Nick Hewer: Countdown to Freetown (2013) Movie Script

Countdown host and seasoned
businessman Nick Hewer
is a man on an unusual mission.
It's a bloody Dakar Rally, this is,
with a trailer!
You've sheared the bolt off.
He's driving nearly 5,000 miles
from England to Africa...
Oh, Christ.
..towing a half-tonne circular saw.
What have I forgot?
Did I pack my passport?
Do I have enough wet wipes?
Where most of us pick up credit
cards when we want to give money to
he's doing something more direct.
I'm going to select one person
and make a difference.
Of course I could have sent a cheque!
Nick's giving the saw to a street
kid in Sierra Leone who
he met for just ten
minutes two years ago.
Only involved in one crime.
Nick saw potential in young
carpenter James and wants
to set him up in business,
employing others.
It's better for me to be a person on
my own.
But James doesn't even know
he's coming.
He may run away in terror.
I don't know.
And the war-ravaged country presents
a unique business environment.
In England, this is the way we do it.
Nick doesn't understand
business in Sierra Leone.
I think we've been
taken for a fabulous ride.
The capital city, Freetown...
What are you doing?
Can you believe it?
..can be overwhelming.
It's impossible!
This guy has no brakes on his lorry.
Are you OK, James?
I'm not so OK.
So, will Nick's
way of doing charity work?
That will fall off.
Can Nick and his saw turn
a street kid into a businessman...
Are you in charge? Go. one of the toughest
places on earth?
We brought you a little present.
Incredible. Just crazy!
Nick is starting his adventure
by seeking some advice.
As he heads to work in Freetown,
James has no idea of Nick's plan.
He's been taught some carpentry
skills by a charity,
of which Nick is a patron,
but scrapes by on 1 a day.
Nick hopes to change that.
With departure imminent,
he meets a friend at his club,
ex-High Commissioner
and old Africa hand Peter Longworth.
The thing is, Peter,
you know the story.
I was down in Sierra Leone two years
ago for the charity
Hope and Homes for Children,
making some little films there,
and I met when I was down there
this young kid called James.
We trained him as a carpenter
but he also had his own little
workshop round the back.
I thought, "This is
an entrepreneurial sort of kid."
He said he really wanted to
start his own thing.
So I thought what I'll do is
drive down to Sierra Leone,
but I thought it'd be good, actually,
to drag down a big industrial saw
about the size of this table
and a big generator.
What's going to make Africa rich
isn't so much the minerals,
but it's the sort of entrepreneurial
genius of the people.
These are the people
who are going to create jobs.
And where you're going, Freetown,
they desperately need jobs.
What are you actually visually
going to look like
when you're on the roads?
Some gigantic diabolical
machine on the trailer which will
inevitably look interesting to
the guys on the road.
It's a juicy ten-metre load.
That's what it is.
Are you actually going to get
something of this size
along the roads that you propose to
travel on?
Of course, it all looks
marvellous on a map, doesn't it?
Nick is using his holiday time to
drive nearly 5,000 miles...
..from England down the length
of France, then over to Morocco by
sea and across the sands of Western
Sahara - if conditions permit.
Then, he'll continue south through
Mauritania, tropical Senegal
and the red dust roads of Guinea.
Finally, Sierra Leone
and its capital, Freetown.
I don't know
whether I've done the right thing.
I suddenly think, "Blimey, it's one
thing to drive through Europe,
"it's quite another thing to actually
cross into sub-Saharan Africa."
First stop, to gather supplies -
Nick's house in southern France
where his cousin, Stephen,
is a neighbour.
What's all this stuff here, Nick?
That's a generator,
a 26 kVA generator,
and that's a bit beaten up,
but it works, it's been tested...
But does it work?
Along with the giant generator
to provide power,
Nick has managed to source
the Rolls-Royce of circular saws.
It's perfect for ripping through
tough African hardwood.
This weighs just over half a tonne.
And he doesn't know at all
that you're coming?
