[16days_discussion] [WorkingWithBoysandMen] Fw: War child sings songs of peace

Ravi Karkara rkarkara at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 26 12:12:48 EDT 2009

June 26th, 2009 
War child sings songs of peace 
Posted by: Alison
“When you see a Sudanese walking
on the street there is a story,” child soldier turned hip-hop star Emmanuel
Jal says. 
That’s certainly true for Jal.
He was sent to fight for Sudan People’s Liberation Army when he was just
six years old. 
The exact dates are sketchy, but
in about 1987, his village in southern Sudan was attacked by soldiers loyal
to the Khartoum government, during more than two decades of north-south
civil war. 
His mother was killed and he was
taken into the SPLA and taught to fire a rifle he was barely strong enough
to hold. With the help of a British aid worker, he managed to escape to
neighbouring Kenya and today is known
for his music and messages of peace. 
More than 20,000 child soldiers
have been demobilised since the war that killed 2 million people ended
in 2005. 
His experience was turned into a
documentary, “War Child”, which he went back to Kenya from his base in
London to promote. 
“Kenya is my home, this is where
I became known as a rapper … so I’m bringing the movie home to see what
had happened into the neighbouring country, for them to know why we are
refugees here,” he told Reuters Africa Journal in Kenya. 
His songs draw heavily on his history
and that of Africa.One, he told Africa Journal, is a letter to the oil,
diamond and gold miners: “You take the riches and you leave the people
“I talk about when it comes to
Africa the world don’t care,” he said. 
Nairobi resident Moses Mbaja said:
“Jal gave up his anger, he gave up his hatred and now he is creating peace;
he is making peace. We should all embrace it.” 
(Reuters Photo: Sudanese child soldiers
guard rebel military headquarters in February 2000) 

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