Biography of Dr. Vincent Lamina Kanu (1945-2016) delivered by the Mayor of Makeni City Council, Her Worship Sunkarie Kabba Kamara.
The Late Dr. Vincent Lamina Bompe Kanu was born in Makarie village, Bombali district to his parents Pa Abu Santigie and Ya Yeabu Kamara. The eldest of their five children, Vincent attended St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni under the guardianship of Catholic Italian priests, where he developed a strong faith that guided him for the remainder of his life.
After his early education in Sierra Leone, he received further education in Business and Management at the Institute of Business in Rose, Italy and Boston College in Massachusetts USA.
Vincent started his career as a Sales Representative in Sierra Leone for AGIP, an Italian petroleum company. There he developed a great deal of knowledge and an avid interest in the petroleum industry and through exceptional hard work, he rose to the rank of Company Manager.
He later served at the British Petroleum (BP) Sierra Leone, rising to increasingly greater heights until he became Managing Director of the National Petroleum (NP).
Vincent, as Chief Executive of NP at the time, was instrumental in the privatization of the company in the late 1990s. He served as the Managing Director of NP until his retirement in 2005.
In addition to his work, in business, from 1991 to 2002, Vincent also represented Italy in Sierra Leone as Consul and served as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
Vincent had a long and illustrious career and has been an instrumental figure in the development of the petroleum industry in Sierra Leone.
He served on many corporate boards in his role as Director or Chairman. In 2007, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the nation in the field of commerce, particularly in the oil industry, he was honoured as Grand Officer of the Order of the Rokel by the President of Sierra Leone.
Furthermore in 2014, he was awarded a honourary doctorate in Social Entrepreneurship by the University of Makeni in recognition of his outstanding contribution in business and the community.
After his retirement in 2005, Vincent embarked upon a personal project to “pay back” his home town of Makeni by making a personal investment in the infrastructure of the region. He built a world class hotel called Wusum Hotel which has contributed greatly to the development of the region.
In addition to all of this, Vincent was also instrumental in launching the nation’s first biofuel initiative with international investors located in the Makarie region, designed to generate jobs while reducing Sierra Leone’s dependency on imported petroleum. Vincent, or Vinco as his friend and loved ones affectionately called him, was well known, well-loved and well respected. He was a rain maker and often the life of the party. He will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his children Isatu, Mahawa, Zainab and Vincent; his brothers Brima and John; his sisters Makarie and Rugiatu Baby; and his grandchildren Ibrahim, Neneh, Kaira, Safia, Mathew and Esther.
We love you but God loves you best. Sleep on beloved one, sleep and take your rest.
May God’s perpetual light shine upon you.