Luol Deng’s father graduates with PhD aged 78

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Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, the father of NBA legend and South Sudan Basketball Federation President Luol Deng has graduated with a PhD in History at Mount Kenya University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Aldo Ajou, a Member of Parliament in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy – the highest university degree in education at the age of 78.

According to Professor Simon N. Gicharu of Mount Kenya University, “Dr Ajou dismantled stereotypes on his path to academic self actualization.”

Who is Dr Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey?

Aldo Ajou was first elected to the Sudanese parliament in 1967. Between 1967 and 1989, he held positions of provincial governor, deputy speaker, minister of culture, minister of irrigation, minister of transportation, and deputy prime minister. In 1988, Deng sent his wife and children to Alexandria to avoid the escalating Second Sudanese Civil War.

The next year, Omar al-Bashir led a military coup that took control of the government, and Aldo was arrested at gunpoint, spending three months in prison. Omar al-Bashir released him so that he could negotiate with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of southern Sudan, but in 1993, Aldo fled to the United Kingdom and claimed political asylum. Shortly afterwards, he travelled to Egypt to collect his family, and they settled in South Norwood, London.

He has since organized several charities to support women, children, and schools in Sudan. After the end of the civil war in 2005 and the independence of South Sudan in 2011, he returned to serve on the committee that wrote the new country’s constitution.

📸 Professor Simon N. Gicharu poses for a picture with his student Aldo Ajou Deng

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