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Africa's Cowboy Capitalists (Full Length)

24618 ratings | 3929245 views
For maverick entrepreneur Ian Cox, Africa is the last frontier of free enterprise. The former small-time hustler has been busting his ass on the continent for years, selling and moving merchandise. In 2012 he nabbed a lucrative United Nations contract to transport equipment from South Africa to South Sudan, a country on many countries' embargo list. The other problem: the journey north entails passing through countless checkpoints and dealing with bribe-happy officials and their nonsensical paperwork and regulations. Photographer and filmmaker Tim Freccia followed around Ian and the guys he hired for this job. "Cowboy Capitalists" documents their attempts to navigate the continent's dangerous roads and bureaucratic chaos. Watch our other documentary about truckers in Africa, West African Truckers: http://bit.ly/West-African-Truckers Check out the Best of VICE here: http://bit.ly/VICE-Best-Of Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com
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Text Comments (7151)
StuntMan Scott (11 hours ago)
Why did mongo get fired how can you not tell us!!!???
Telencephelon (23 hours ago)
State your salary estimates here:
Telencephelon (23 hours ago)
31:22 This guy's pretty much SOL (Shit Out of Luck)
matt schade (1 day ago)
They need to make an African Truck Simulator
Joe Murray (1 day ago)
30:19 pugs not drugs shirt
JSL Design (1 day ago)
lmao it cringes me up when people from western countries think they fucking understand africa
Tree Of Life (1 day ago)
"What little America has to offer young entrepreneurs" your fuckin serious vice. leftist loonies
richard bearden (1 day ago)
TIA this is Africa.
Humam Salameh (1 day ago)
What's the name of the instumental @19:20?
Lydia Salem (2 days ago)
guy with glasses seems like a typical vice piece of shit,,,,
CosmicBear88 - (2 days ago)
"What little America has to offer young entrepreneurs" What is this dude smoking?
Cole Miller (2 days ago)
That place suks
Joe Ransford (4 days ago)
Of course Mongo drew the short straw...
Jonny Sandtrap (4 days ago)
*Is it just me or is this bearded ginger a douchebag?*
Mulerider (4 days ago)
Ice Road Truckers: We face some of the toughest roads in Africa Africa Truckers: Hold my beer.
Onyx David (4 days ago)
The way these white fellas describe their interactions with police is like what we Indians endure when we encounter them here in the U.S.. Interesting....
Zack Arthur (2 days ago)
Go back to Delhi
Abomb 604 (4 days ago)
*smokes awkwardly
Micheal Rines (5 days ago)
"A couple of Americans go crazy trying to deal with african bullshit"
GABORONE M (5 days ago)
I love their made up accents
NeThZOR (5 days ago)
Sorry man, it's much darker there in Northeast Africa than here in South Africa.
is da vog (5 days ago)
i think bananes in the axel was the dumbest part ive ever seen.
is da vog (5 days ago)
You are lucky my friend. I'm lucky? You are lucky to be ali- MYSELF INJURED
Cameron Searle (6 days ago)
Pugs not drugs..
Potting Soil (6 days ago)
Africans are such a waste.
anonymous nameless (5 days ago)
what do you mean? I myself as an African despise what I see and I want to make the world a better place if not for everyone, at least for my community. I don't see any point in reasoning with you at all, but regardless you have to respect human dignity.
Potting Soil (5 days ago)
+anonymous nameless Not wrong though.
anonymous nameless (5 days ago)
My friend that is a blanket statement. You see one thing and all of a sudden that represents a whole group of people.
Shane B (6 days ago)
Whats up with the random censored words?
Xiuni Palmer (7 days ago)
Pugs not drugs
Fuck Africa
Magnus McCloud (7 days ago)
that banana on the diff was fucken amazing.
Jared be like “Die for Israel”
Tom Bombadildo (7 days ago)
I don't get it? Some gay hipsters from America get paid by the UN to drive a truck from one end of Africa to the other, for the cost of what it would be to just buy the truck new at it's destination. Why are they "cowboy capitalists"???
Travis Iurato (4 days ago)
you can't just buy a new truck in South Sudan, apparently
Sebastian Rošker (8 days ago)
It's sad to see so many white people on high positions and so many black people doing worst jobs in countries where majority of population is black..
