Emmanuel Jal was born in war-torn Sudan, and while he doesn’t know exactly when, he believes it was in the early 1980s. He was taken from his family home in 1987 when he was six or seven years old, and sent to fight with the rebel army in Sudan’s bloody civil war. For nearly five years, he was a “child warrior,” put into battle carrying an AK-47 that was taller than he was. By the time he was 13, he was a veteran of two civil wars and had seen hundreds of his fellow child soldiers reduced to taking unspeakable measures as they struggled to survive on the killing fields of Southern Sudan. After a series of harrowing events, he was rescued by a British aid worker (Emma McCune) who smuggled him into Nairobi to raise him as her own.
Jal has a full-length documentary on his life and times which has been touring the film festival circuit. It premiered at the Berlinale festival this year, and won the Cadillac audience choice award at the Tribeca film festival. His autobiography has been sold to St. Martin’s Press with anticipated release of spring 2009. His new album ‘Warchild’ was released on 12th May 2008 on the Sonic360 label (distribution by ADA Global) with additional production and mix by Neal Pogue, (Outkast, Talib Kweli, Pharohae Monch).