When war came to his village in South Sudan, Deng Adut was taken from his mother by rebels and forced to fight in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. He was just six years old.
In his recent book “Songs of a War Boy” Deng describes in chilling detail the life of a child soldier - which includes horrific first hand accounts of battle, torture, death, and the kind of barbaric brutality that only humans inflict on other humans.
When he was twelve, he was rescued by his older brother and smuggled out of Sudan into Kenya where he met an Australian couple that helped him and his brother come here to start a new life.
Deng is now a lawyer here in Sydney, and took the time on a warm friday afternoon in November to come out to the apartment to have a chat.
Deng’s story is familiar with many Australians because he featured in a University of Western Sydney commercial that chronicled his journey - so he and I didn’t talk too much about the story that’s already been told.
Instead we talked about his views on the US election, happiness, Africa, and what life is like living with the constant threat of death every minute of the day.
There’s some heavy conversation in this episode - however it’s almost unavoidable when you’re speaking with someone who was a child soldier in a rebel army in one of the more horrible conflicts in recent history.
You can follow Deng on instagram, he’s @DengAdut
He’s a breathtakingly handsome man with a slick sense of style, and he turned up to my house looking like he had stepped out of the pages of GQ.
So come now to my new apartment in Bronte in Sydney for a cup of coffee with lawyer, author, former refugee and one time child soldier - Deng Adut.