Inside Emmanuel Jal’s Eye, South Sudan Glows

By Dak Buoth Riek Gaaq,


Emmanuel Jal a South Sudanese musician, former child soldier, and political activist, post with UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon(Photo: via Jal's socials)
Emmanuel Jal a South Sudanese musician, former child soldier, and political activist, post with UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon(Photo: via Jal’s socials)

23rd Nov, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — ‘‘Anyone who never listened to roots live in delusion believing that music is primarily meant for entertainment only’’

I began jotting this piece when he was performing live on Saturday night at Nation Television (NTV) on Lary Madow’s Show popularly known as ‘‘the trend’’ If it weren’t for that Show, perhaps I would have continued watching my favorite channel, the Citizen TV where am a regular viewer. I got inclined to Citizen TV through its Thursday program dubbed the ‘‘opinion court’’ hosted by Ann Kaguta and its senior analysis Prof. Kisiagani and also the ‘‘Cheche’’ where opinion counts’’ hosted by former BBC radio reporter Udwak Amimo, David Makali and Mutegi NJau.

The ‘‘trend’’ portrayed Jal that night as an acclaimed hip pop guru and astute orator. The interview was entirely appetizing as it has always been; of course no doubt about that, because when it comes to interviews or presentations in whichever forum, be it the ‘‘Hard Talk’’ with Steven Sucker or in then ‘‘Capital Talk with Jeff Koinage at the Bench or ‘‘the frost’’ in Aljazera, name them, nobody can wag a tail; for that is where you will lively experiment and feel Emmanuel Jal’s whole sagacity and agility in spite of how the interviewer twisted the questions. The show didn’t take long, but he did utilize the time to satisfied his fun who were anxiously waiting in desperation to quench their thirst from what he was going to showcase; mainly his avant- garde film ‘‘the Good Lie’’ and his new Album ‘‘ the Key’’ and ‘‘ my power’’

Folks, this Movie (Good Lie) is such a world class one; and I must confidently forecast here that it’s just a matter of time before they scoop International accolade for it. The other visionary project that he said was on course and is likely to feature soon, was the plan to have a collabo with some talented young artists like Juliani of Kenya, singers from Tanzania and other artists from as far as Zaire as Mobutu Sseko early named it in his Living Manifesto, ‘‘return to authenticity’’ once that project is done, am certain it will feature greatly continentally; for it is going to ‘‘assist in highlighting issues pertaining disease control mechanisms especially about the endemic Ebola that continue to rocked parts of our continent and beyond’’

Musically, since my days in high school, I have been and remained a doyen and ardent listener of roots reggae; and it as a result of many years of listening to roots that I told people in the start of this excerpt that, ‘‘anyone who never listened to roots reggae will die in delusion believing that music is primarily meant for entertainment only; roots music have contributed profoundly in the shaping and fostering of my philosophical clarity and ideological balance.

The cardinal aim of roots reggae is the realization of oneself, actual practice and teaching to become brother and sister’s keeper; respect for the elders but not fear the elders. Unfaltering resistance to dethrone status quo; cultural preservation, social justice, equality, national cohesion; respect, promote and protect one another’s dignity notwithstanding their creed, complexion and empowerment other than dis-empowerment, disenchantment and or disfranchisement; commitment to voluntarism in the advocacy for self-reliance in the third world countries et cetera.

That is the bedrock for which roots reggae is coined in the prophesies of Marcus Masiah Garvey and the Holy Emperor, Haile Selasie, hence, after paying keen attention to Emmanuel Jal’s works particularly the ‘‘the stronger’’ ‘‘Mama, we wants peace and the likes’’ i find a flavor similar to that of late Dube, Wallers, Joseph Hills and other reggae sound giants. as such, I noticed his music passionately striving for advancement of inter communities peace, justice, rule of law and respect for each other in African society and across the world.

