Toka McBaror, Nigerian filmmaker, says he is shooting a film on the herder-farmer crisis in the north.

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The producer spoke of the film, which is titled ‘Herdsmen’, while featuring on a ChannelsTV news programme.

McBaror said the project is being shot in Kaduna based on real-life events culled from the Mandari, a Fulani tribe.

“The story we’re telling in ‘Herdsmen’ is something that happened close to where I grew up in Kaduna. It’s a story we were privy to. We saw some of the things that went on, got police reports. Some parts of it are fiction,” he said.

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“It’s to teach people that it’s not every Fulani man that is bad. Not every herdsman is a kidnapper. Most stories we hear today, I’m in the north and very involved with the media. We see these things firsthand.

“This is not a pro-Fulani or pr-Biafra story. I’m a filmmaker trying to tell what I know about. I hope, when people see this film, they will be able to give every human being a chance in spite of religion or wherever you come from.”

On the challenges of shooting the film amid the insecurity situation in the northwest, McBaror said his production team had to invest resources in recreating a herdsmen village as against shooting with readily available locations.

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“The security situation [in Kaduna] is tough. There are places I would’ve loved to film but we can’t go there since we don’t have the right financial support to hire the needed security men. We made do with what we have,” he said.

“We had to build a whole village, brought in the cows to make it look like a proper herdmen’s community. It’s tough because, basically, we were supposed to go to places outside town with the natural field. But all that cannot work.

“It’s fiction and about a herdsman. I’m not saying the movie will incite or not incite. I think it’s enjoyable. We’re telling the story we know. I’ve been where a herdsmen village attacked and burnt by supposed fellow herdsmen.

“There’s so much going on. If we don’t tell these stories, who will tell them for us? We won’t be giving people that don’t know about this outside Africa the opportunity to tell our own story. We have to tell it no matter how hard.”

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McBaror has directorial credits for titles like ‘Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons’ (2018), ‘The Millions’ (2019), ‘Double Strings’ (2020), ‘Underbelly’ (2021), ‘Lotanna’ (2017), ‘Cubweb Tomorrow (2014), among other movies.



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