Emmanuel Jal is a Sudanese hip hop musician, entrepreneur, and former child soldier of Sudan's second civil war, which took place between 1983 and 2005. Jal has a critically acclaimed album and autobiography to his name, and is now focused on helping others to build leadership skills and find a sense of purpose. In 2006, Jal founded the charity Gua Africa, which works with individuals, families, and communities to help them overcome the effects of war and poverty. The charity builds schools, provides scholarships for Sudanese war survivors in refugee camps, and sponsors education for children in the slum areas in Nairobi.
Jal has written a memoir, “War Child: A Child Soldier's Story,” was nominated for “Best World Music Album” at the 2015 Juno Awards, and played a leading role alongside Reese Witherspoon in “The Good Lie,” a movie about Sudanese immigrants arriving in the United States. He has been awarded the Calgary Peace Prize, the Humanitarian Award from the Hunt Institute, the Dresden Peace Prize, the Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker Prize and has been honored by Ban Ki Moon at the U.N. for his peace efforts in South Sudan.