No, he has no idea and I think that's
part of the joy of it.
That'll be fantastic.
Give him a shock.
Brilliant, brilliant.
Nick has also been given a new
Land Cruiser that he will leave
with the charity.
I like these long-distance journeys.
I thought if I could get somebody
to stump up for a big 4x4,
I'll drag a big wood saw down,
so it's taken two years
and then I bought the trailer
and I bought the generator.
I checked up on the kid,
I wanted to make sure that before
I embarked on this little adventure,
he wasn't banged up in some
prison in Freetown or had been
hit on the head with a hammer or
something and I discovered that
he was trudging around looking for
work with his stuff on his head.
There he was, knocking on doors
and, um... I'm going to tap him
on the shoulder
and say, "Cooey! Remember me?
"Look what I've got for you."
He may run away with terror,
I don't know.
Be careful and don't get kidnapped.
- Don't worry, people are
nice wherever you go.
- I know that.
- That's the great lesson, Stephen.
- I know, I agree with you -
they can be nice, as they cut your
tongue out.
Now, I wonder whether we've
bitten off more than we can chew.
Let's hope not, anyway,
it's a bold enterprise.
For about half an hour,
I've been thinking,
"Now, what have I forgotten?
"What have I left behind?
"Where's my wallet?
"Did I pack my passport?
"Do I have enough wet wipes?"
Without any fuss from any customs,
we have entered Spain.
A 24-hour crossing puts
Nick on the African continent.
With few tourists
in Sierra Leone, James will need
to make what the locals buy.
Nick wants to research
what that could be en route.
I have a young carpenter.
I need to take something to him
and say, "Is possible for you
"to make something like this?"
Yes, of course, yes. Here,
to the right side, two minutes.
A Moroccan two minutes?!
Here is the wood.
Is very beautiful,
but very intricate.
I'm looking for something that is
very simple.
Very simple.
Nick wants more basic items that
James could actually copy.
I feel a bit queasy.
I'm with meat quarter.
At nearly 70, and his African
adventure barely begun,
Nick keeps regular contact
with his family.
I like to ring home
and see what's going on
and speak to the beloved.
Got to keep in touch with
the beloved.
You've only got a short
span of time on this planet.
Anybody with an ounce of curiosity
should be out seeing what
the world's got to offer.
A lot of people would say, of course,
"What on earth are you doing?
"Why can't you cut the grass
just like every normal person?"
In Marrakesh, Nick spots something
more suitable for James.
That stool is the sort of complexity.
Yeah, simple and nice.
This is what I want.
Yes, this sort of thing.
I will buy it from him.
How much would you like?
The butcher starts high.
He said, er, 700.
How many?
700, 700, 70 euros.
70 euros is...
Top businessman he may be,
but Nick's forgotten rule one
in Africa - haggling.
60 quid. I'll do it.
Two, four, six, seven,
and a pound of pork sausages!
Yeah, well, not pork, perhaps.
With the stool added
to his precious cargo,
Nick's joined by a security adviser.
Now what's this drama about plunging
south into the Western Sahara?
There is only one road and
that is your kidnap corridor.
They may not kidnap you,
they may just take your vehicle
and the contents behind it and leave
you on the side of the road.
Problems in West Africa
mean Nick is refused permission
to continue by road.
Well, sadly, this is as far south
as we're going to go in Morocco,
and where did we end up? Agadir -
Morocco's very own Benidorm
where old-age pensioners like me
come on package
tours for their holidays.
So, escaping the danger,
everything is shipped to Dakar
while Nick returns to London.
About to set off
and continue the tough drive south,
when some worrying photos arrive.
What's all these wires
hanging out the front?
I hope we can bloody get there.
Do we know if this vehicle works?
I mean... (BLEEP) off.
Yeah, hi, it's Nick.
'Hi, Nick.'
Yeah, hi. Listen,
I've just seen these pictures
that have come in from Dakar
and what I've seen horrifies me.
The rear window's been smashed,
the bonnet is up
and the floor is festooned with
what appear to be ignition cables.
