Jerry John Rawlings; The Man Many Loved And Hated At The Same Time

Jerry John Rawlings, Former President of Ghana Jerry John Rawlings, Former President of Ghana

There are moments in life that leave you questioning God, for me one of those moments was a few minutes past 10Am on Thursday November 12, 2020.

Everyone who knows me well, know of how I cherished and adored former president, Jerry John Rawlings.

He was one man I will take a bullet for, so it was a sad day for me, when I had to read of his death. When I saw the trending news, I couldn't believe it, but when it was confirmed to me through a telephone conversation with a friend, who was close to the family.

I immediately hung up the phone with trembling hands. My thoughts were whirling and my heart was pounding furiously – as though it would fly out of my body.

I write this article with a heavy heart, I still cannot come to terms with the fact that my idol is gone, never to be seen or heard of again. My eyes are heavy and filled with tears, I rarely cried, this death is one of those that drew tears from my eyes.

They are lessons to be learnt in his death, no matter how tough, successful, loved etc you are, the curtains on your life will one day, come off.

Did we have enough time to celebrate a man who gifted us the fourth republican dispensation, he was not perfect, but he was destined and purpose for a change, a change he fought for until he took his last and final breathe.

Life is indeed fleeting, only the Almighty Allah, knows who is next to join Jerry Rawlings, but until that day, I will prefer we celebrate the life and times of one of God's greatest gift to this nation.

President Rawlings, meant many things to many people, to some of us, he was the reason why we found ourselves today, doing what we do.

He was the light that opened our eyes to join in the course in shaping the destiny of this great nation. Many things will be said about him both good and bad, in the coming days, weeks, months and years, his essence on this earth is a rarity and not even those who disagree with him, can deny him that, indeed he was the best amongst us.

God must have indeed needed an Angel, when he took him away on that fateful Thursday, the testimonies from people, who were his benefactors is a testament to the life of a man, who was loved and hated at the same time.

Once, as a young boy, I asked my auntie, who could not get enough of him, why she loved the man so much, all she could say was 'anisara' to wit in Kotokoli 'White man'.

The first time I set my eyes on him was in the 80's when he came to Jasikan, in the now Oti Regionas a small boy, I made my way to the Stadium, where he landed in an Helicopter, I beg to be carried on a shoulder of an elderly cousin, who obliged me.

Jerry Rawlngs was gifted a bread, he took it, broke one side and gave it to the person standing on his right, broke the other side gave it to the man standing on his left and then took a piece from the middle and ate, you can imagine the thunderous applause and from that day, I have grown to love the man.

In fact my colleagues in the office know, I am obsessed with him, I am his number fan and can't bring myself to accept that he is no more, but that is life.

We have every right to shed a tear or two for him, as long as some of us remain on earth, we will always remember him, he will forever be in our hearts.

Chairman Rawlings, lived for certain principles, as long as we keep those principles alive, the man will live forever, but should we throw those principles away, all the tears at best will be crocodile tears.

Beyond the footprints of a beautiful life that attracted both acclamations and condemnation, from friends and foes, Chairman Rawlings, was a metaphor for determination amidst the thorny paths that were thrown his way by life.

Rawlings is a great man from all indications. An enigma Chairman Rawlings, achieved greatness by both opportunities offered by the Ghanaian peculiar politics and mother luck that always smiled at him at the right moment in the history of leadership in our great nation

Thorns may have dogged his path in life, but he ended on the peak through changing lives for the better.

As a principled person, discipline was his middle name as he never spared the rod to spoil the child.

In his 73 years on mother earth, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, gave his best in the service of humanity and God.

Therein lies the essence of his life in a society that is gradually losing its compass of morality.

Source: By Abdul Razak Bawa/