Biography of Dr. Sheka Kanu

Dr. Sheka Hassan Kanu was born in Port Loko District in the North-West Region of Sierra Leone. Born in 1932, at Petifu Wallah, where his parents lived for a few years. His mother was from one of the ardent Muslim families at Mathen in the Lokomasama chiefdom, His father from 15 Falaba Road,Mapbathei in the Bakeh Loko chiefdom.

He was among the first generation in his family to receive western education. He attended the West African Methodist Collegiate Secondary School. After his early education he underwent teacher training at Fourah Bay College (1953-1955) where he obtained the Teachers Advanced Certificate. After six years of Secondary School teaching, he returned to Fourah Bay as an undergraduate student and in 1966 obtained an upper second-class Honours degree in English. In the same year, he entered the University of Alberta in Canada where he received his Masters and PhD degrees.

Dr. Kanu was a winner of general literary prizes throughout his studies, He was lecturer in English at University of Alberta, Canada and Njala University College in Sierra Leone. He represented Sierra Leone as the first Deputy High Commissioner to Britain in 1972. He was promoted as Ambassador to West Germany with accreditations to France and the Benelux countries – Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxenburg in 1973. In 1978, he was accredited as Ambassador to the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) and the European Economic Community (EEC) countries (ACP/EEC countries) and retaining the Benelux countries. France was delinked from his assignment to become a separate Embassy, to allow him carry the much wider load of the new assignment.

He returned to Sierra Leone in 1981 and served in three ministerial positions in the 1980s and 1990s – Minister of Development and Economic Planning, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance. He was the first National Assistant Secretary General of the SLPP in its formative years. He acted as second Vice-President of the Republic a couple of times, in the absence of the substantive holder.

Hon. Dr. S H Kanu was known for his commitment to community development and support to his people, especially his commitment to assist students in need with funding for their education and building a school, water wells and health clinics in his constituency in the Lokomasama Chiefdom, Port Loko District.