A SUDANESE former child soldier who became a successful recording artist and film star is due to visit two Jersey schools this month to discuss his life experiences.
Emmanuel Jal will address pupils at Jersey College for Girls and Jersey College Prep in a series of talks between 11am and 3pm on Wednesday 19 January.
Mr Jal started life as a child soldier in war-torn Southern Sudan in the 1980s before being rescued by a British aid worker and smuggled to Kenya.
This led to a new life, which eventually saw him become an award-nominated recording artist, culminating in a performance at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party, and a peace ambassador.
In 2008 a documentary – Warchild – was made of his life and won 12 film festival awards. He co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the 2014 Hollywood film The Good Lie, which tells the story of four young Sudanese refugees who win a lottery for relocation to the US.
Carl Howarth, principal of JCG, said that Mr Jal’s visit should encourage students to have a positive impact on the world.
He said: ‘Emmanuel Jal is an artist, actor, former child soldier and political activist.
‘To be able to learn from someone of his background and insight is indeed an honour and rare opportunity for our students.
‘His unique life experience and presentation style will engage our students and inspire them to think more about the impact we all have on the world and how each of us has a responsibility to make it better.’