Emmanuel Mark Kembe was born on 9 January 1969 in Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal, New Sudan. Emmanuel’s life as a political refugee began in November 1994, When he was imprisoned and forced to leave Sudan for singing one of his popular protest songs titled ‘Shen-Shen’ at the Khartoum Sixth International Music Festival. ‘Shen Shen’ is about the ugliness that people have to face daily, but the song also gives hope that one day lasting peace will come to his beloved homeland. He first fled to Ethiopia where he spent four years working on songs and performing to raise awareness of the ugliness of the Sudan crisis.
Living as a refugee in the United States, Emmanuel Kembe recorded six albums that offer healing messages of love and peace. He has been performing for Sudanese Diaspora and American organizations fundraising for the peace and development projects in the Sudan, including recent concerts in Washington, DC and San Francisco to end the killing in Darfur. In all, Emmanuel has performed at over 50 fundraising Sudan benefit concerts.
Emmanuel Kembe performed at the Sudanese Dance & Music Festival held in Central Park, New York City on 21 July 2007 before traveling to South Sudan for his first journey back to his homeland.