Salone News

Remembering Lt. Col. Vincent O. F. Sowa, a mudslide victim

16 August 2018 at 04:12 | 1691 views

By Paul Duwai-Sowa (PDS), Toronto, Canada

On August 14, 2018, the raging Freetown Mudslide took many lives including a beautiful legal mind and the people’s soldier, Lt. Col. Vincent O. F. Sowa.

Lt. Col. Vincent Sowa was the fourth child of the late Patrick J. A. Sowa of Geoma Jargor, Sowa Chiefdom and the late Mrs. Mary Mamie Jitta Sowa of Bomu Samba, Kpanga Kabondeh Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

Vincent is survived by his partner, Edna, children, Paulina of the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COHMAS), Thomas, Vincenta, Mamie, Emmanuel and Bevei; his siblings, nieces and nephews.

Vincent attended St. Paul’s Secondary in Pujehun, the Milton Margai College of Education and Fourah Bay College. He was one of the most amazing minds of the Sowa Clan. His quest for knowledge took him to many other institutions including the US Defence Institute of International Legal Studies in Rhode Island where he bagged an Award of Excellence.

Call to the Sierra Leone Bar 2010

Vincent was self-driven, dedicated, diligent and benevolent.

After Milton Margai, Vincent taught at St. Paul’s Secondary School. He later joined the Sierra Catholic Mission’s Community Engagement personnel where he met some of his life long friends.

With his late mother, Mrs. Mary Jitta Sowa

Vincent decided he wanted to pursue a career in public service so he joined the Sierra Leone Civil Service and worked in the Ministry of Labour. When Freetown was attacked in May 1997 by the combined forces of some renegade soldiers, the AFRC and the rag-tag RUF, Vincent felt compelled to save his country. He joined the reconstituted Sierra Leone Military under President Ahmed Kabbah and graduated from the Military Academy and commissioned as a Lieutenant. While serving in RSLAF, Vincent also wanted to specialize in the legal branch of the Military. He went to law school and graduated with Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with Honours and BL and was called to the Sierra Leone Bar in 2010.

Lt. Col. Vincent Sowa served in Somalia as part of the African Union Peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM). Members of his contingent said Vincent had remarkable military skills was destined as one of Sierra Leone’s most promising heroes.

Vincent made it through public service nearly as easily as he mastered a future in Law. On his return home in June 2017, Vincent had plans to wrap up in the Military and work as a private legal practitioner. His dreams were cut short when the mudslide of August 14, 2017 carried him to eternity barely a month after his return from combat in Somalia where he was ten times likely to die.

Vincent was a dedicated and loving father. He never missed out on his family except for his time at the Defence School in Rhode Island and his combat mission in Somalia. You never saw him down or depressed. He had a contagiously positive smile and attitude toward life.

Vincent was a hero not only to Sierra Leone, but to his family and friends as well. He had all the personal decency, honour and compassion one could find in a colleague, a father, brother and friend. Vincent had a well rounded approach to everything in life. He was loved by those he counseled.

Vincent was putting up a home for his family in Kamayama atop the beautiful hills of Regent. The house was almost done and the first night that Vincent made an attempt to sleep at his well deserved sanctuary would be his last living moment on earth that has left us in mourning.

The soldier with skills to save others, the legal mind with so much promise and aspirations, the father that held the hope of his children, the friend who had uplifted many, the son who came from humble beginnings and was destined to make a difference for the world is gone forever.

The impact of Vincent’s death remains a gaping hole. He has been taken away before fulfilling his destiny. Everyone who knew Vincent is convinced the world would be a better place if he were still among us.

We continue to miss him dearly. Rest in Peace Lt. Col. Vincent O. F. Sowa. You will always be our hero.