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Bandit Warlords of Zamfara: Yusuf Anka makes Rory Peck Awards 2022 finals


Nigerian journalists Yusuf Anka has been nominated as one of the finalists for the Rory Peck Awards 2022.

Anka earned the slot over the in-depth investigative documentary “Bandit Warlords of Zamfara” he conducted with BBC Africa.

Rory Peck Trust announced this in a tweet on its Twitter handle on Thursday.

Announcing the nomination for the awards, Rory Peck tweeted:

“The Judges have made their decisions and we are thrilled to announce the #RoryPeckAwards 2022 Finalists!

“Our talented finalists have been selected out of 100’s of entries, with investigations covering the globe, from Ukraine to Nigeria.”

The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara was commissioned by BBC World Service and packaged in a captivating movie.

Reacting to the movie, the Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs Jury summarised:

“Nobody has ever told a comprehensive story of what is going on there. This film really opened our eyes and I felt a very strong connection watching the piece.

“The film has exposed the gravity of an almost unreported crisis: thousands killed, a million people displaced, hundreds of schools closed.

“It features mothers who’ve seen their kids slaughtered, schoolgirls who have survived captivity, a teenage girl who has been burned and slashed by vigilantes, and a teenage boy killed by Nigerian soldiers.

“It is an unflinching portrayal of a story that desperately needed to be told.

“It has also put faces to the “bandits” who have been, until now, like ghosts in the Nigerian imagination. Nigerians can now see these men and listen to their accounts of their own motivations.

“Finally, the film has forced Nigerian to face a deeply uncomfortable reality: that this conflict contains an element of ethnic hatred.”

Yusuf Anka’s biography

Yusuf Anka is a 26 year-old law student and journalist who grew up in Zamfara State in north western Nigeria.

As an undergraduate he began reporting on the conflict in Zamfara for the Nigerian newspaper HumAngle and, in 2019, working with BBC Africa Eye on a documentary film about the violence.

Over almost three years, at tremendous personal risk, Yusuf gained unprecedented access to protagonists on all sides of this conflict.

The result was the documentary “The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara” — a film which revealed, for the first time, the true scale and horror of the violence that has engulfed the country’s north west and sparked a major national conversation in Nigeria.

Yusuf is now working towards a master’s degree in international humanitarian law at Nile University in Abuja. Read more.


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