Melvina and family.


About Us.

       What is the From Ground To Gown

Reality Series?

  • Our goal is to produce an un-scripted reality series ”From Ground To Gown", to show the plight of the villagers in Sierra Leone who mine for diamonds against all odds, but a lot of hope, the hope of finding an investor like American Woodie who will assist them. Even a 4-5 carat diamond can change the course of an entire family's life. But what happens when a 20 carat or 50 carat is found? It would be like you or I winning a multi-million dollar lottery.
  • The show will follow American Woodie, who lives full time in the bush with his tribal wife Nancy and children Mary, Jenneh, and recently born Diamond Butler. To see Woodie, the only American man within a good 80 miles, in his camo tank tops displaying large arm tattoos, matching hunting boots, and with a Peter Grimm cowboy hat on. Being a head taller than most local men, with a 12-inch Bowie Knife and machete on his sides, one understands why his name and legend has spread like fire across this wild country. Visitors always describe him as a crazy, muscled version of “Indiana Jones” or American “Crocodile Dundee, with no fear of adventure. And there is his team of loud talking, heavy drinking, hearts of gold, gentlemen, who would follow their wild American compatriot to the edge of sanity (or in this case insanity), deep in the jungle to find a huge diamond. 
  • Life in the West African bush and diamond industry depends on being able to navigate some of the worst roads imaginable, crossing swollen streams and rivers, and trudging through waist deep mud in the rainy season. Jeep is the epitome of the American adventure spirit and in a country where Toyota and Range Rover are status symbols and bush trucks, nothing screams American Bad-Ass like an off-road Jeep; that is, until someone sees American Woodie trekking around the bush in monster, custom Jeeps around the bush of West Africa looking for diamonds. Racing against the clock to beat the Chinese, British, Koreans, Lebanese, and Russians to a large diamond that is found deep in the bush (will sometimes resemble a scene from ‘Mad Max’ with all the custom off road vehicles going in every direction), is sometimes as much about national pride as anything else. And with a wild-ass American led team with no fear, the odds are definitely looking good.
  • The movie 'Blood Diamond' has given a horrible stigma to this wonderful country and the region in  general....but there are no more conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone, just hope and determination. All workers are paid and work with pride that is seldom seen in the world anymore. And the now passing Ebola crisis has devastated the country once again, bringing a whole new set of obstacles. Wild Diamonds will show the reality of a southern, conservative, Caucasian, Christian, American living in harmony and raising a family in a mostly Muslim, West African village, and how basic survival and unconditional love of one's fellow man has formed an unbreakable bond between the two.
  • From Ebola, to malaria, to cobras, to the legends of horrible Jinn who protect the diamonds in this wild land, the reward of riches far outweigh the risks. And now American Woodie, adopted son of two Paramount chiefs has committed himself to finding a giant diamond and changing his villagers lives forever by sending every child in the village to college.
  • With the state of race and religious relations at this time, this is a story that the whole world needs!

                           What is From Ground To Gown?

From Ground to Gown is a concept conceived by Woodie Butler in 2011 upon his first visit to Sierra Leone to purchase rough diamonds. American Woodie actually artisanal mines, finds, and delivers a diamond direct from the ground in Sierra Leone, to the bachelor or husband who then has it custom cut, all the while custom videoing the entire process while using the bride to be or wife's name.

Never before done, " darling I had a guy scour the earth of West Africa, to find a diamond as precious and singular as you!". Customers can take it one step further, and make an undercover trip to actually pick the diamond out of a miners shaker!!

After seeing the “wild “ and untamed bush of the provinces, as well as the harsh and remote conditions of the alluvial mining in Sierra Leone the name was conceived. FGTG at present has direct contact with over 400 mining operators in Sierra Leone alone. Along with the mine operators, relationships have also been built in the government, banking, and all necessary industries in order to facilitate transactions between West Africa and the United States. With this network on the ground in Sierra Leone and high-level government contacts, Wild Diamond has the ability to verify (in person), negotiate, and secure multiple parcels for exportation at any given time

Due to the level of trust Woodie has established within the mining community in Sierra Leone, through lengthy negotiations, Woodie has implemented a set of procedures, which will secure and protect Wild Diamonds and our partners as well as serve and satisfy our mine operators and workers interests at all times. Keep in mind, that the vast majority of mining in Sierra Leone is done on a level equal to the 1800's in the United States, with shovels, pick-axes, and hand panning for both diamonds and gold. With the right investments in equipment, machinery, and the proper personnel in place, the possibilities are staggering.

                              Who is Melvina Ndanema?

Melvina Ndanema, a partner and consultant for Wild Diamond, was born in and comes from a well-respected and influential family in Sierra Leone. She is a best-friend and more like a sister to Woodie and also is the Godmother to Diamond ButlelerHer late mother was the former Mayor of Bo. Mrs. Ndanema carries both a Sierra Leone Passport and an American Passport. Melvina has bought diamonds in Sierra Leone and sold them in America and she had a client base that paid her and her expenses to travel to Sierra Leone to purchase diamonds for them. She has brought millions of dollars to Freetown’s economy by facilitating the purchase of diamonds from rural miners. In the past she spent the other six (6) months in the United States with her family while servicing as a “goodwill ambassador” for Sierra Leone and creating interest in investments in Sierra Leone.

Mrs. Ndanema is a intelligent and pragmatic businessperson. She is honest, experienced, professional, and disciplined and possesses impeccable credibility and integrity. She is a ‘priceless and powerful asset’ to Wild Diamond Safari.