Softail77us (8 days ago)
That was adventuresome. I really dig trucks and the countryside in Africa. There's another cool video on youtube along the Congo River that is pretty cool too except its a big boat with other boats tethered to it.
l33t1ne (8 days ago)
What is the censored word at 1:33 ? I'm curious about the form of hustler Ian Cox was. Edit: and 2:47 "after decades of ----------- the mostly Arab.."
Fletcher Kern (7 days ago)
Shaun Rankin (8 days ago)
Wires money for the permit lol you mean bribe 🙈
Peter Cao (8 days ago)
"This truck is very corrupt."
minutes ago edited (8 days ago)
The thing that is so cool to me is that there's no re-enactments.
Hannah R (9 days ago)
poo and also pee
Jash R (10 days ago)
“This is what happened when this guy didn’t put bananas in his diff.
Brandon_kx250f (10 days ago)
Problem was most of those trucks where Chinese manufacturers
Kaleb Loshbough (10 days ago)
Vice its brakes on a truck not breaks dumbass liberals
Will Seamon (10 days ago)
Africa in a nutshell.......charlie foxtrot
rob I (10 days ago)
at the end there they called it a "land of opportunity" with resources and fortunes and compared it to "what little there is to offer young entreprenuers in america" - are you fucking kidding me? doing what we just saw, WHERE we just saw, is better than what you can accomplish if you stay in america and try that hard, with that same aggravation, knowledge (DIY truck repair!!), and dedication? BULLSHIT i certainly say get out and see the world, but to sell the idea that a country stuck in the 3rd world offers the same bounties as a 1st world country is ludicrous. unless you're going to tell me they made 50K each. and could continue to do so repeatedly. and then the NEXT "great opportunity" was to go deal with a horrible water crisis? LOL
Shanghai (11 days ago)
We left after 35 years - I well remember repairing a clutch in the bush with coat hanger wire and Pratley's putty....
lucas holtkamp (11 days ago)
At least the Wild West had no “corrupt trucks”
Chantz Archer (12 days ago)
Amazing t how cheap the U.N. is. Wtf
duhvn (12 days ago)
I can't imagine the size of this weapons contract to keep multiple men delayed for 2 months.
queenofcups (12 days ago)
'i make a call to a sudanese army guy' contact (mate) of mine, and suddenly the 'terrorists' ie citizens fighting shit you will never understand, disappear...Vice, you used to employ good quality journalists, now it's all ariostocatic arseholes with no empathy for their subject. Sort your shit out.
nujiss jiss (12 days ago)
Where's my trucker hat?!!
Jonathan Peña (13 days ago)
That fucking Mongo.
Christopher Yeniver (13 days ago)
Genocide of Dutch Afrikaaner. http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html
PresidentialWinner (13 days ago)
Holy shit african people try to scam every single time hahahahahaa
Kevin (14 days ago)
I’ll stick to my day job.
Matt Klaus (14 days ago)
Intfamous (14 days ago)
For everyone wondering why the guy changes his accent ; it's most likely an automatic , natural thing. Also it's not just the accent he changes, he changes his vocabulary and grammar too. When I'm in travelling in countries where English is not the main language I start using a more primitive/basic kind of English (for an example ; instead of saying '' tomorrow i'll be going to the beach'' I would say '''tomorrow I go beach''') It's so that locals can have an easier time understanding you. In some cases, where locals only understand a handful of English words, I would have to cut it down even more. While putting extra focus on using my tone of voice, facial expression and hand movements to communicate better with them. My dad calls this ''Tarzan communication'' (where 2 people with no mutual language try to communicate)
llamaha (7 days ago)
Same, I was in Sth America for a few years and after a while my speech started adapting to help in conversation. Even now 10 years later in my native country people sometimes ask me where I'm from.