Does this vehicle run at the moment?
What happens if I get down there and
half the bloody engine's missing?
Senegal's capital Dakar.
Nick Hewer returns to Africa
to prove the poorest individual
can become a successful businessman
with the right help.
His half-tonne saw and vehicle
are at the British Embassy,
along with a local guide to help
navigate the treacherous roads
and reconnect with James
when they get to Freetown.
- Mohammed?
- Yes, sir. Nick.
Yeah, Mr Nick.
It's terrible, huh? It's a mess.
Obviously, they broke this
to open the doors,
to take the things.
This is what happened.
I left a bike in there with
clothes and maps and everything.
The bicycle is gone,
two jerry cans for petrol, you know,
this is electrical wiring.
If you want it, I can call the lady
to know if
she keeps something for you.
It's possible,
but I think it's been stolen.
Hello, auntie, hold on.
I pass my boss.
Who is this?
The boss lady.
What's her name? Hello.
A suitcase? You...
You have those?
Ah! She needs to speak to you.
I'm maligning all these people,
thinking they've been stealing
my stuff, and actually, they haven't.
Oh, dear!
Ah, here's my stuff.
Look, my bicycle.
I'm very ashamed.
I like Mohammed.
I think he's an optimist.
Optimists are good,
as long as they're not bullshitters.
Of course I could have sent a cheque!
It's far more fun, I think,
to actually be able to...
..have a little adventure,
and at the end of it, help this kid.
Not just help, but actually
propel him into a new world,
and that's what I'm doing.
Nearly 1,000 miles away in Freetown,
James still has no idea
the giant saw is coming.
He began his life on the streets
like thousands of other kids
when Sierra Leone
descended into a brutal civil war.
To get to Freetown,
Nick is facing some tough driving
through tropical Senegal
and the lush jungles of Guinea
with over 100 miles
of rutted tracks.
Mohammed advises
setting off before sunrise.
Come near to me a little bit.
Take in to me a little bit.
Now what?
Here we are. Quarter to six,
we said six o'clock, so...
It's 5:45.
Yeah. So we're in good time.
How many hours, do you think?
It will take us maybe ten hours.
How many kilometres is that?
More than 500 miles.
I guess from now until
we hit Freetown in...
I don't know how many days
it's going to take us,
I can learn a bit about West African
business, I guess, small businesses,
how they work, and put it
to good use when we get there,
so that I'm not talking as
some sort of western accountant
but actually as somebody who
understands it a bit better.
Look, here's some woodworking place.
Hold tight.
It's all very well
dragging this thing down to James,
but it would be rather useful if he
knew about the cost of cutting wood
and all that sort of stuff,
so shall we ask these people?
You'll translate for me?
No problem, I will do it.
How do you cut...? He cuts by hand?
With his hand, like this? Yeah?
'This chap can saw wood very quickly,
'which surprised me, so he does
that sort of plank in three minutes
'with no apparent effort,
which is extraordinary,
'so he actually doesn't need a saw,
I think, but how does he charge?'
That's the issue. Because
when James gets hold of that saw,
he needs to know how to charge.
Is it per metre? Is it per minute?
What is it, by type of wood?
I don't know.
As he crosses the border
into Guinea, Nick faces two days
on the rough tracks.
This road is so bad that
we're going to run out of time.
There's a river down there?
Yeah, a big river down there,
Gambia River.
So it comes from the Gambia?
And what about crocodiles?
There are no crocodiles
on this river.
Security concerns on this section
due to Guinea's recent history
of violent military coups
mean Nick must keep moving,
no matter how bad the road.
We're not going to get robbed?
Not in Guinea.
Not in Guinea. Never.
Wow. We shall stop and have a look.
We've sheared a bolt off under here.
One of these has gone.
Well, it's inevitable, really.
What is more dramatic is this... we're beginning to
come adrift here.
No, we just carry on.
The trailer damage
reduces Nick to 15mph,
just making a truck stop in
the next village before dark.
