Musician, actor, author and advocate Emmanuel Jal believes he survived childhood struggles so he could tell his story and touch lives. The former child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan will offer his theme of peace for Sudan through his hip-hop music at Ursinus College Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.
Emmanuel became an award-winning recording artist, and has received worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip-hop with its message of peace and reconciliation. His latest single, “We Want Peace,” from his upcoming album, See Me Mama stems from his personal experiences of war and displacement.
Emmanuel has released three studio albums: Gua, Ceasefire and Warchild. His music can also be heard alongside Coldplay, Gorillaz, and Radiohead on the fundraising Warchild – Help a Day in the Life album, and in the feature film “Blood Diamond.” Emmanuel’s live appearances have included Live 8 and Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert. He has addressed the United Nations, U.S. Congress, and in 2010 he was involved with the British Council, Clinton Global Initiative, Adolescent Girls Initiative, Child Soldiers Initiative and the launch of Ericsson’s Refugees Reunited Software. He was one of the faces of Amnesty International’s 2010 World Refugee Day Campaign and appeared at Alicia Keys’ “Keep a Child Alive Black Ball 2010” in London. This year he has taken part in the Oxfam Climate Change Campaign and CNN Freedom Project.
In 2008 a full-length documentary on Emmanuel’s life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown. Jal also appears in the film Africa United, a Pathé, UK Film Council and BBC Films presentation in association with Warner Bros, released in October 2010.
In addition to his accomplishments in music and film, one of Jal’s 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. In December 2010, Jal released We Want Peace, as part of a wider campaign calling for peace, protection and justice for all in Sudan, and everywhere.