For Immediate Release
Contact: Lea Ann Scales
Assistant Vice President
of Public Relations and Marketing
November 21, 2011
(Worcester, Mass.) -- International Hip Hop Artist and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal will perform at Worcester State University Tuesday November 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fuller Theatre. The event is sponsored by the Dennis Brutus/Merrill Goldwyn Center for the Study of Human Rights and the WSU Theme Semester, “Worcester in the World.”
Emmanuel Jal was born in war-torn Sudan, and while he doesn’t know exactly when, he believes it was in the early 1980s. He was taken from his family home in 1987 when he was six or seven years old, and sent to fight with the rebel army in Sudan’s bloody civil war. For nearly five years, he was a “child warrior,” put into battle carrying an AK-47 that was taller than he was.
By the time he was 13, he was a veteran of two civil wars and had seen hundreds of his fellow child soldiers reduced to taking unspeakable measures as they struggled to survive on the killing fields of Southern Sudan. After a series of harrowing events, he was rescued by a British aid worker (Emma McCune) who smuggled him into Nairobi to raise him as her own.
To help ease the pain of what he had experienced, Emmanuel started singing. In 2005, he released his first album, Gua (“peace” in his native Nuer tongue), with the title track broadcast across Africa over the BBC and becoming a number one hit in Kenya. Gua also earned him a spot on Bob Geldof’s “Live 8” concert in the United Kingdom.
Jal performed at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in Hyde Park, London, June 08, he shared a stage with Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, Damien Marley and Stephen Marley at the Black Ball in London on July 08, and also addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York in the same month. Jal has also performed with Razorlight, Supergrass, and Faithless in Europe.
Last October, Emmanuel toured the United States as part of the "National Geographic All Roads Film Festival," in which he performed in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and New Orleans. Jal also performed with Moby and Five for Fighting in the 2007 live concert film, "The Concert To End Slavery" (www.concerttoendslavery.com/trailer).
Jal has a full-length documentary on his life and times which has been touring the film festival circuit. It premiered at the Berlinale festival this year, and won the Cadillac audience choice award at the Tribeca film festival.
The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please RSVP at emmanueljal.eventbrite.com or call Jamie in the Center for the Study of Human Rights at 508-929-8871 with questions or to reserve a seat.