The trailer was set at
the lowest possible level,
it was very stupid - of me,
because I knew all along
it was riding too low,
and like everything else,
it got overlooked
and we're now raising the tow bar,
which means that we won't be
grounding every other minute.
Only by those two holes,
but, you know, every little helps,
as the supermarket keeps telling us.
In return for raising the tow bar
and replacing the shorn bolts,
Nick leaves the diesel
from his generator.
Le gasole, c'est pour vous.
Something about
an African morning, eh?
Yes. Beautiful!
We hear the cocks crowing,
kids going to school... Whoops.
You ready?
Yeah, I'm ready.
Let's go.
The issue now is, we had to stop here
last night because the road was bad.
So we didn't make our planned...
Whoa! Our planned distance.
Now, careful of this one. Whoa!
Even with the trailer raised,
Guinean roads still force
a painfully slow pace.
It's a fine balance between thinking,
"Whoa, this is fun,"
then you've got the dread of doing
some serious damage to something.
And you want to be
somewhere in the middle.
There's nothing worse than
being in the middle of nowhere
with a cracked sump.
Nick hits tarmac
with over 400 miles to go,
increasing speed
to make up lost time.
I'm hurtling through Africa
without stopping.
Not doing anything!
I haven't spoken to anybody!
It's the bloody Paris-Dakar Rally,
this is, with a trailer!
Nick wants to make sure
they hit Freetown the next day.
I don't know where we are.
A dawn start,
and the last 300 miles.
Unknown to Nick,
a bent axle has shred a tyre.
Let's have a look.
It's gone right through the metal.
Is there someone here
that can change a tyre?
Yes, in Boffa.
That's where we'll go.
No problem.
Every day on the road
means less time in Freetown
to turn James into a businessman.
If we had a machine, this would be
done in seconds, wouldn't it?
And also, all of them would come away
with all their toes. Blimey.
Who wants a boiled egg?
Vouz avez le gasole?
Hold on, let me smell this.
Where has this come from?
Whenever guys are in a hurry
to sell you something
and then clear off,
you know you've got a problem.
It's like Coca-Cola.
It's horrible.
The engine's all right -
pinks a bit, but it goes. It's fine.
After nearly 5,000 miles
and a gruelling last few days,
Nick finally enters Sierra Leone.
Well, we're in.
It should be a moment to celebrate,
but an exhausted Nick knows
there's over 100 miles
still to drive before Freetown.
What do I know about Freetown?
I spend, I don't know,
three or four days there.
All I know is that
everybody's sawing wood by hand
and anybody who can
do it faster and cheaply
must be an attractive sort of
proposition - simple as that.
The last leg passes close
to where James was raised -
areas that were devastated by
Sierra Leone's ten-year civil war.
Fuelled by the country's diamonds,
the population were exposed
to unimaginably brutal acts,
leaving thousands of children
traumatised and orphaned.
The war ended in 2002.
Ever since, kids have been
pouring into Freetown.
Nick hopes James will
help many with his saw.
Finally, the outskirts of the city,
notorious for traffic madness.
Very disorientating
because there's no streetlights,
no road markings, no street signs,
as far as I can see.
Despite the chaos outside,
Nick remains resolute.
We're going to make sure it succeeds.
I haven't come all this bloody way
to have a failure on my hands.
I tend to try and,
um, finish what I start.
I haven't seen him
for a couple of years
and my only concern, really, is,
is he a really good, keen kid,
you know, really genuine? Or...
is he a bit of a chancer?
Security is a big issue in Freetown.
Nick drops the saw
where it should be safe,
but car and trailer have become
inseparably bonded.
Try it.
Mohammed, too many cooks...
I think I'm swallowing
mosquitoes. Is that possible?
The thing is,
this button's not pressing in.
Nobody locked it? Well, bugger.
It's going. It's going.
I think the problem was this brake.
That's crazy!
To unhitch without the brake?
Can we go now?
Are you happy, Mr Nick?
