Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Let's talk gold on Discovery TV (Deccan Herald, Jan 2013) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/307844/lets-talk-gold.html

Let’s talk gold

Juanita Kakoty, Jan 27, 2013
“Were we successful in finding enough gold?” reflects George Wright, as he talks about his pursuits in the jungles of Ghana. “We’ll simply say this, Rome was not built in a day, and Scott and I have a long way to go before we’ve obtained all of our financial goals in the gold mining industry in West Africa.

But we’re confident that we’ll get there, because we’ll never give up.” It is this steadfast spirit that one can catch in the new reality series Jungle Gold on Discovery Channel, every night at 10 pm.

It is believed that millions of dollars’ worth of gold lies buried beneath Ghana’s dense jungles. Determined miners from all over the world land up in these jungles hoping to claim some. Americans George White and Scott Lomu, both ex-property moguls bankrupted in the recession, are amongst them. 

They lost everything in the 2008 US property crash that sparked off the worldwide recession. With their houses and families’ futures suddenly on the line, George and Scott made a life changing decision, and headed for the jungles of Ghana, hoping to make good of the vast reserves of gold-rich ground. Discovery Channel heard of this and decided to cover their story.

“There’s a pretty popular show on Discovery Channel called Gold Rush, and my brother kept calling me while I was in Africa asking if I have seen this show. I had not even heard of it. And he said, well, it’s about these guys in Alaska who are doing gold mining and that we should contact Discovery Channel and tell them about what we are doing, because, according to him, what we are doing is much more interesting.

I said no, I didn’t want to do it; and my brother took it upon himself to contact the production company,” says Scott. “He wrote them a letter and told them what we are doing. The production company contacted us and said that they would come out and see what we are up to.”

As compared to Gold Rush in Alaska, it was easier to find the gold in Ghana; the difficult part was keeping hold of it. George says, “We don’t want to spoil anything for any of the viewers in India, but there’s some pretty heated moments that people are going to see this season of Jungle Gold; and a lot of times it came to just having to run or having to fight. But we didn’t carry any guns with us. 

Though there were times we wished that we had weapons to protect ourselves. But I can say this, for the most part, people in Ghana are very peaceful. But just like it is in every country, there are a few that will try and take advantage of the wheat. There were times when people tried to take advantage of us and sometimes they were met with force, and other times we had to bow our heads and be taken advantage of.”

“I think both Scott and I realise that we went to Ghana to do gold; so that we could change our futures financially,” continues George. “But when we arrived in Ghana, we saw that our financial problems are very small in comparison to the type of financial problems the people of Africa are facing. And it’s actually been a very interesting learning experience on that side of it, learning of this wonderful culture in Ghana and also being able to realise that there are people out there who are going through even worse times than us.”

In George and Scott’s words, “A lot of bad has happened, but from all that has happened, we’ve been able to find ourselves a little bit; find that we are resilient.” And the most important moment for them, they say, “Was that, in Ghana, in the course of trying to take care of our families, we realised that we could take care of hundreds of other families.”

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