Aktamberdy-zhyrau was a Kazakh batyr, singer of war campaigns, military leader, zhyrau (poetic singer), and public figure.
Aktamberdy-zhyrau is said to be born in Karatau's foothills in South Kazakhstan in a family of prosperous people though in his verses he specifies that occurs from a sort of Zhagalbay (Younger zhuz) and that since the childhood he was lonely and poor.
He demonstrated his poetic abilities very early in 10-12 years. According to his lines from poems: «When I was twelve I get onto a horse, took in hands a sabre», Aktamberdy early joined in fight against enemies. In the verses he sings of the Kazakh life, family and the fatherland.
Aktamberdy, rubbed through all difficulties with his people, being 17 participated in battles against the Kalmyks, governors of Central Asia. In the battles he distinguished himself by courage, and later was allocated also with the abilities as the military leader.
Tempered in many wars and entitled as batyr, Aktamberdy-zhyrau was the participant of many events which have become history as «Years of great disaster». He was one of the organizers of national-liberation fight against the Dzhungar conquerors. In 1738-1752 he participated in all battles against the Dzhungars
. In 1742 he was the representative on assembly of heads of dynasties of the Middle zhuz in Orenburg where they swore on fidelity of Russia. For 70 years Aktamberdy-batyr protected the native land from the enemy, was the known speaker, authoritative biy, the well-known poet storyteller. His poems and legends «Rzhuschiy kon’» (A neigh horse), «O, pochiotnyi Bogembai» (Oh, respectable Bogembay), «Ne shuti so mnoi, khanuma» (Do not joke with me, khanuma), «Vremya moio bylo trudnoe» (My time was difficult) and others are filled with courage and patriotic feelings.
After defeat of the Dzhungar state and release of vicinities of East Kazakhstan from the enemy, Aktamberdy–zhyrau worked hard to return the Kazakhs on places where lived their ancestors before.
He tried to accustom the Kazakh people that were in his submission, to settled life. To achieve it he organized digging feed ditch and creation of reservoirs, trying to impart agriculture to Kazakhs.
Aktamberdy-zhyrau’s works are generally sayings manuals. We can learn about dreams, interests of nomadic Kazakhs. The separate place in his creativity is occupied by reflections about a place and a role of pets, especially horses, in life of nomads. Calling horses wings of men, he represents them as satellites of batyrs when those go on the enemy.
In his poems Aktamberdy calls the people for heroism, encourages them on fight against the enemy. He thirsts to release the Kazakh steppes which were grabbed by the Dzhungars, dreams of revival and development of the Kazakh state, dreams about victory over the Dzhungar aggressors. In many works the poet urges the people to struggle with the enemy, without sparing the forces. Poems by Aktamberdy-zhyrau, appeared in the XVIII century, in fierce wars and fights, inspired the people and lifted its martial spirit.
Aktamberdy Saryuly died in 1768 in the town Zhurekzhota of the Abay area, Semipalatinsk region. The legend in verses «Zavety moim detyam» (Precepts to my children) became his last work where Aktamberdy-zhyrau calls the children for unity and consent, reminds that only unity of young generation will allow the country to reach the goals, and warn the people against dissonance.