I'm very happy, Mohammed.
At last, Nick can head
across town to his hotel.
He plans to get everything up
and running for James tomorrow.
Morning, Mohammed.
A very busy day.
Why have we got a busy day?
We haven't got long,
so we'd better go and see James.
He may say, "Who are you? Go away.
I am now a fisherman,"
or we've got to train him, of course.
James is very, very intelligent.
Any time I've called James to
discuss with him, he surprised me.
I think if we leave now,
it would be good for us.
Mohammed has made contact,
but James has no idea
why they want to meet him,
but straightaway, they fall victim
to Freetown's cursed traffic.
Mohammad, we're been sitting here
for nearly two hours.
It's 11:30am! Where are they off to?
It's like a city on the move.
Nick has cut it tight
to get James set up in business
with only five days
before he leaves.
Nick Hewer's mission, to prove
a street kid in Sierra Leone can
become a businessman,
is about to be tested.
We're leaving,
you know... five days' time.
A lot to do in five days.
But Freetown's traffic is
stealing his time.
Nick is basing the saw he brought
for James in the charity's compound
until James finds
premises of his own.
How is he going to get this... with
a forklift into that building there?
First off is the generator.
It will fall off.
That will fall off.
Last one.
With the generator deftly
dropped into position,
time to deal with
the half-tonne saw.
Nick wants it under cover,
but it's too big to fit.
We leave it outside, just there.
Maybe we telephone you tomorrow,
when we have thought about it. OK.
He wants everything working
before presenting it to James,
so a local mechanic gets to work.
Feeling unwell,
Nick retires to the car.
Nick organised an engineer
to fly out...
..Steve, who's stuck in traffic.
Eventually, he arrives.
Start it up, turn the key.
The generator runs,
but it's producing no
electricity to power the saw.
What happens is, when this thing
fires up, these should shoot up.
They've basically disconnected
the two wires there
and took the transformer away.
That transforms the engine power
into electricity,
and we're not producing any
electricity, so the saw won't run.
Conveniently, the local mechanic
knows where to buy a new one -
for 500.
Is this a brand-new transformer
or is it a rewound transformer?
So it's 500 approximately, and you
can get that within the hour?
Sorry to disturb you, young man.
They've took
the transformer off the end.
And they want 500.
500? Ridiculous.
Well, they shouldn't have
taken it off in the first place.
Well... I tend to have to
agree with you.
I'll have a word.
Does the transformer sit
outside the casing?
It sits on here.
I think we're being
taken for a fabulous ride.
It's not there now
and we've got a gun to our head
and we've got to give the man 500.
What a rip-off.
I'm irritated.
Bring me a piece of paper back, OK?
You'll be back in one hour? OK.
If it's a brand-new transformer,
it's going to come
in a manufacturer's box.
If it's a dirty old used one,
we'll know he's...
Captured it.
I'm going to go and sit in the car
because I've... I've got a problem.
'I think the environment
is very hard.
'Terribly hot.
'And one false move and you become
a frequent visitor to the lavatory.
the trouble is that I'm wiped out.'
He don't deserve that, does he? Eh?
An hour later, Nick is woken to see
what his 500 have bought him.
Is that supposed to be new?
It's a very old piece.
It's very old, it's not a new one.
Not a new, just...
Let's have a look at the bill.
Can we stick it on so we can see
whether it actually runs?
I would say that that's almost
certainly the original one,
I would think.
I think it fits as though
it was made for it.
When you travel in Third World
and some rich European pitches up -
in their eyes -
he's like a big fat chicken and
everyone wants a little feather.
And that's what we've got here.
You know? It's an opportunity.
I don't like it,
I don't really blame them.
You spend more on coffees in a week
than they earn in a month.
Hold on, young man.
Been a long day.
I'd planned to see James today,
Erm, but we're now
actually at the end of the second day
and we haven't actually been
in touch with him, so it's now
going to have to be tomorrow.
Next morning,
having lost another day,
Nick finally sets off
to find James...
