“I believe I survived for a reason… to tell my story… to touch lives.”
In the war-torn region of Southern Sudan, Emmanuel Jal was born into the life of a child solider on an unknown date in the early 1980s. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences.
Emmanuel has recently released his fourth album See Me Mama on October 2nd, 2012 and has released three other studio albums: Gua, Ceasefire and Warchild. His music can also be heard alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Radiohead on the fundraising album for Warchild – Help! A Day in the Life, as well as in the feature film Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Emmanuel’s live appearances have included Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Emmanuel is in demand as a speaker and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the highest tiers of several governments.
In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown.
In December 2010, Jal released We Want Peace, as part of the wider campaign of the same name calling for peace, protection and justice for all in Sudan ahead of the January 2011 referendum, but also calling for an end to all conflicts affecting innocent people around the world.
Emmanuel is currently playing a lead role alongside Reese Witherspoon in The Good Lie, a major motion picture which follows the journey of three ‘Lost Boys’ from South Sudan to the US.
One of Jal’s biggest passions is Gua Africa, the charity he has founded to work with individuals, families and communities to help them overcome the effects of war and poverty.