Weeks ago, the nation lost one of the most promising young artists, Mabor Abud Mathiang popularly known as Emma 47. He was killed in a cowardice ambush by reported Riek Machar‘s allied rebels along Juba-Nimule highway at around 8AM.
He became the latest victim in the wake of mass ambushes carried out against innocent travelers who cannot afford air tickets to and from Juba. His murder shocked South Sudanese all over the world as mourning went viral on the social media.
To many people, he has been described as friendly and kind, yes he is the most humble and discipline artist I know in Juba. He is a close friend and a label-mate of my little brother John Frog. I normally cheer him up as Emma 48 when they come to my place because I believe he is greater than 47 and he always told me “I will upgrade soon”.
In a tribute to this young man, the Jubans on Saturday at The Nest Bar broke down into emotions after a DJ paused the spinning and said “ I know you out here to have a good time but we are in grieve, we have lost a brother in the hands of losers along Juba-Nimule road. And tonight, we are here to tell them that we love him and we can celebrate his life and his talents. He put an empty bucket on the stage and called on the clubbers to drop in whatever little money they have to support the family of the deceased. Then he played one of Emma 47’s hit songs, ANA MA ZOL BATAL, loosely translated “I am not a bad person”.
It became an emotional night but at some point, it became a moment of a rare unity amongst South Sudanese. I am not really an emotional person but I got lost in thoughts when I was listening to his lyrics. Two ladies next to our table broke down into tears while the other one rushed to stop the DJ from playing the song.
The condemnations and rejections of Emma 47’s killing at that moment says a lot about our stand against the ongoing killing of innocent civilians and particularly the ongoing political violence in the country. The massive lineup amongst the clubbers to fill the bucket with little they have in this unfavorable economic crisis was a testimony that South Sudanese were never divided and that they can still stand in solidarity with each other in daunting times.
The death of Emma 47 like so many others who lost their lives along this road is a reminder to our government that it has failed to perform it simplest job it supposed to be doing, providing security.
By Mariak Michael