Emmanuel Jal at the age of 7 became a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980’s. Through many unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to 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.
Jal has released five studio albums: “Gua”, “Ceasefire”, “Warchild”, “See Me Mama”, and “The Key”. He has collaborated alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Radiohead on the fundraising “ Warchild- Help a Day in a life” album. He has also featured in three “ER” episodes, the National Geographic documentary “God Grew Tired of Us”, and the feature film “Blood Diamond”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. His music is featured on John Lennon’s “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to save Darfur”. Jal has also collaborated with other high profile artist such as Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, DMC, Joss Stone, Nile Rodgers, and Alicia Keys.
Emmanuel Jal’s live performances have included Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert, and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Jal is has taken public speaking roles addressing the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the highest tiers of several governments. He has been involved with the British Council, Clinton Global Initiative, Adolescent Girls Initiative (World Bank in association with Nike Foundation), Child Soldiers Initiative and the launch of Ericsson’s Refugee Reunited Software among many more initiatives.
In 208 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. Jal appeared as the adult in the motion picture “Africa United” in October 2010. One of Jal’s biggest passion is Gua Africa, the charity he founded to work with individuals, families, and communities to help them overcome the effects of war and poverty. Besides building schools, the charity provides scholarships for Sudanese war survivors in refugee camps and sponsors education for children in the most deprived slum areas of Nairobi. Jal continues to raise funds for Gua Africa, Africa Yoga Project and My Start for Windle Trust International.
Emmanuel Jal was nominated for a 2015 Juno Award for “Best World Music Album”. He has previously been awarded the Calgary Peace Prize, the Humanitarian Award from the Hunt Institute, The Dresden Peace Prize, The Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker Prize, and had been honored by Ban Ki Moon at the UN for his peace efforts in South Sudan. Jal continues to tour hundreds of schools, universities, and communities worldwide as part of his We Want Peace educational tour across the US, Europe, Canada, Latin America, and Africa.
Emmanuel Jal was a counsellor at One Young World in Ottawa 2016, Bangkok 2015, and Johannesburg 2013.