James Brabazon was recently featured on National Public Radio’s popular weekend program ‘Snap Judgment’ were he described his experience filming a documentary about the war in Liberia. To listen to the interview, visit Snap Judgment .
James Brabazon is an award-winning frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in London, he has travelled in over seventy countries, investigating, filming and directing in the world’s most hostile environments. His awards include the Rory Peck Trust Sony International Impact Award 2003, the Rory Peck Freelancer’s choice Award 2003, and the IDA Courage Under Fire Award 2004. He has made over thirty international current affairs films broadcast by the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, SABC and the Discovery Channel. He lectures on the ethics and practicalities of reporting from war zones and his writing has been published in the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian (www.jamesbrabazon.com).
In a fly-blown bar in West Africa, British war reporter James Brabazon found himself being briefed on covert military plans to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea by one of Africa’s most notorious mercenaries – his friend Nick du Toit. The Byzantine plot, its farcical execution and its tragic consequences led to Simon Mann and a host of celebrated guns-for-hire falling victim to their own avaricious plans, Machiavellian scheming and ruthless double-crosses. In a twist of fate, James Brabazon remained free. His mercenary friend wasn’t so lucky. Nick du Toit was sentenced to serve thirty-four years in Black Beach prison, Africa’s most notorious jail – a sentence which James could have been serving alongside him. Their unlikely friendship began two years earlier on the bloody battlefields of the Liberian civil war. With Nick as his bodyguard, James was the only journalist to film behind rebel lines. Establishing him as a brave and talented filmmaker, the war tested James’s physical and moral boundaries to the limit – and opened a door on to a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies and violent regime change. MY FRIEND THE MERCENARY recounts James’s courageous journey into the Liberian war, and tells the inside story of the most infamous coup attempt in recent history. Through this gripping narrative, James Brabazon explodes the myth of the modern mercenary, and paints a moving portrait of an extraordinary friendship. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor and friend in the morally corrosive crucible of war