His friend the ex-mercenary finds God

My Friend the Mercenary by James Brabazon is one of the most brutal, true stories you may ever read and yet streaming through it is a remarkable and unlikely friendship.

Brabazon was just beginning his career as a documentary maker and war-correspondent when he was invited to film rebels fighting against dictator Charles Taylor in Liberia, west Africa.

He was introduced to one of Africa’s most notorious mercenaries, Nick du Toit, who had an ambiguous history as part of South Africa’s special forces at the tail end of apartheid.

As James discovered, the sheer need to survive turns the theoretical world of objectivity on its head but also allows friendships to forge that might not otherwise exist.

Alongside the brutal description of rebels executing government soldiers and in one case cutting them up and eating their heart, there is a remarkable, tender portrayal of friendship between two men of different backgrounds.

After Liberia, James is invited by Nick to film the overthrow of the government of Equatorial Guinea. He is part of a small band of mercenaries who are working for the instalment of an exiled leader to replace yet another brutal, corrupt ruler.Read More »