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KingDeng

It’s no secret that people come here from every corner of the world to pursue their dreams, while adapting to the landscape they find themselves in.

 

It shouldn’t be that unusual to find 28 year-old hip-hop artist, KingDeng (Deng Alith), pursuing his dreams here as well.

Born in the county of Jonglei State, in what is now South Sudan, during a civil war that lasted throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, killing roughly 2 million people, Deng Alith missed out on childhood. His first war experience was as a young boy in 1991, when he witnessed the murder of his father, and of many others whom he knew and loved.

Alith survived most of a decade of war in South Sudan, and then moved to Khartoum in Sudan in 1997, hoping to find a better life. Instead, military conscription awaited him and he had to find safety in Egypt. Finally, at about 17 years old, he moved to Winnipeg, MB, where he was able to attend Gordon Bell High School and graduated when he was 22.

The age of 17 is an estimate of how old he was when he came to Canada, as he has no original documentation of his birth, being born in a Dinka Bor village in a war-torn country.
During high school he nurtured his love of music, taking band classes and singing in choir. Alith's style and ability evolved while performing in venues like his high school coffee house.

Now Deng is studying social work at Keyano College, working at Moxie’s Grill and Bar, and still pursuing his dreams in music. “I’m a person who’s dedicated, and I want to achieve a lot of things in life,” explained Alith, who’s already achieved so much. Holding on to no excuses that could have been born of his struggles, he released his first album, “The Big Dream,” in Winnipeg, in March 2010. Available on iTunes, the album includes a title track rich with pride in his Sudanese heritage and his pursuit of a dream that “is never going to fail.” Other tracks like “Freedom” speak of a desire for equality and fairness with a strong sense of urgency. “War Life” opens as a tribute to those he lost in the war, specifically his father

“The dream will never die, it is only the dreamer who will die,” Alith proclaimed with passion, adding that patience is his motto, and claiming this is what will allow him to achieve what is in his heart. War has no doubt left a mark on his life, but confidence and endurance continue to add resolve to the pursuit of KingDeng’s dreams.

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