Relatively, you must as well know that I am not just a mere news consumer, for I occasionally make news. My last Television bit was on 24th September 2014 at the State owned Television, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) on its regular morning show‘‘Good Morning Kenya’’ I featured with Manyuon Mach and Gabriel Gai Deng.You can login and have a glimpse of that debate titled, ‘‘south Sudan focus’’ Before then, if you fondly remember, I and comrade Kocrup Makuach were on the front pages of the Daily Nation and Standard Newspapers when the duo lengthily covered our historical Press Conference held on the 26th December 2013 under the umbrella ‘‘Congress of south Sudanese Patriots’’

The Left-wing Youth who spoke vividly that day have had their voice recorded in this ongoing south Sudan post Arab struggle for democracy. Daily Nation quoted Atem Ayuel that day as saying, ‘‘ south Sudan should adopt liberal constitution if the ongoing violence is to be quell and never to recur, that mean if the ongoing peace will just be a truce; obviously there will be another order ventolin inhaler political turmoil in the near future unless we have a laws that are centered in the people; ‘‘that we should draft a constitution for posterity and probably adapt from Kenya or the United State of America constitutions which entrench the democracy we fought for; ‘‘that the ongoing war must be promptly halted because we are losers at the end of the day, whether you kill many of the government side or kill many of the opposition side, it is south Sudan that is losing, that are killing each other; and it is that we are at lose all of us’’ partly, he dismissed those who were parroting preaching unsubstantial coup claims as undemocratic, that they will eventually be in for rude shock.

Kocrup said ‘‘it is very shameful that only two years into independence we have thrown our country to the dogs’’ Odola Owar strongly urged the entangled political leadership in the country to realized that the nation is bigger than individuals. They had also produced my inner words which I read in the press statement ‘‘we want to categorically state that the ongoing conflict is not a war between Nuer and Dinka as reported in various sources that have had a privileged to report on the same, we want to tell you out of our own convictions that it is a political and ideological tussle within the ruling political party and has nothing to do with innocent members of these communities’’www.dailynation.southsudanstudentsinkenya

Several other nationalists, the likes of Kim Bany Joak, Benjamin Uburu, Chol Gabriel, Kuajien Kujiek and other Patriots were also at the forefront. In solidarity, Emmanuel Jal shared those memorable words via twitter and social media title ‘‘A shout to Dak Buoth Gabriel’’ I applauded him for his moral support.Those statements remain unchallengeable to date; in fact they are in the preamble of all the peace matrices that have been adopted by the IGAD that brokered the peace deal. Surprisingly, one early morning at about 5:30am, Kocrup rang me saying that certain disgraceful gentlemen told him that I and him like appearing in newspapers and television as if they are our mothers. I told him that is also his opinion for Voltaire still right in his words, ‘‘I may disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it’ In nutshell, I would say the conglomeration of Jal’s current and previous musical works is a simple expression of things he passionately holds right. The notable attitude that I admire of him most is, his ingrained simplicity, consistency, hard-work, creativity, growing desire for music, literacy and activism; on other hand, the manner in which he articulate those ideals is worth emulating and imitating.

More often, it is improper in the African culture to eulogize aman when he is still alive, but to write about Jal behove me to paint his picture as a progressive and responsible citizen who is so courageous to live a life true to himself and not the life expected of him by others. In the course of life, you often meet people who distinguish themselves in a way that makes you admire them, it may be their character or the achievements that they have done.

His unwavering clamour for peace, justice and refusal to be complacent made him garnered praises and critics in equal measure across the divides; but unsurprisingly, those are the dynamics of truth telling; as the old adage invoke ‘‘say the truth and the truth will sets you free” but before it set you free it first makes you miserable. If you verily recall at the independent celebration on the 9th July 2011, he was the only celebrity whom the current ineptitude authority never invited, yet the rest of celebrities who never even identity themselves as proud nationals of that country leave alone their contribution were officially accorded official invitation to attend the celebration.

I alleviated him as a true student of Mandel’s school of thought, he is somebody who not only say the rights but do the right things,and that distinguish him from those who are there visualizing thing passively forgetting that their silent greatly abet the perpetuation of injustice and misrule. ‘‘There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial and tribal reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality; there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissents from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sideline, comfortable in complacency or cronyism when our voices must be heard’’

Finally, we must now realize that south Sudan is on a deathbed, and as its rightly puts ‘‘when people are confronted with death, they get clarity of vision and see thing as never before’’we must unconditionally terminate this ongoing ethnics chauvinism and look at things broadly and objectively putting in consideration that the world is embracing globalization. Inside Emmanuel Jal’s Eye,South Sudan Glows.

The writer is a Student; he can be reach for comments via eligodakb@yahoo.com

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Editorial Team.

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