Emmanuel Jal was born in a tiny village in Southern Sudan, only a short time before the outbreak of civil war. When his mother was killed by government soldiers, he and thousands of other children were recruited by the Sudan People's Liberation Army and trained as soldiers.
Here, at a very special session of the Sydney Writers' Festival, Emmanuel tells his amazing story, and describes how education and music turned out to be his salvation. He even gets the audience dancing.
Emmanuel Jal is a musician and the author of War Child: A Child Soldier's Story.
In 2005 he was awarded the American Gospel Music Award for best international artist. Jal is also a spokesman for the Make Poverty History campaign.