Where's everybody going?
..only to discover another
traffic jam.
Now we shall see whether this has all
been a complete waste of time
or whether it really is the beginning
of something big for him.
Maybe he's a cheeky boy.
We met some cheeky boys who when
they came to repair the generator
were very cheeky, so we'll see.
Anyway, life in Sierra Leone
is a chancy business.
We're going to give this kid a chance
and let's see what he makes of it.
Nick, James just called me.
What did you tell him?
'I said from here
we are going to meet him.'
Nick's mission to help James
has taken two years.
He's about to discover whether James
can rise to the challenge.
Hi, how are you?
Good to see you.
So what have you been doing?
I saw you two years ago.
Normally I just go around,
search for job.
On the street? Yeah.
Things have been very difficult.
But I'm...
I'm so happy to see you back.
Because, just imagine,
two years back,
I think you have forgot about me,
I was thinking a little bit.
Because when I left here, I went
home, to England, and I thought,
"Well, every year
I like to go on a little adventure."
Old people do this sort of thing
to pretend they're young.
And I thought maybe I should have
another driving adventure.
And I thought, "Well,
maybe I'll drive down to see James."
And I thought it would be good
to pass on a bit of luck.
So I've brought something for you
to... sort of help you
start your business again.
- So shall we go and have a look?
- Well, yeah.
Come on, then.
Come on, Mohammed.
Finally, Nick takes James
across town to see the saw,
which he still doesn't know about.
What you doing?!
But suddenly, their day is
literally smashed off course.
That's impossible!
You've got no brakes!
Yeah, I have brake!
You've got no brakes!
This guy has no brakes on his lorry.
No brakes.
The trouble is, this is going to
kill us on time.
Hey, hey!
Oh, Christ! I'm watching
this policeman. Oh, bloody hell!
Let me see this damage here.
Let me see.
How do we cope with this situation?
Yeah, we have to go to the station?
Yeah, including you.
How long will it take?
We are in such time pressure.
I will take responsibility for
the damage of this vehicle.
Your duty is to make sure
this crazy lorry is made safe. OK?
Er, thank you. OK.
I will give you your driving
He's a danger.
He don't have the brake.
Who wouldn't think he wouldn't stop,
for Christ's sake?
We saw him 50 yards away.
He have no brake.
He was far from us.
He's trying to tell us pass, pass.
You OK, James?
I'm not so OK.
Let's try and make it just one crash.
James still has no idea why he's
driving across Freetown.
Nick is about to unveil the surprise
that he hopes will change
James's life.
Blimey. What a day.
OK, James, come.
I thought it would be useful
for you... to have, um...
a bit of a machine or something
to help.
So, what we've done,
we've brought you a little present.
So it is for me?
This for you. So we've got a saw and
we've got a generator.
Now you're a businessman!
Wow! Thank you very much!
- Yeah?
- I'm so grateful.
That exciting?
Thank you very much.
I'm so grateful.
That's good.
But you must be successful now.
You must work very hard,
and don't give all the money away.
Don't go chasing girls
all over Freetown.
No, no!
Taking them to nightclubs.
I'm not like that!
'He's not a demonstrative boy.'
He's not all excitable.
But I think
he's genuinely a bit shocked
and I think he's delighted with it.
I think
he's sort of taking it in, really.
But he's not going to do cartwheels.
That's not in his nature.
I don't need him to break down in
tears and sort of sob all over me.
Glad he didn't.
The first part of the business
is for James to master the machine.
This edge needs to be as close
to this saw blade as possible.
'It's like a dream!'
You see, I tell you,
like... my dream has come true.
'Incredible to see something
you never expect.
'Drove me crazy!'
This peg lines up with that hole.
As well as operating the saw,
James will have to maintain it.
Nick spent 500 on spare belts
and tough titanium blades.
Training will take time.
So Nick heads out
to scout James' competition.
We've got to feel confident
that when we leave,
everything is in place
and that he's actually in business.
It's a big ask, actually,
when you think about it.
