Anjali Nayar, Hawa Essuman

Liberian grassroots activist Silas Siakor literally works day and night protecting the land rights of indigenous villagers. They are threatened by land grabbing multinationals, plundering the forests for the production of palm oil. Silas mobilizes the local population for a counter-offensive. ‘No more business as usual!’

When the gruesome Liberian civil war ended in 2003, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa’s first female president two years later, Liberians dreamed of a future without violence and corruption. But the plundering of the country’s natural resources continued unabated.

With his Sustainable Development Institute, Silas Siakor fights the large-scale illegal deforestation of the country for palm oil plantations. He wins the hearts of the villagers who he teaches about land rights. He shows local activists the way to use smart phones in gathering evidence of illegal activity. With his reports and court cases, he uncovers staggering corruption at the heart of the Liberian power structure.

While Silas gets closer to the truth, the government’s intimidation tactics intensify. As the stress builds up for Silas and his wife Marlay, Silas’ investigations of corruption lead him closer and closer on the trail of president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Silas has been selected for the Activist competition.


Anjali Nayar, Hawa Essuman
Canada, Kenya, South Africa
80 minutes
cultural rights & traditions, development, sustainable development, aid, ecology & environment, house & land issues, evictions, minorities & indigenous peoples