Cobwebs Director Toka Mcbaror speaks on his career and goals

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BON: Good day sir, can we meet you?
TOKA: My name is Toka mcbaror am a producer, director, film maker, cinematographer, an editor a camera personnel also am a laborer.
BON: Being a director, how many movies have you produced so far?
TOKA: Being a director is not about producing movies alone there are music videos, commercials, documentary’s there are so many thing that is entails but for making movies as a director I can’t really place my finger on it I have never actually thought about it until now but I think the one I can remember recently I will say 7 because I have not done so many jobs for the obvious reason.
BON: What are the reasons?
TOKA: Am a difficult person to work with I think so, especially in this part of the world because of my timing and working in Nigeria is tough because most Nigerians likes to take short cut what I mean by that is that a script writer can write a whole script and bring it to you and you are okay with it you like it and when you get on set and you are shooting scene 7 and you are asking for the props that you saw in the script and that is when the propsman tells you ,we couldn’t provide it let just improvise with this it will be okay I reject a lot of job because of that, I do the job I know am comfortable with at least even if we will compromise, it won’t be so much if you can’t provide 100 percent property that is the props you need on set at least provide up to 80 then we can improvise 20percent so that it won’t looks bad.
BON: Have you ever feature in Nollywood movie before?
TOKA: I featured in one in 2004 but I can’t remember the title is a film by Patience Ozokwor and Amaechi Muonagor was my elder brother the late (Franca Blanka Egborha) was my girlfriend in the movie.
BON: How did you get into the industry?
TOKA: Being in a movie industry is something I have always wanted as a child, we had a neighbour who works in NTA Kaduna then his name is Alh Adulahi Nuhuhe,he was a cameraman and a director in NTA and he is also the linear editor that was like 1993 I was a very small boy then so we follow him to his office me and his son Monsurul Abdulahi but the son wasn’t interested in all this this stuff so I started learning camera works and editing, then we edit jingles with what they call analog visual mixer we started doing voice over then for him as a young boy for Hausa children programme because I speak Hausa very well so it is from that time I started but sometime in 1998 I now discover that this is something I really want to do but I knew am not an actor I can act yet but I want more I wanted to make Nollywood better so, I started thinking on how to make it better, how do this people achieve this that we can achieve so that is how I started digging deep trying to look for other ways to interpret stories and for me unfortunately I was asked very recently that under whom did I train it broke my heart when I say no one under who do I do my apprenticeship who taught me editing I said no one which school did you go to learn it I said I didn’t go to school to learn editing or to learn camera they said okay no one is an island and I said it is true but that is the actual truth that I learnt editing by spoiling one pastors computer I spoil that computer over and over again.
BON: There are so many directors out there, how do you cope with competitions?
TOKA: Well I am one of those people that believes the sky is large enough to accommodate everybody there is no director in this country or anywhere else in the world that can be the one directing all the movies but as a matter of fact some of us have more opportunity than others ,there are so many good directors out there at least I know a lot of directors in the north I call them directors because that is what they are I have trained a couple of them they are very good but the opportunity to be seen is not there so as for me there is no competition in Nigeria yet there is no competition in Africa because yet because I don’t think we have started who are you competing with is it Bro Kelani Or Kunle Afolayan (cut in) who are we competing with we are very view we need more directors this is just a small riot it needs to become a war when we will be making a movie that will be hitting the American box office that will be in the house castle then we will know we are in competition for now there are so many untouched stories so many untouched ideas there is just too much to do. Someone asked me why am I not making musical video anymore that is it that the competition kicked me out I said no it is simple I have to be logical and I have to be a business man I have been making musical video for more than 10years I have make big music video of the year, I won music video award twice and so on , I think I have done my beat in the music video industry when the new artists are coming up the younger guys are coming up the 18, 19, 20 year old are coming up they have their own director they can relate with easily that they flow with I don’t know what me and Wizkid will be discussing if we seat in a place gisting, our gist will not just tally because we are not flowing in the same rem or me and Davido so it is difficult for him to come and give me a job am probably seeing as old school,i am not an old school for me I know what the time is saying it is not because you can’t compete anymore but it is simple no matter how good in football you are once you are 30 year old the club will look for another new striker because they know your time is getting up so you need to know when to move where to invest how to invest, for me as a person I want to be a director for the next 50 years making movies there is no film director anywhere that will tell you that because am 50 year old a can’t retiring and I can not produce movies anymore because then you will be making (cut in) there is no competition take it from me there is no competition because you shoot a village film it works you shoot a city film it works you shoot a film for teenagers it works you shoot you shoot a film for children it works so I don’t think there is anything to be worried about just know your game understand it and enjoy it that is it.
BON: Can you tell us about your love life?
TOKA: Nooo
BON: How do you cope with female admires?
TOKA: you know like the Bible say let me take you back to bible it says because of your presence ointment virgin are drawn to you the biggest problem of any creative person is the opposite sex because women like people that are creative men like creative women too so it is left for you like the usual problem that most director have we have many women that want to be in the industry and they look at you they see that you are the one that has the key to the taxi that will take them into the feature they will want to clinch you but it takes a lot of discipline on your own side as a man me as a man I am not going to stand here and tell you that I am the Holly Spirit or Holly Mary the through is simple it takes grace to overlook all this girls because they are getting finer and finer and they are getting nicer and nicer and they appear to be very sincere most of them are sincere but you need to know that you need to run or sometimes fly. Take it from me if you sleep with the first woman you will sleep with the second one and before you know it you have slept with the whole community so, as a matter of fact people don’t like to say this but it is true the biggest distraction we have is opposite sex and money and the reason why we are looking for the money is because of the woman so I am telling you this very sincere it is not an easy way to cope especially when you are not a bad looking person if you have one face that looks like back of a horse it’s a different matter entirely but when your face is fine me self I try I know say I no wowo, I fit no they among the fine boys because my belle is big small. Any time the thing hold you and you feel like being with a woman you go home to go and enjoy your life with the one God has blessed you with stay there for a long time before you come outside.
BON: Do you think Nigerian government is doing well in terms of contribution to the industry?
TOKA: Well compare to what is it some years ago like seven eight years ago I will tell you the truth, they are doing better but they are not doing well I strongly believe that when our association I mean the Association of Film Maker will now decide to make a movie that will look into the feature of the country instead of propagating the nation in such a negative line alone then I think the government will support more because government cannot put money into something that is not constructive we are not yet together we are not yet formed anybody can just wake up now and bring his ten, five million that he wants to shoot a film so we are not yet organize enough for the government to be able to say okay. All the money millions that the government has been putting down some people are getting them and some people are not the money is there for the taking but if your business plan is not organize enough nobody will just carry money and give because you are a film maker you want to shoot film somewhere. The way I think government could help us is by given us access to some of the government facilities in this country, if you want to shoot about the military by the time you go to Jaji they refer you back to kashia you reach there they send you back to Enugu before you know they will send you to Borno because you want to us some certain things that are owned by the government in abroad this procedure are there but it is not as tedious as our own, our own they will probe everything and you will have to go and pay a lot of money so am telling you this on a sincere note we have a problem but I think the moment the film maker start getting organize the government will come in more but for now they are doing their best.
BON: What is your take on Boko Haram?
TOKA: Well I will be very frank with you Boko Haram in my mind is a group of people that want to be had they are not sure of what they want to be had for they want to be had they want to create problem and I think they are succeeding because I hear people in the south I hear some people in the north everybody is blaming the present government

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