Fredrick Mboma (9 days ago)
You're exactly right. I am a native Swahili speaker from Tanzania. Whenever I speak Swahili to a foreigner who is learning the language I change the accent, tone, speed and vocabulary to match theirs. It comes automatically.
sungod64 jrspot64 (14 days ago)
why should we even care about them or what the hell they are going through in the country.All they do is come an pillage,corrupt,rape and swindle.The nerve of these fools complaining about the conditions they created!That racist hick fake mechanic is just the worst.
anonymous nameless (5 days ago)
You mean that is what you guys did. "All they do is come an pillage,corrupt,rape and swindle." it's well documented. It's still done today via foreign aid.
c A (14 days ago)
that dude Ray is impressive not gonna lie
pat Peper (14 days ago)
Joseph Peters (14 days ago)
Hope they got paid for all that bullshit!!!!💵💰💵💰💵💰💵💰💵💸💸💸
My Info (14 days ago)
White privilege smh
foodeater42 (15 days ago)
It's all just so tiresome
MonBerry (15 days ago)
Its a UN trucks here to helps these monkeys and they make life hard for them.
Jesse Lee (15 days ago)
3rd world living and trying to get shit done is an exercise in patience and perseverance, noooooo doubt. Cretins. Great documentary. Bananas in the diff lolololol. I have to try that some day. Insanity. Love it, but sure glad it wasn't me. I couldn't make that trip. I'd be killed.
Chad O (15 days ago)
Why the fuck would you seek out your fortune in Africa?
Darth Hell (15 days ago)
Africa have potential but not with they native people, this is the reason China will be the new power in Africa, and i like it.
Fred T (3 days ago)
why are whites and europeans so bitter with Africa- China trade relations? it shows clearly that for years, all that whites wanted is to exploit Africa. Now that China is trading with Africa, whites are crying foul. China is a better trade partner than exploitative USA and Europe. additionally, this documentary mission is to portray Africa in bad light. Africa is miles ahead of USA. In USA people can't even afford housing, and live in streets and pavements. In Africa even the poorest have huts.
Radio Polytechnique (11 days ago)
Get an education about world geopolitics. Vice videos do not count towards your GPA
Radio Polytechnique (11 days ago)
Your ignorance is forgivable. You probably have never read any African intellectuals, no, you probably have never heard the phrase African and intellectual in the same sentence. Thankfully you are not a representative of your civilization or your people would be intellectually fucked.
odwa ngxokela (15 days ago)
they are still raping the shit out of Africa. fuck white people
oli (3 days ago)
this guy is literally trekking transporting equipment, to africa's most impoverished country, on behalf of the UN. shut the fuck up.
anonymous nameless (5 days ago)
+Chris Gilliam Man Stuff Lets be honest Africa keeps the West wealthy. Watch now that China is coming in ti Africa the West(Mostly France and America) are scrambling from left to right to get shit under control.
Ok. Let's just stop going there. Stop sending them food, and equipment, and money. Let's see what a paradise Africa becomes when left alone. Feel free to move there.
My Info (14 days ago)
white people are from Africa... dipshit! haha!
fnsawgun (15 days ago)
that trucker guy is a REAL trucker
desoz toppieter (15 days ago)
Vice actually made decent stuff at one time? I wonder how the american guy ended up with an electroinics store in the middle of sudan?
houston horse (16 days ago)
Veni Vidi Vici (16 days ago)
10:11 - Needs a turbo on it.
TJ Hughes (16 days ago)
what does SOL mean?
Marvin Westbrooks (16 days ago)
watch empire of dust, imma stay my ass in alabama
I'm staying in Bama too. 😉👍👍
Goody (16 days ago)
I work in a "high-pressure" finance role, and these guys did more work in 2 months than I do in 2 years. How much are they even making that makes this worthwhile? Doesn't seem like "a capitalist fortune".
Telencephelon (23 hours ago)
As much as you make in 3 months
OneMan101 (17 days ago)
"I like a little chaos, a little squeeze, a little tight fitment with the sharp drop-off and windy curves" ..then come and drive a truck in New Zealand mate!!
Nathan Darval (17 days ago)
Great documentary! This is our human condition. I never want to go there. Makes my tough day seem a little easier despite the bs.
Turd Ferg (17 days ago)
Africa is such a craphole
B-Rads Fishing (17 days ago)
Maybe don’t try ship over a holiday it might be easier lol
NaD TerfmoP (17 days ago)
This beats the fuck out of ice road truckers
DRajtify (18 days ago)
Africa is like a continent full of teenagers playing legal bureaucracy, and "working" bureaucracies are already bad enough.
dontdoitnow (18 days ago)
TIA.... more like TIH...
