In Memoriam: Hon. Philiph Chol Biowei, MP for Twic East County, South Sudan, 1942-2011


 The late Philiph Chol Biowei addressed elders in South Sudan. Photo courtesy/Family. 

TRIBUTE - South Sudanese and friends converged at the Dinka Congregation Lutheran Church on Saturday November 19th, 2011 in Rochester, Minnesota. They all came to mourn, encourage, and comfort the family members of Hon. Philiph Chol Boiwei, who died of heart failure back in Juba, South Sudan, in September 2011. He was 69 years old.  The elder from Kongor Community, Ajang Aguer, echoed that the “South Sudanese Community lost a politician, satirist, son and a father”. He told those gathered that his death is a tragedy. We have lost a man rich of wealth of knowledge, and young people could have benefitted from him, he added. During the opening prayer, Alier Deng Philip delivered a vindication from the Bible as well as the eulogy. Deng said the Apostle, in the light of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, declared in the that great chapter on the resurrection: "But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:54-57).”

Philiph Chol Biowei Was born in 1942 in Kongor at Pakwuor village, Twic East County. He quickly was named Chol  (Dinka for replacement) because his previous three brothers had died consecutively at the point of birth. As a replacement, he indeed did what could have been possibly done his three who were deceased. He was first and foremost a true son of the land who cared about his family. He was a patriotic politician who loved his country. He was a satirist. Choldit was a remarkably skilled orator who used his skills of communication to create persuasive paradoxes, a gift which occasionally left individuals rethinking their deeds. He was very conservative in traditional values but a liberal politician. He was admired for his appealing personality, characterized by a jaunty, affable and folksy charm. Hon Choldit was married to three wives. He married the fourth wife in honor of his sister who was never married. He is now survived by four wives, eleven sons and nine daughters.

Education, Career, political Activism and legacy of Choldit
In 1953, he went to Malek elementary primary school. After graduating with primary certificate, he was accepted at Tony Intermediate in 1961 and graduated with honors. He attended the Khartoum Technical Institute from 1965 to 1968. He enrolled at the University of Khartoum in 1969 and graduated with honorary bachelor of art in 1975. He completed his master degree in Anthropology in 1977, and immediately became a lecturer at Khartoum University from 1976 to 1980. His ambitions combined with determinations, and good public service earned him immense respect.  In 1978, he was employed as director in the ministry of cooperation and rural development and promoted to an assistant director in the same ministry.

Hon. Chol joined the Sudan People Liberation Movement and Sudan People Liberation Army in 1984. He remained as a hardcore supporter of the SPLM/A during internal divisions in 1980s and 90s when the war intensified in the south, which was consequently hampering potential peace settlement or advancement of the SPLA forces to the government of Sudan controlled territories. Hon, Chol was known of his Political Activism, before joining the SPLM/A.  He was politically active during the first Anya-Anya War, while he was student in secondary school and at the university. He was strongly opposed to the digging of the Jonglei Canal and against all policies of Sudan government. After joining the SPLM/A in 1984, he attended SPLA political and military training; was promoted to shield three in Ethiopia in 1985 where he graduated as captain. Hon. Chol was first deployed in Itang Refugee Camp as Deputy Camp Administrator and later asked to be deployed with Jamus Battalion as Deputy Commander at the rank of Alternate Commander in Southern Blue Nile, where he served until 1987.  He was later deployed in Youdu, Magalatoria, and Nimule Corridors internally-displaced camps in Western Equatoria as SRRA Secretary from 1992-1995.

He worked closely with Chairperson of the SPLM/A Dr. John Garang till the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005. He was sent by Dr. John Garang for short diplomatic training in South Africa.  Hon. Chol strived to work alongside President Salva Kiir  to implement  the six protocols in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to ensure smooth  campaign for people of South Sudan to hold referendum on time. He would voluntarily continue to go to village after village, town after town in South Sudan to inform citizens about the significance of voting for secession and risk involved if one were to vote for unity.

Hon. Chol was appointed as deputy chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the government of South Sudan from 2006 to 2008. He had served at the privilege of the current president of the Republic of South Sudan to confront this evil. Corruption is now recognized to be one of the Republic South Sudan greatest challenges. It is a major hindrance to sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities and is corrosive on the very fabric of society. He also served with honor and dignity as an advisor in the ministry of petroleum for the government of South Sudan.  He died of heart failure on September 29th, 2011, while serving as Member of Parliament for Twic East County. During his campaign for Twic East constituency, he was known for his paradoxical understanding of democracy. He attacked opponents’ abilities and severely replicated it with his genuine honest debates loaded with great sense of humor.

Here are some of his famous quotes:
       I.            A dog that goes hunting with a woman never kills.
    II.             Two individuals standing with two legs are staring at me with four eyes;
 III.            Leadership/politics cannot be distributed like cow's meat and etc.

Hon. Choldit used to joke with the late Dr. John Garang and at one point, Dr. Garang told told him: “Choldit, you will be sent as ambassador indefinitely," making reference to the sound: "Chool-biowei.”

This memorial service tribute was prepared by:
Gabrial Pager Ajang; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                    
William Ajang Diing ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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