Emmanuel Jal

Former child soldier, Political Activist, and Musician

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, Mr. Jal 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.

Mr. Jal has released four studio albums: Gua, Ceasefire, Warchild and See Me Mama. 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.

Mr. Jal has been involved with the British Council, Clinton Global Initiative, Adolescent Girls Initiative (World Bank in association with the Nike Foundation), Child Soldiers Initiative and the launch of Ericsson’s Refugees Reunited Software.

Despite his accomplishments in music and film, one of Mr. 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. 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 in Nairobi. Gua Africa is now fundraising to complete phase 2 of ‘Emma Academy’ the education centre in Leer named after the British aid worker Emma McCune who rescued Emmanuel from a life as a child soldier.