Star of 'The Good Lie' Has a Holiday Message of Hope (and a Hot New Song with Nile Rodgers)

December 1, 2014 4:58 PM

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Emmanuel Jal's story is an inspiring personal journey of survival: During the second Sudanese civil war in the 1980s, his mother was killed when government sympathizers raided their village. At seven, he was recruited as a child soldier and held at a training camp disguised as a school. He and others escaped and traveled on foot for months before reaching a safe haven. At age 11, he was adopted by a British aid worker named Emma McCune and taken to Kenya. After she passed away, Jal lived in the slums. He fell in love with the hip hop sounds he heard on the street and discovered that music enabled him to talk about his feelings and experiences and relate his story to everyone he met. Next, he traveled the world singing his songs.

Today, Jal has several albums as well as an autobiography, a documentary and a TED Talk (all called War Child) to his credit. Yet, it wasn't until he was asked to star in The Good Lie, this fall's hit film about Sudanese refugees starring Reese Witherspoon, that he felt like his story had come full ...

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