Emmanuel Jal’s Visit to Kakuma
The former Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal visited Kakuma refugee camp in the far Northwestern Kenya near to the South Sudan border
Emmanuel Jal arrived in Kakuma on Friday 27th September 2013 where he was received by Film Aid International Kakuma that had invited him to give a concert at the Camp.
His visit was very eventful as he met and interacted with refugees and local artists in the music industry where they gained and exchanged few tricks. “We appreciated his visit not because he is a Sudanese but for the generosity of his contribution for refugees at Kakuma,” said Deng Ajak, an aspiring local musician.
Jal was accompanied by his manager Tania Campbell, DJ Silverstone, his sister Nyarwach and Nyalwal, also performers.
Emmanuel has become an internationally known rapper and activist. His visit to Kakuma was part of “We Want Peace” African tour. “We started in Nairobi last weekend, we shall be heading to Johannesburg, South Africa from 2nd to 5th October and through Zambia on the 7th to 9th,” Jal told KANERE.
Jal had a wonderful concert on Saturday, a thrilling performance that rocked the refugee community that turned up in large numbers. It was not easy to control the overcrowding at a basketball pitch in Kakuma 1 where the show was held.
Among his repertoire, Jal performed several album songs, “We Want Peace” and “Cush”.
A War Child
Emmanuel Jal was a war child. He was only 9 when he was forced to carry a gun. According to Jal all he was taught was to shoot the gun and kill the enemy. “Surrounded with atrocities, harshness and hardship in the line of war, killing fellow human beings breaks my heart,” he said.
Through his narrations Jal was quoted: His siblings were killed, his aunt raped by enemy soldiers, his father joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). His mother was killed when he was young.
British humanitarian Emma McCune rescued his life while he was a soldier in SPLA, by then Emmanuel was in the war zone together with at least seventeen other “lost boys” in the wild before he was rescued. “For the love of Emma McCune” is another album Emmanuel recorded in the past.
However, in recent times, Jal realized that he can use the power of his art or music for activism and forms of unique connection for peace to prevail around the world.