I really believe in that boy.
I know James will make it.
Just up the road is a
well-established carpentry business.
The boss is here.
Who's the boss? You're the boss?
How are you, sir?
How many people work for you?
We have up to ten workers presently.
Is that right?
Yeah, ten workers.
And what are you making?
What sort of furniture?
All kinds of furniture.
Windows, beds, chairs,
units as well.
So how many carpenters like you
has got his own saw?
Well, presently,
I don't know of others.
You're on your own?
Yeah, because it's difficult to
set up a kind of business like this.
And how do you power the saw?
Do you have a generator somewhere?
Well, presently,
we don't have access to a generator.
We are just trying to use
the National Power Authority.
So today,
when we don't have any light,
then we don't do any
effective work today.
The good news is
no other small workshop
seems to have a saw and a generator.
But there's a problem.
There's another important machine.
Here's a...
This is a surface planer.
A planer, yeah? Yeah.
What you've got, you're buying wood,
it always comes in fixed lengths,
it's cut, but it's rough.
- Yeah.
- And you prepare it.
You are correct.
Nick has overlooked
an obvious detail.
His ripping saw will make
light work of cutting wood,
but the planks remain too rough
to make furniture.
For that, they need to be
planed small, which,
without machines,
eats time and profit by hand.
What does interest me now is
the need to have a planer, maybe.
With a planer and a ripsaw,
then you have a very good
combination of machines.
Another day gone,
and problems are mounting.
As it dawns that the saw is not
very profitable without a planer,
local journalist Simon Aitken
arrives to scrutinise
Nick's grand act of charity.
We're ten years since the end of
the civil war here in Sierra Leone.
A great deal of foreign aid
money has been spent.
The results are
in some ways equivocal.
In some ways, a lot has been
accomplished, but a lot has not.
What makes you think
that this is going to work?
Because it's specific.
First of all, nobody can get
their sticky fingers on the money.
It's not down to a group,
it's not down to a bureaucratic
muddle, down in Freetown.
And if, in six months' time, the saw
has been stripped, sold for scrap,
it's gone, and nothing has come
of it, how would you feel about it?
That would be his decision.
I'm not here
as Mother Teresa at all,
and I'm not here as some sort
of American aid thing,
bringing sacks of corn in,
a gift from the American people.
No, that's not my thing.
Are you instead the celebrity model?
- Is this the George Clooney
in Darfur model?
- No, no, no.
This is nothing to do with celebrity.
This was a private mission.
Later, James takes Nick to confirm
again what Nick already knows.
It's broken?
Yeah, yeah.
It broke down.
Who broke? He broke it?
It's our little problem.
You want to sell this?
It's Christmas!
This and this are pairs.
They work together.
So the saw and a planer
and a generator, you have everything?
Exactly. And this is more expensive.
This is more profitable?
Exactly, yeah.
Nick leaves in two days,
but without a planer,
James seems a long way from
being a self-sufficient business.
A key part of any business
is buying raw materials.
You've got to negotiate.
When they give you a price,
you say, "No, it's too expensive.
"What is your best price?"
And don't be frightened.
Having given James a few tips
on how to negotiate,
they go shopping for wood.
What we want to do,
we're going to buy these 50.
James picks the wood.
50 boards hard, 50 boards soft.
He seems to know what he's doing.
He's certainly measuring every board
that comes out
and he's laying it not
only by width but by quality.
Don't ask me why the width is
important but as long as he knows,
that's the key thing.
He's the boss, that's his job now,
so he can dictate what he wants
and what he doesn't want
from this supplier.
He's driven the price down
from 100,000 leone to 80,000.
He's negotiated free transport.
That's excellent.
I'm pleased to see him
taking control.
Years surviving on the street
appeared to have helped James's
natural business acumen.
Nick is investing 1,500 and insists
on taking over from James
when it comes to handing
over the cash.
When it's loaded,
I pay him 1,000
and when we get to Kissy,
I pay him the rest.
