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Emmanuel Jal's eclectic space

 At home with Emmanuel Jal.

Hailing from the crossroads of South Sudan and Canada, Emmanuel Jal’s multifaceted force of creativity, resilience, and inspiration is as captivating as it is empowering.

From the harrowing experiences of being a child soldier to his evolution into a celebrated artiste, actor, and political activist, Emmanuel’s life is a testament to the power of resilience and the pursuit of one’s dreams. His autobiography, A Child Soldier’s Story, published in 2009, offers a raw and intimate glimpse into his remarkable journey.

But Emmanuel’s story does not end there. With the recent launch of his latest book, The Art of Life, he invites readers into a world of boundless possibilities and unwavering optimism.

Stepping into Emmanuel’s abode he co-shares with his manager Tania is like entering a realm where creativity knows no bounds. Each corner is adorned with a unique touch, reflecting his eclectic taste and artistic flair. As I settled into the main luminous green sofa set, Emmanuel’s eyes gleamed with pride. “I painted this seat,” he said, unveiling his ingenuity.

At that moment, I realised that Emmanuel’s brilliance transcends boundaries – from his courageous journey of survival to his ingenious hacks for transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary sanctuaries. With the right fabric and a touch of imagination, he proves that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Emmanuel’s story is not just one of survival; it is a celebration of resilience, creativity, and the unwavering belief that life, no matter the challenges, is truly fabulous. The beauty isn’t just found – it’s celebrated in every corner, capturing the essence of his remarkable journey and indomitable spirit.

As we ventured deeper into his abode, the symphony of colours and textures greeted us with open arms. Each sofa seat, adorned with vibrant velvet and meticulously designed cushions, whispered tales of comfort and style. Instagram-worthy moments awaited at every turn as if the walls themselves were curated for the lens.

Yet, amidst the visual feast, one masterpiece stood tall – a golden lampshade fashioned as a palm tree, casting a celestial glow that transcended mere illumination; it was a beacon of resilience and hope. “Tania bought this at a flea market in London,’’ said Emmanuel.

Emmanuel’s story, etched into the very fabric of his Nairobi temporary home, defies the limits of human endurance. From the depths of despair as a child soldier to the pinnacle of inspiration, his journey embodies the triumph of the human spirit.

But it’s not just the grandeur that captivates; it’s the intricate details that paint a picture of joy and resilience. Layers of textures evoke the warmth of a summer’s day, while vibrant art pieces breathe life into every corner.

A colossal glass table, seemingly suspended in time, commands attention with its sheer magnificence. As we pass through the arch, adorned in a kaleidoscope of hues, the dining area beckons with promises of shared laughter and cherished memories.

One wall, adorned with a tapestry of printed pictures, serves as a testament to Emmanuel’s, his manager’s Tania’s family and friends’ adventures and triumphs – a gallery of moments that inspire and uplift.

As we meandered through the halls, my gaze was drawn to a showstopper – a painting crafted by his manager Tania. Its textures, depth, and untold stories held me spellbound, a masterpiece that transcended mere canvas.

Flanking this masterpiece, raffia hats from Lamu adorned the walls, infusing the space with coastal vibes and textures that whispered tales of distant shores. But it wasn’t just the walls that spoke volumes; the brass light fixture, delicately folded like an earring, cast a warm glow that enveloped the home in a perfect cocoon of comfort and intimacy.

Every wall, every corner, was adorned with extraordinary art pieces, each telling a story of its own. The corridor, leading to the bedroom, boasted black and white themed art pieces, framed like windows into another world.

Emmanuel’s master en suite was a sight to behold. Amidst lavender headboard and sprayed gold leaf motif, a top-notch DJ deck took centrestage – a testament to his self-taught prowess behind the turntables.’

“This room and the house is my manager’s work and space. She is artistic and very creative, I don’t take credit for any of the décor influence.’’ 

Classic lampshades adorned the side tables, while a pretty art piece next to the DJ deck spoke volumes of his love for the creative arts.

“A friend nudged me, urging me to learn the art of deejaying – not just for visibility or finances, but for the sheer joy of self-expression for my music too.”

As I perused Emmanuel’s best-selling books, The Art of Life and A Child Solder Story  – it was a testament to the transformative power of resilience, creativity, and the unwavering pursuit of one’s passions. 

- Watch this Amazing episode on the YouTube channel and watch Art of Living every Thursday at 8pm on KTN Home. 

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