Emmanuel co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the Warner Brothers motion picture, The Good Lie which tells the story about the journey of four young Sudanese refugees (based on The Lost Boys of Sudan) who win a lottery for relocation to the United States. The film made its debut to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival before being released in October 2014. Emmanuel has also appeared as the adult lead in the major motion picture Africa United; a Pathé, UK Film Council and BBC Films presentation in association with Warner Bros, released in October 2010.
Emmanuel is in demand as a speaker and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the highest tiers of several governments. He has been involved with the British Council, Clinton Global Initiative, Adolescent Girls Initiative (World Bank in association with the Nike Foundation), Child Soldiers Initiative and the launch of Ericsson’s Refugees Reunited Software.
In July 2009 Emmanuel took part in TEDGlobal, in Oxford UK, as a part of their speaker series with a theme of accountability. He was one of the faces of Amnesty International’s 2010 World Refugee Day Campaign and appeared at Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive Black Ball 2010 in London. In 2011 he took part in the Oxfam Climate Change Campaign, CNN Freedom Project, Amnesty International ‘Toast to Freedom’ single and spoken alongside Kofi Annan and Martti Ahtisaari for CMI in Finland, Matt Dillon for Refugees International in Washington DC and Angelina Jolie at the ICC for Cinema for Peace.
In 2012 Emmanuel was made a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum continues to speak at high level conferences for Rotary International, the G20 summit, One Young World and has most recently been invited to speak at Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite conference on Necker Island. Emmanuel has continued to support and work alongside Amnesty International as one of their main spokespeople.
In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild was published by Little Brown. Emmanuel has released numerous studio albums: “The Key,” “Gua,” “Ceasefire,” “Warchild” and “See Me Mama.” His live appearances have included Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has collaborated and performed alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Joss Stone, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys.
Alongside cofounder Paul Lindley, Emmanuel created ‘The Key is E’- a social business and charity channelling the power of education, entrepreneurialism and creativity – to impact social change. The project identifies and invests in inspiring projects across the African continent. The Key is E is also committed to engaging young people and the African Diaspora in a shared vision that shows together, we are a compelling agent for positive change. This journey is led through a multi-tiered educational approach which harnesses the power of creativity and music, engages schools and ignites dreams.
Emmanuel founded Gua Africa in 2006 in order to promote education in Africa through academic sponsorships to refugees who have survived war and genocide, construction of classrooms and the provision of resources such as books, pencils and teacher’s salaries that ensure schools remain open during times of emergency. Projects are based in both South Sudan and Kenya with a focus on providing education to children and young adults who would otherwise be denied this opportunity.
In December 2010, Jal released “We Want Peace,” as part of the wider campaign of the same name calling for peace, protection and justice for all in Sudan ahead of the January 2011 referendum. It also called for an end to all conflicts affecting innocent people around the world. The campaign was supported by A-list artist and leading figures from diverse fields, including Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, George Clooney, Richard Branson, President Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and many more.