Costello Garang Ring Lual is a South-Sudanese politician. He was born on the 15th of May 1953 in the town of Aweil in Bahr el-Ghazal, which is part of the contemporary Lol State.
Being son of a leading Dinka Traditional Leader, the late Executive Paramount Chief of Greater Ayat, Ring Lual Dau, he has been active as Chairman of the New Sudan Foundation and the White Nile Foundation. For the later, he was especially taking on roles relating to international co-operation and economic development.
Costello Garang Ring Lual’s home, Greater Ayat, is also currently known as Ayat Payam and previously, before the formation of the Sudanese State, as “Ayat Lual Achuol“. Greater Ayat is inhabited largely by the Malual-Dinka, a sub-group of the Dinka. More precisely, Garang is a member of the Clan of the Pa´hol (lit. people of the femoral bone), a clan that produced a number of significant Dinka priests, amongst them Garang’s ancestor Lual Achuol (lit. “Lual the Black”). The descendants of „Lual the Black“ constituted the ruling dynasty of the once sacred principality of the Pa´hol Clan in Ayat Lual Achuol for many centuries. Before the British colonial era their function was similar to that of German prince-bishops during the Mid-Ages. Their BANY were mmainly religious leaders but also dealt with earthly matters.
It was Lual Achuol himself, who founded this principality in the 16th century and which continued to carry his name since. His legitimacy as a leader with the title “Bany Dit Long“ („Grand Master of the Word), as well as that of his descendants, was based on their position in the Malual Dinka-society, as well as on religious roles as universal principal authority or „Grand Master of the Word or Spear (Bany Bith).” Europeans also call “Bith“ a “fishing spear”, but this is a false understanding. „Bith Lual Achuol“, which remains in the possession of the family today, was never used for “fishing,” but to call the spirits and request ancestral assistance (“Long” meaning Word), and which thus explains the term „Bany Dit Long“ (Grand Master of the Word). Lual Achuol was a Great Master of the Word with no authoriry above him. Both spears are different, though with a similar basic structure. According to Dinka religion, “Masters of the Speer” have special access to the metaphysical world, which regards the Masters as messengers of the will of God. During the Anglo-Egyptian colonial rule (1899 -1956), the British attempted to recruit some of the Bany Dit Long or Bany Bith, like Garang’s grand-grand-father, Dau, and grand-father, Lual, as their colonial indirect rule Paramount Chiefs of the area.
Garang is the only child of the late Greater Ayat traditional leader and Ring Lual Dau and his first wife Atong Deng, who was also came from another family of Bany Long or Bang Bith. Following the death of his father in 1990, Garang, as eldest son, became practically the head of his family, in accordance with tradition. The daily tasks of the paramount chief are however carried out by his half brother Ring Ring Lual,who is the second son of the third wife of the late leader. In a spiritual way and according to old traditions Garang remains however the successor of his father.
Garang spent his childhood in the village of Marial Baii, near the town of Aweil. He attended the former missionary school of the Catholic Verona Fathers (Italy) in Nyamlel. Being the first Christened member of his family, the young pupil was just given the additional name of “Costello” by Father Marco, an Italian priest. After primary school he attended intermediate school in Aweil and El-Daen and Higher Secondary School in Fasher in neighboring Darfur, as well as the Old Khartoum Senior Secondary School (science section) in the Sudanese capital. In 1974 Garang was sent by his father to study in Germany.
He attended various European universities, amongst others in Germany in North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Hamburg. There he studied Fundamental Medical Sciences, veterinary medicine, political science and psychology.
In 2015 Garang Ring Lual set up the independent White Nile Foundation.
Garang Ring Lual, lives part in Africa and part in Northern Germany. Apart from Dinka, English and Arabic, he speaks fluently German, a language he calls his “intellectual language.“ He is married to a german Veterinary Surgeon Elke Ring Lual (born Weber), whom he met during his university studies and with whom he has two sons.