She asks some very pertinent questions and talks about the imbalance given that the western world relies on Africa’s wealth since Africa has the gold reserves and yet our currency has no value in comparison and organisations like Oxfam, UNICEF and the Red Cross insist on spending huge amounts of money to create PR campaigns that paint Africa out to be poor and dying and surviving on the mercy of the West. They give with one hand under the flashing lights of cameras and then take back with the other hand when no one is watching. She quotes Jacques Chirac:
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 content. Without Africa France will slide down in the rent of a third world power.
After sharing her perspective, she talks about her initiative: Folorunsho and the “diamonds she found in the rough”. She takes us into a Freetown Ghetto “Lions Base”. She introduces us to a group of young men, some former rebels, others ex gangsters who she met by chance. She talks about how through creativity she has been able to inspire them to get off the streets and change their course of life while they too have inspired her. One of them talks about his aspirations to be a lawyer.
This was a very bold, honest and daring presentation and Mallence gets a GoWoman standing ovation from us. A must watch. Watch the video and then find out more about Foloronsho below.
FOLORUNSHO, is a Freetown based creative collective, formed in 2011 by 20 young men aged 14-22, who were living under horrendous circumstances in a gutter called LION BASE, in the central part of Freetown – Sierra Leone. The LION BASE crew personifies the transformation from – a ‘struggle for existence’ to ‘creator of one’s own life,’ transforming the ‘impossible’ to I’M POSSIBLE.
The boys’ individual biographies are eventful and each one of them provides a glimpse into an extraordinary reality that serves as an inspiration for many. They have lived through civil war, personal tragedies and poverty. They have mastered an existence dominated by violence and crime when living in the streets, emerging to international fashion designers by tapping into their pure innate creativity not tainted by any influence of popular culture and mass media. The result – the most outstanding creations.
Their international fashion collaborations have been featured in the media and selected locations around the world such as COLETTE in Paris and SOTO in Berlin.
All proceeds from the sale of the products go directly to the FOLORUNSHO creative collective to provide themselves with an education and adequate living conditions for the first time in their lives.
“It’s not about charity. It’s all about SHARITY!”
FOLORUNSHO = born under the eye of God (in Yoruba) – www.folorunsho.net