The true story of Deng Adut - Sudanese child soldier, refugee, man of hope. Movingly narrated by Blessing Mokgohloa.
Deng Adut's family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. At the age most Australian children are starting school, Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
He began a harsh, relentless military training that saw this young boy trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle. He lost the right to be a child. He lost the right to learn. The things Deng saw over those years will stay with him forever. He suffered from cholera, malaria and numerous other debilitating illnesses, but still he had to fight.
A child soldier is expected to kill or be killed, and Deng almost died a number of times. He survived being shot in the back. The desperation and loneliness was overwhelming. He thought he was all alone. But Deng was rescued from war by his brother John. Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee. Despite physical injuries and mental trauma, he grabbed the chance to make a new life. He worked in a local service station and learnt English watching The Wiggles. He taught himself to read and started studying at TAFE.
In 2005 he enrolled in a bachelor of law course at Western Sydney University. He became the first person in his family to graduate from university.
This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney. It is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to fleeing war, persecution and trauma.
Deng Adut is a lawyer working in Western Sydney. He uses his spare time to help other Sudanese refugees. Ben Mckelvey is a freelance writer and editor from Sydney who has filed for Good Weekend, GQ, Voyeur, Rolling Stone, The Bulletin, Cosmo, Cleo and the SMH, Age and West Australian newspapers.
Ben's previous gigs have included editing Sport&Style and Juice magazines and working on the Sydney Morning Herald as a senior feature writer. He has been embedded with the ADF in East Timor and Iraq and has worked independently in Iran and Afghanistan.
©2016 Deng Thiak Adut (P)2016 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd
Everyone should read this book. Deng Thiak Adut is brutally honest in his story telling and the ability to see the world through his eyes is life changing and inspiring.
Ben McKelvey adds a level of detail to the book that allows you see and smell what you are hearing. Blessing Mokgohloa's narration is wonderful, warm and very easy to listen to.
No, but not because it isn't a wonderful book, in fact quite the opposite. This book more than most made me have to stop and think about what I was hearing and process it. I couldn't listen to some of the terrible things that have happened it Deng Adut's life and then just move onto the next chapter. I had to digest it, mull it over and then keep listening.
A truly wonderful story that is still happening. As a middle class white Australian this book opened my eyes up to just how difficult it is for new migrants to Australia nut for refugees it's just so much harder again. Throughout this book I would imagine if these things were happening to my children, my family and it's a testament to Deng Adut's strength of character that he has managed to achieve the levels of success that he has. A truly inspiring story.
Everyone needs to know this story. This is a an amazing story of Deng Adut 'early life. It is heartbreaking that his innocent childhood along with all those hos age was taken away from him so brutally. Deng has given us an insight into a world we have very little knowledge of and the majority of Australian people will be oblivious of the deplorable up war condition. A must read.
This book is so wise and so personal. There's a lesson in there for all of us about tolerance and the ravages of war. It really should be compulsory reading for all of us. To side the other side of the coin. Thank you Deng; even as an African who thought she knew, you gave me a totally new perspective.
Eye-opening, moving, shocking, humbling and above all, motivating. A story to encourage deep self-reflection. You will not wake up the day after hearing this memoir the same person.
I knew a little bit about Deng and heard snippets of his story before but I was so shocked to hear in detail what he went through as a child soldier. The second half of the book which talks about his life in Australia, captures the opportunities as well as struggles a new refugee faces in a western society. I think it's really important for everyone to read this book to understand what refugees go through when they arrive to start life in Australia or any other Western country. It shows that given the opportunity, and with compassionate support of those in the community, refugees can become valued contributing members of society. I also realised after researching that I went to UWS the same time as Deng, I was so proud! :)
a truly moving and inspiring story that will stay with me forever. a reminder of how lucky I am to live in a free country
What an astonishing story. Seng is an inspiration to all, and the perfect example of immigration done right.
Would recommend this book to anyone, especially One Nation members and voters.
I have a dream job and get paid to listen to Audiobooks 8 hrs a day through my Radio Earmuffs! The time flies and can't wait to go to work!
Right up there with the likes of "Lion". I have recommended it to many people already and only listened to it for the first time today!
Blessing's narration is silky smooth and his voice soooooo nice to listen to! Ben, however, scared me in his narration by racing through his words in such a way I was almost turned off the book in the start! Slow down Ben! LOL
LOVE LOVE LOVE......what a tale! A song that the world definitely needed to hear!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.