Public and Keynote speaker; musician; actor; author; advocate
A need for change; overcoming adversity; motivating youth; global understanding; anecdotes of his life and experiences
From his start in life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s, Emmanuel Jal has come through a huge number of struggles during his life to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador.
Drawing on his personal experiences and background, he speaks and performs with a strong message of reconciliation and peace, and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the very highest level of several governments.
During his career, he has been involved with a number of global charity organisations, including the British Council, the Child Soldiers Initiative, Amnesty International – as part of their 2010 World Refugee Day Campaign – and Oxfam.
As part of his work, he has spoken alongside some of the major players in the world of global humanitarianism, including Kofi Annan and Martti Ahtisaari for CMI in Finland, Matt Dillon for Refugees International and Angelina Jolie at the ICC for Cinema for Peace.
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. He has also appeared in the film Africa United, which was released in 2010.
Also in 2010, Jal released ‘We Want Peace’, part of a wider campaign of the same name that called for peace, protection and justice for all of Sudan, as well as calling for an end to all conflicts that affect innocent people around the world. This campaign is supported by a number of A-list stars and leading figures from diverse fields.
For his outstanding commitment to peace building, Jal was awarded the Common Ground Award in 2011, and became part of an elite group of award holders, such as Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Ali. In 2012, he was asked to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, and performed at the G20 summit in Mexico.