Rashad Glover (18 days ago)
Virgin territory for the white man to exploit.
SobieskiReborn (18 days ago)
They are doing legitimate business and you still want to have a cry hahaha
Jay Whi (18 days ago)
What a shit show
r w (19 days ago)
Where there is chaos there is money.
George Bunce (19 days ago)
This is the exact opposite of "The Last Wild Wild West". It took two months to go one week's drive. The red tape and bureaucracy was phenomenal. As an owner/operator and wheeler and dealer you can drive across the U.S. in three to four days and make a small fortune. WTF!? Unless that dude made a million dollars I can't see the point here.
DRajtify (15 days ago)
Adrian Possibly, I wish Vice could have at least given an idea of the contract’s cost and payout. It should be a relatively public, transparent thing to figure out, the only real barrier in all of this being accomplished by a competitor is having the willpower to even want to do this kind of work.
Ghost (16 days ago)
DRajtify the thing is that the client had a contract for the UN which pays a fortune. Shipping the demining dozer from SA means that there weren’t any available in the nearby countries. I personally think the shipping was a huge contract
DRajtify (18 days ago)
Agreed, how much money are they really making despite all that monetary waste in the form of bribes, fuel, corruption, equipment, breakdowns, paperwork etc that it beats doing a private contract job in the states? I don't see how they're making any money there at all.
Dan Murphy (19 days ago)
Looks like the same old colonialism to me...
Dan Murphy (18 days ago)
+SobieskiReborn ... how did they get to Africa? Why do African people understand the languages they speak?
SobieskiReborn (18 days ago)
What are you talking about? There are no colonists in this video
Apollo13 (19 days ago)
for a continent in economic crisis, the people sure seem to be taking a lot of holidays.... I suppose colonialism forced those holidays on them..... edit: LOL the local they hired was stealing gas and selling it to the locals. way to incentivize job creation by doing honest work...………..
Jhn Ldr-Mrn (19 days ago)
Shit just drive em till the break then fixem
Mx L (19 days ago)
Last frontier of free enterprise, but checkpoints and permits every 50km.
James Thornock (19 days ago)
Exactly. lol.
Ryan Larsen (19 days ago)
I think there are very few "cowboy capitalists" out in Africa. It's one thing to make money (which I'm sure they aren't making nearly what they should), but it's another thing to have to live in a shit hole. I guess these guys do it for the adventure more than anything which is fair enough. It was an interesting watch, that much is for sure.
Julio Gonzo (20 days ago)
This is an example of what happens when your diff starts going out and you don't put bananas in it. LMAO! That just made my day
Jesse Lee (15 days ago)
Same here. Brilliant!
Britbong (20 days ago)
So America was born after Africa and is already more developed and the people already have more rights and liberties. I think the issue is Africa.
Ryan Larsen (19 days ago)
Guns, Steel, and Germs. Read it.
g samanyika (20 days ago)
This is why I love trucking in Africa
get high (21 days ago)
they just did horrible research before they went on the road
Hendrik Witbooi (22 days ago)
Should be called "Africa is nothing but a corrupt money-pit for western nations".
anonymous nameless (5 days ago)
Really, you don't know how the world works you fool.
Another Elvis (22 days ago)
So they are trying to bribe people with cameras rolling. No wonder it doesn't work
David (23 days ago)
But how much did they get PAID!
Tom Bombadildo (7 days ago)
$500,000 of your taxes.
Maxwell Barzina (23 days ago)
I love how whenever they talk to the Africans, they put on an accent, like it'll help them understand English
Peter2017 (24 days ago)
shoot Clint deal with fuckwits like that and get what you get
Thabo Kgaphola (24 days ago)
Shoulda bought better trucks , so much fixing and running costs. save a buck while losing so much money?
Gustavo Aquino (28 days ago)
Him: You have a chicken girl: Yes Him: You have bananas girl: Yes Him: Very good
Chris Daniels (28 days ago)
It took them a month to buy the truck. Good lord that’s a country full of lazy pos

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