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Emmanuel Jal is a former boy soldier from Sudan who has chosen music as a path to make his footprint in the world. After his Toronto performance at Super Market (268 Augusta Ave.) during Canada Music Week, GreenHeroes got a chance to meet with him briefly to hear more about his current journey.

Emmanuel Jal's performance at Super Market, March 12th, 2011. Photo Credit: Elisa L. Iannacone

“The war tore my people, so I can never change my history, but I can use my experience to try to educate young people so that they can change the past mistakes and act now to change the future. (…) I’m an entertainer, but an entertainer with responsibility.” His work, though strongly geared towards peace, is also a call for humanity to take a stance for Earth. Emmanuel Jal has witnessed the destruction of people, and urges us to realize that ‘environment’ is also ‘people’. “The worst people on Earth are not the people who commit the crime, are not the people who pollute the environment, but are the people who sit down and watch it happen.”

Emmanuel Jal on stage. Photo credit: Elisa L. Iannacone

Below is a transcription of a few of the things that Emmanuel mentioned during our interview. Click on the audio link to listen to him speak as you read along.

“A lot of things are happening. There’s issues about wars, there is starvation, there is education, there’s environment crisis now, the world is speaking to us. The world is talking. The Earth is shaking. There’s flooding, there’s famine, you know? Seasons are confused. 90 million tons of CO2 are pumped into the air, every day, and people don’t know the side effects that it creates for the environment.

Like, we are 7 billion people now, and around 2 billion people live comfortably. So the other 4.something billion are probably living on less than dollar-a-day. We’re running out of resources. So if you live according to the standard of England, then only 3 billion people can enjoy the resources. You know, if we live to the standards of India then we can have 15 billion people. We have one part of the world like America. So, the whole world is crumbling because they want to live to the standard of the West. If we try to live to the standard of the West, the resources are not enough, because the Earth cannot sustain that number of people. You see all the wars and all of these things have a side effect.

Environment is not just pollution. It’s also the people, the living things. People are getting killed in Darfour and everywhere; we’re all part of the environment. The worst people on Earth are not the people who commit the crime, are not the people who pollute the environment, but are the people who sit down and watch it happen; because every human being has the power to change. You don’t have to go far, begin with yourself, begin within yourself, what are you doing? You can’t wait for the government to fix it. You need to start fixing it.

You know, if you’re really concerned about the environment, then try to save money and buy a car that is a hybrid. If you care about fair trade, then look for fair trade products and buy them. You see like, if we look at it in terms of genocide, we are intertwined into it. Sometimes you can wear a T-shirt; you don’t know where the ink came from. Or where the cotton came from. You can wear gold or diamond; you don’t know where that diamond came from. Sometimes you don’t know where that fuel comes from, in Sudan we’ve got genocide, Libya-crisis. So all we have to do is take a measure. Slowly by slowly we can make the world a better place. We’re in better times now compared to 60 years ago because we’ve got the Internet—the people’s power. Probably, it was set up for control, but now, the people can use that to make change.”


Visit Emmanuel Jal’s Website for videos, news, releases and social media contact:


For information on GUA Africa, founded by Emmanuel Jal, go to: