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

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

Sharing is Kindness in Action!

Mallence Bart Williams at TEDxBerlinSalon

Here is the full transcript of Mallence Bart-Williams’ TEDx Talk: Change Your Channel at TEDxBerlinSalon conference. 

Mallence Bart-Williams: Good afternoon. I am Mallence, and I come from the richest country in the world.

It is located in the richest continent in the world, in the West of the richest continent. My country is called Sierra Leone. On the surface we are blessed with infinite beauty and abundance of flora and fauna, producing the most exquisite harvests of coffee, cocoa, fruits, vegetables and caoutchouc. You name it, we’ve got it.

We also have diverse wildlife and vast marine resources, and waterfalls, and rivers that run into the most beautiful beaches. The land is golden; literally, a true paradise, which of course is inhabited by the most beautiful souls.

We have a very strong cultural heritage. In fact, Sierra Leone had the first sub-Saharan university. Prior to that there was one in the kingdom of Timbuktu, which was the first university in the world, succeeding the great Gnostic schools of Egypt and Osiris.

On a deeper level, we are blessed with the real treasures the kings and queens of this world desire. This was the largest alluvial diamond ever found. It weighs almost a thousand carats, 969 to be precise. This beauty was found by an old lady in her backyard about 2 years ago, 125 carats. Some people mine gold in their backyards. That’s quite common.

Besides gold and diamonds, we have about 20 precious minerals that have been discovered as of today. We recently started extracting huge petroleum reserves that have been discovered. We have platinum, ilmenite to make titanium, rutile to coat jets, iron ore, the largest iron ore deposits in Africa, the third largest in the world. Tantalite, also known as coltan, used in your mobile phones and computers.

Bauxite for aluminum production, zinc, chrome ore, copper, coal, phosphates, potassium, salt, lead, granite, asbestos, nickel, zircon. Furthermore, we have exquisite timber, like mahogany and teak. And we have the most beautiful stamps in the world.

Of course, the West needs Africa’s resources, most desperately, to power airplanes, cell phones, computers and engines. And the gold and diamonds of course: a status symbol, to determine their powers by decor, and to give value to their currencies.

One thing that keeps me puzzled, despite having studied finance and economics at the world’s best universities, the following question remains unanswered: Why is it that 5,000 units of our currency is worth one unit of your currency, when we are the ones with the actual gold reserves?

It’s quite evident that the aid is in fact not coming from the West to Africa, but from Africa to the Western world. The Western world depends on Africa in every possible way, since alternative resources are scarce out here.

So how does the West ensure that the free aid keeps coming? By systematically destabilizing the wealthiest African nations and their systems, and all that backed by huge PR campaigns, leaving the entire world under the impression that Africa is poor and dying, and merely surviving on the mercy of the West. Well done, Oxfam, UNICEF, Red Cross, Life Aid, and all the other organizations that continuously run multimillion-dollar advertisement campaigns depicting charity porn, to sustain that image of Africa, globally. Ad campaigns paid for by innocent people under the impression to help with their donations.

While one hand gives under the flashing lights of cameras, the other takes, in the shadows. We all know the dollar is worthless, while the euro is merely charged with German intellect and technology, and maybe some Italian pasta. How can one expect donations from nations that have so little? It’s super sweet of you to come with your colored paper in exchange for our gold and diamonds. But instead, you should come empty-handed, filled with integrity and honor. We want to share with you our wealth and invite you to share with us.

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The perception is that a healthy and striving Africa would not disperse its resources as freely and cheaply, which is logical. Of course, it would instead sell its resources at world market prices, which in turn would destabilize and weaken Western economies, established on the post-colonial free-meal system.

Last year, the IMF reports that six out of ten of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa, measured by their GDP growth. The French treasury, for example, is receiving about 500 billion dollars, year in, year out, in foreign exchange reserves from African countries based on colonial debt they forced them to pay.

Former French president Jacques Chirac stated in an interview recently that we have to be honest and acknowledge that a big part of the money in our banks comes precisely from the exploitation of the African continent. In 2008, he stated that without Africa, France will slide down in the rank of a Third World power. This is what happens in the human world, in the world we have created.

Have you ever wondered how things work in nature? One would assume that in evolution the fittest survives. However in nature, any species that is overhunting, overexploiting the resources they depend on as nourishment, natural selection would sooner or later take the predator out, because it offsets the balance.

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.

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

Sharing is Kindness in Action!