (Transcript)

Mallence Bart-Williams: Change Your Channel at TEDxBerlinSalon (Transcript)

Now that I shared my perspective with you, I would like to share my initiatives with you. As a Sierra Leonean, I am a diamond expert. I find them in the rough. What nature created from the darkest substance, under the influence of heat and pressure, transforms into the strongest, most brilliant rocks.

These rocks have the consistency to sustain an entire nation. These will be our future leaders. Please meet the FOLORUNSHO creative collective I formed with 21 street kids that were orphaned and displaced as a result of the Sierra Leonean civil war, and ended up living in the street as early as age 3, growing up as outlaws of society.

(Video clip)… “My name is Timothy. But my gangster name is A Fame.”

“I’m Donald Williams but my nick name is Wanee”

“My name is Patrick Christian Kargbo”

“My name is Allusine Jalloh”

“My name’s Momoh Alpha Kamara”

“My name is Lamin Bangura….But in the streets they call me Crazy Exhibit”

“My name is Sahr Morsay”

“My name is Sheku Conteh. In the streets they call me DMX”

“I lost my mother and father during the civil war in Sierra Leone. I was brought up by my grandmother in the village. “At the age of 5 years, my stepmother maltreated me, she even put poison into my food. In Jesus name I pray, amen. This is the story of my life”

“We were the ones that formed Lion Base. We were the first ones to lock the place down, till other gangsters came after some time. Now Lion Base is fearful. It is a fearful crew”

“You have the hard way and the soft way. The soft way is to steal. The hard way is to carry load for people at Dorfcourt or to collect people’s rubbish. “If you are not strong in the streets, you will die at a young age or you’re going to end up bad. 2001 when I came into the streets I used to do a lot of bad stuff. I stole, I used to steal people’s phones, I used to live a bad life, till 2010 when I met Mallence. From the streets she took me and put me into a school. I live good, now. Then my own thing that I want to do in the future is to study law. I always had that determination to become a lawyer. This is my future. My future plan is to be able to afford my own family. Because I’ve now decided to go to school to be an international business man. The rough life some of my fellows in the streets are living, I wish they would or could change like me. Leave the bad lifestyle behind, because this is not how human beings are supposed to live. Human beings are supposed to reason, and wish for a better future in this world. It’s not about charity. It’s all about sharing!”(Video concludes).

These guys are my biggest inspiration. Destiny brought us together. I met them by a chance encounter in 2010. In 2011 they all started living with me, 21 in number. Wonderful things happen when creatives meet with mutual respect.

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How did we go about it? Creativity; that same creativity that ensured their survival under the most adverse circumstances in the streets is channeled into outlets such as art, music, film and fashion. They made the impossible possible. From Lion Base in Sierra Leone to luxury fashion stores in Paris, New York and Berlin. This is what we created single-handedly, without a single cent in donations, without running water, without electricity, most of them not being able to read and write at the time when I met them. And now some of them are studying law, engineering, being filmmakers, and so on.

This is made with pure energy, inspiration and love in Freetown. With creativity and passion as the sole ingredient, we participate in a global market of international competition and find our way into the world’s most exclusive department stores, onto the bodies of the world’s fashion icons, and into the most distinguished art collections and exhibitions in Berlin, Paris, New York, Miami.

A proven concept that produced self sufficient individuals, financing their own education into lawyers, engineers, filmmakers and artists, within only three years. A concept based on mutual respect and sharing, a blueprint that can be replicated anywhere, under any circumstances. I only had the vision and the insight to recognize diamonds in the rough, and was determined to prove to the world that the absence of donation produces quality in a self-sufficient manner.

I believe charity merely creates inferiority and dependency. I want to serve as a bridge between two worlds. I call home, to facilitate a fair exchange between two contrasting worlds that become powerful once balance is reinstalled. It’s not about charity, it’s about sharity. Today I invite you to change your perspective. Own your visions of a brighter world.

Never see lack, see abundance, always, everywhere, and watch the universe conspire. Don’t focus on problems but on the solution. Remember our perception of any given situation is the only thing that determines the outcome. I am Mallence I am German, too.

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Change your channel. Thank you for your attention. Thank you for listening.

Sharing is Kindness in Action!

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