In England, you pay now half,
half when you get there.
I give you 1,000 now,
you get the balance when you deliver.
This is the way we do it here.
Nick's insistence
on doing things his way
requires the police to mediate.
He wants it all now.
I want to see this wood delivered.
I've explained everything to him.
But it's too difficult.
You don't understand
what you are saying.
Will you explain to him?
James manages to calm the situation.
Nick has been saved by his trainee.
Things are going OK.
I think we've got the location right.
What he hasn't got right,
which is my fault,
is he needed a planer in order
to provide an integrated service
to both the building trade
and the carpentry trade.
We can fix that.
The final cash is exchanged
on delivery the way Nick wanted.
When this is up tomorrow afternoon,
you can open for business.
This company is open for business.
Is that good?
Having mastered buying,
tomorrow will be selling.
It's Nick's last day in Freetown.
James has mastered the saw
and buying wood
but can he sell to customers
and make money?
James opens his new business.
The first customer quickly arrives
but equally quickly
asks for a discount.
James strikes a deal
that makes a small profit
on the wood and the cutting.
Each line ripped earns him
1,000 leone, around 15p.
Even without a planer,
James is making some money.
I think that he'll pull it off.
We've already seen him make a sale,
we've already seen him refuse to drop
the price
which is difficult to resist,
particularly when you didn't pay
for the wood in the first place
and you've got a much older bloke
demanding a lower price,
but he held his own.
That was good.
How much profit did you make?
I make about 5,000 profit.
That's good.
Just like this.
This is a survivor day.
Very good.
Are you happy?
You did a good job?
In your heart,
you want your carpentry.
What do you want to make?
I would like to make panel doors,
with the large quantity.
Make all the panel doors,
the money goes very fast.
But the third piece we are missing
in all of this is the planer
and I think we have found
a way of sending you a planer
and then you will have
machinery for cutting wood
and you'll have machinery
for planing wood.
Before leaving Sierra Leone,
Nick is looking forward to seeing
the journalist Simon Akam
one more time.
My thought way back was a guy with a
saw and a generator had a business.
It's sort of true. He has a business
but it's not much of a business
because to rip wood, you only get
1,000 Leon.
It's not very much.
With a planer, you get 6,000
per plank.
You're suddenly beginning
to make money.
He needs a planer.
He needs a planer really so
we're going to get him a planer.
Then he has an operation
which is rounded and complete.
Do you feel that you should perhaps
have done some more research
before coming here?
I think what I've brought
is two thirds of the way.
I'm one piece missing, but I didn't
know that you needed a planer.
Sorry I didn't do the research!
If you were judging your own
performance here by the standards
you have applied to people on The
Apprentice, how would you judge it?
In The Apprentice, it's all
about profit margin, not profit.
But the profit's Le 1,000.
So maybe I'd get fired. Ooh.
Before leaving, Nick helps James
open a bank account.
For the next six months,
he'll pay 50 into James's account
so James can move nearer
his wood yard and pay for diesel.
Can I know your mother's
maiden name?
She doesn't have a middle name.
Maiden. The name she had
before she got married.
Be an honest man.
A month later, back in the UK,
Nick invests another 1,000
on a reconditioned industrial planer
built to deal with African hardwood.
The planer's on its way.
James has got all he needs.
He's got his generator, he's got
his saw, he's got his planer.
The planer weighs a ton and a half.
Nick managed to find a company
willing to cover
the 5,000 shipping costs.
I saw in this young kid
right at the beginning
some sort of entrepreneurial spirit
but at some stage, he's got to say,
"I've got all I need.
"I'll take it on from here,
thank you very much."
Charity is often accused of creating
a dependency culture
but Nick's mission to help James
has always had an endpoint.
I think it's very important that
I don't get swept into some sort
of emotional connection
with the kid.
That would be wrong
because that is where a dependency
culture can certainly begin.
In five months' time, the payments to
his bank account in Sierra Leone stop
and as the man in the film said,
"I guess my work here is done."
The end.