Class of 2007
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 graduate 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 he is studying social work at Keyano College, working at Moxie’s Grill and Bar, and still pursuing his dreams in music.
“Most musicians wish to make it big in a big city, but me, I’d like to make it big in a small city. Fort McMurray became an inspirational city for me,” said Alith, “I feel like it’s a city of dreams coming true for me.”
18 months ago Alith arrived in Fort McMurray, and soon after, his resume passed across the desk of Mike Lindberg, Executive Chef at Moxie’s in Fort McMurray. Alith had worked for Lindberg in Winnipeg years before, and the small world of Wood Buffalo crossed their paths again.
Lindberg has high praise for the man he’s known since Alith’s younger “street days.”
“He’s obviously been fairly successful and moving his way up. It’s nice to see someone you’ve coached and mentored for years succeed,” said Lindberg.
Lindberg described Alith’s passion as infectious; his bright smile and positive personality motivates those around him.
In regards to Alith’s work ethic, he added, “The guy doesn’t stop unless you ask him to. He’s always been a guy I could rely on for anything really.”
Upon coming to Fort McMurray he realized that education could help expand his musical horizons and lift him to another level. Social work was attractive to Alith, who wants to help people get through life’s challenges, as he’s been through a fare share of his own. Being able to express the pain he’s had in the past, with the credibility of his education will help him become a better artist.
“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 Mar
Honoring Our Heroes
This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!
Lost Class Rings
Have you lost your Gordon Bell High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Panthers lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.