Emmanuel Jal performs Warchild (YouTube)
Hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal has an inspirational tale to tell. And he is one to watch at the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend.
Equal parts musician, activist and author, Emmanuel Jal was at one time a child soldier in South Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, he managed to escape with some help into Kenya, where life still did not come easy. But he has survived and emerged as a world-famous recording artist. Music has become Jal's salvation and today he combines hip-hop with world beats in multiple languages to sing out messages of hope and reconciliation.
Called an artist "with the potential of a young Bob Marley" by Peter Gabriel, he has performed at Live 8 and Nelson Mandela's 90th b-day concert. His music can be heard in major motion pictures and on TV.
Today, Emmanuel calls for worldwide peace through music and education. He is a spokesperson for Amnesty International and Oxfam, and created the charitable foundation, Gua Africa.
He's performing at the Folk Festival's Big Blue stage Friday night at 9:00, on the Big Bluestem stage Saturday at 12:45, and on the Green Ash stage on Sunday at 11:00 a.m..
We dare you not to be inspired.
Watch for Emmanuel Jal on CBC News on Friday evening and listen to him here on Up to Speed: