"A Global Movement of Positive Energy!"
VERTIKAL LIFE Magazine

 

I just want to say my name is Emmanuel Jal. And I come from a long way. I've been telling a story that has been so painful for me. It's been a tough journey for me, traveling the world, telling my story in form of a book. And also telling it like now. And also, the easiest one was when I was doing it in form of a music.

So I have branded myself as a war child. I'm doing this because of an old lady in my village now, who has lost her children. There is no newspaper to cover her pain, and what she wants to change in this society. And I'm doing it for a young man who wants to create a change and has no way to project his voice because he can't write. Or there is no Internet, like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, for them to talk.

Also, one thing that kept me pushing this story, this painful stories out, the dreams I have, sometimes, is like the voices of the dead, that I have seen would tell me, "Don't give up. Keep on going." Because sometimes I feel like stopping and not doing it because I didn't know what I was putting myself into.

Well, I was born in the most difficult time when my country was at war. I saw my village burned down. The world that meant a lot to me, I saw it vanish in my face. I saw my aunt in rape when I was only five. My mother was claimed by the war. My brothers and sisters were scattered. And up to now, me and my father were detached and I still have issues with him. Seeing people die every day, my mother crying, it's like I was raised in a violence. And that made me call myself a war child.

And not only that, when I was eight I became a child soldier.

I didn't know what was the war for. But one thing I knew was an image that I saw that stuck in my head. When I went to the training camp I say, "I want to kill as many Muslims, and as many Arabs, as possible." The training wasn't easy, but that was the driving force because I wanted to revenge for my family. I wanted to revenge for my village.
Luckily now things have changed because I came to discover the truth. What was actually killing us wasn't the Muslims, wasn't the Arabs. It was somebody sitting somewhere manipulating the system, and using religion to get what they want to get out of us, which is the oil, the diamond, the gold and the land. So realizing the truth gave me a position to choose: should I continue to hate, or let it go?

Published in World Changers
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