Africa Direct

The Man Who Plants Baobabs: A Burkina Faso hero

Meet El Hadji, the man whose baobab forest provides food and climate protection in Burkina Faso.

El Hadji Salifou Ouédraogo has nurtured thousands of baobab trees from tiny seeds to expansive forests for the past 47 years. The trees in turn help his family, his village and the Earth.

Filmmaker Michel K Zongo’s uplifting film, The Man Who Plants Baobabs, meets this charismatic old man with a youthful spirit and a lifelong commitment to his trees, which are both a lifeline and a legacy for his community.

Michel K Zongo is a cinematographer and director based in Burkina Faso. He has made three feature-length documentaries that have screened internationally and won several awards. He is also the artistic director of the Koudougou Doc Festival and has been an Academy (‘Oscars’) member since 2020.