In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven year old Sudanese boy living in a small village. But after his mother was killed and his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade.Orphaned and adrift, Jal lived through horror: marching through miles of desert toward Ethiopia, past the bones of adults and children who had fallen on the trek; witnessing the deaths of friends and family members; killing soldiers and civilians with a gun he could barely lift; starving to the point of near-cannibalism, and coming to the edge of suicide. Remarkably, Jal survived, and his life began to change when he was adopted by a British aid worker. He slowly began the journey that would lead him to music: recording and releasing his own album, which produced the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and from there went on to perform with Moby, Bono, Peter Gabriel, and other international music stars.Shocking, inspiring, and finally hopeful, War Child is a memoir by a unique young man determined to tell his story and in so doing bring peace to his homeland.
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18th Street Films presents War Child, a feature documentary film on Emmanuel Jal, former South Sudanese child soldier turned international hiphop sensation (ER, Blood Diamond, Live8).
Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Emmanuel Jal's memoir War Child: A Child Soldier's Story. In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy living in a small village. But then his mother was killed and his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade.
EMMANUEL JAL lives in London. His music has been featured in the movie Blood Diamond, the documentary God Grew Tired of Us, and in three episodes of ER. He is a spokesman for Amnesty International and Oxfam, and has done work for Save the Children, UNICEF, World Food Programme, Christian Aid, and other charities, and has established his own charitable foundation, Gua Africa, to help former Sudanese child soldiers. He has been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, Newsweek.com, and on NPR, CNN, Fox, MTV, and the BBC. A documentary about Jal’s life, also called War Child, premiered to acclaim at the February 2008 Berlin Film Festival and the April 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. His first U.S. album War Child was released in May 2008. Emmanuel Jal's new album "See Me Mama" is a deeply personal album. Emmanuel’s life has played out on the world stage, and the title track is a tribute to his mother who was killed in the Sudanese conflict; it is an openhearted expression of gratitude for his rescue as a child soldier from the Sudan People's Liberation Army and pride in his music and the possibility of him making a difference for his homeland.
The single, "We Want Peace" (re-loaded), which supports the campaign of the same name, spearheaded by Emmanuel and supported by A-list artists and leading figures from diverse fields. The song features Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and members of Dispatch, Das Racist, OAR and the music video which features Peter Gabriel, Ringo, Alicia Keys, George Clooney, Richard Branson, President Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and many more,
Emmanuel JalMegan Lloyd Davies