Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Jal's War Child Movie Is Showing

Nairobi – May 5, 2009 - An internationally acclaimed hip hop artist, author and filmmaker, Emmanuel Jal, has teamed up with a mobile company, Zain, for two fundraising concerts in Jal’s homeland, Southern Sudan, and his second home, Kenya. The concert in Juba will take place at Nyakuron Cultural Center May 3, and the event at Carnivore in Nairobi will be on May 9. With Zain sponsoring the event, all the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit GUA Africa, a nonprofit working to build a school in Leer, Southern Sudan.

Jal was a child soldier during the civil war in his country, until he was rescued and smuggled to Nairobi by a British aid worker, Emma McCune. The school, to be named Emma Academy, will educate children displaced by war and affected by poverty. To raise awareness and funds for the school, Jal has been eating one meal a day for more than 140 days. He will continue doing so until all funds are raised. His “Lose to Win Challenge” aims at donating the money saved from the meals to the campaign, as well as showing that one meal is a daily ration for many children in Southern Sudan. The campaign has raised $87,000 so far, with the goal of $300,000.

“Aid will not help us; education provides enlightenment and opens our minds, giving us many ways to survive and prosper. What we need is to build more schools and give farmers tools,” Jal said.

The concerts will feature Gatwitch Records’ Juliani and Nyaruach, as well as Lam, Kanjii, Michelle and Giel. In Juba, tickets can be purchased from April 29 at Nyakurueng Cultural Center. In Nairobi, tickets will be available on the same date at Carnivore and all Zain locations. Besides the funds raised from ticket sales, donations for the school will be accepted at the gate, as well as via Zain’s Zap. To donate to the school, SMS 0733 120 000.

Their will be a complimentary screening of War Child movie at prestige plaza on May 7th at 6pm. Audiences from New York to Berlin to London rave about this award-winning documentary on Emmanuel Jal, the hip-hop artist with a terrifying past and a kind soul. Interspersing original interviews, live concerts, and rare footage of Jal as a 7-year-old boy, War Child will make viewers cry, laugh, dance, and celebrate the power of hope.
Emmanuel Jal has won worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his experiences as a child soldier in Sudan. His music can be heard alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Radiohead on the fundraising “Warchild - Help a Day in the Life” album, as well as in three ER episodes, the National Geographic documentary “God Grew Tired of Us” and the feature film “Blood Diamond” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He can also be heard on John Lennon’s “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur” amongst the likes of U2, REM and Lenny Kravitz.

Jal performed at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2008, and is invited to sing again at his 91st birthday concert this year. In February 2009, he ran the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, commemorating the U.S. Black History Month. Emmanuel Jal’s third album, “War Child” was released in May 2008. A full-length documentary on his life premiered the same year and won a number of international awards. His autobiography was published in February 2009.

Despite his accomplishments in music, Jal’s biggest passion is for GUA Africa, a nonprofit he founded to sponsor children’s education in Kenya and Sudan. The organization provides scholarships for Sudanese war survivors in refugee camps and sponsors education for children in the most deprived slum areas in Nairobi.

For several months now, he has been eating one meal a day to raise awareness and funds to build a school in Leer, South Sudan, where Emma McCune is resting. He committed to skip every breakfast, lunch and snack until the last brick of Emma Academy is laid.
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