The question baffling many minds is that ‘has Late Former President Jerry John Rawlings cried before?’ It is believed that military men don’t cry, and as a matter of fact, a fearless soldier and coup d’éta leader like late Jerry John Rawlings can never be seen crying.
Well, it is not so. With Rawlings courage and charisma, it seems that he was very emotional. Yes, very emotional. That is why he even cares about the poorest Ghanaian than the rich. A reason why he resorted to food rationing during the 1983 famine, just to ensure that poor people also get food in Ghana.
Because he is a very emotional person, he flew a Jet fighter plane to Liberia, just to speak to Charles Taylor to step down, otherwise risk putting the life of his citizens in danger. This is because, United Nations, UN and Africa Union, AU, back then resolved to attack Former President Charles Taylor in the midst of the citizens, just to overthrow him, without caring about the citizens who might lose their lives during the attack. Now, you see how emotional Rawlings was.
Now, let’s look at the situation that made fearless Rawlings cried. During the Former President John Agyekum Kufour’s administration in 2005, Zenator Agyemang Rawlings was preparing to graduate from Harvard University, US. As you know when it’s done during graduation ceremonies, students are required to pay graduation fees, and also to celebrates the achievements, students invite friends and loved ones for graduation parties.
Zenator Rawlings, now wanted to organize a small graduation party after paying for her graduation fees so called the father, Jerry John Rawlings for money. Back then, the total money requested by Zenator was about 4000 USD, which covers her graduation fees and also graduation party. So she called the father one Friday morning, when Afotey Agbo had visited the old man, Jerry John Rawlings at his Ridge residence.
During the visit by Afotey Agbo, who is seen as Rawlings right hand man, Rawlings received phone call from Zenator Rawlings requesting the aforementioned amount for her graduation. Unfortunately, Rawlings couldn’t get the amount for his daughter and hanged up the phone after talking to her.
After the phone call, Jerry John Rawlings painfully stared at Afotey Agbo for about 10 seconds and said “Onukpa (senior), so a whole former President like me, who has ruled over Ghana for about 19years, I couldn’t afford 4000 USD for my daughter’s graduation, but current Ministers of state are living luxurious lives and spending Ghana’s money back and front freely. Even their sitting allowance is more than 4000 USD. Some even use more than 4000 USD to buy mobile phones, lodge in luxurious hotels and spend on women”.
After Rawlings painfully made this statement to Afotey, he bowed down his head, took his handkerchief and started sobbing and shedding tears. ‘Rawlings 2005, and Rawlings wept’, this will be the exact words of the Holy book, if this was to be quoted from the bible. So Rawlings cried and Afotey Agbo comforted him by saying, “Tsienu (friend), don’t cry, if someone sees that you are crying is not good”.
So you see that Rawlings has cried before. After he was done weeping, he said, it’s not that his inability to afford the 4000 USD that pains him, but the misuse of state funds and resources by Ministers is more hurting whiles people are suffering in Ghana. This is the kind of leader Rawlings was. A leader who cares more about people more than himself.
During his tenure as Head of State, he could have amassed so much wealth for his family or himself, so after he is done with his tenure, he can afford a luxurious life for his family. But he didn’t, rather sacrificed himself for people. This is what Africa Leaders, especially Presidents and Ministers need to be doing for their countries.
Africa need leaders who will not be more interested in salaries and allowance raise in the midst of national rising debts and citizens’ struggles. A leader is to serve his people at the expense of his desires and that’s the legacy of late Jerry John Rawlings. And all leaders and potential ones need to emulate this legacy.
My Coach, Rahaman Mahama Adams, always say that, when people die, they leave behind, in the form of spirit, their exceptional talents, charismas, intelligence, cardinal traits and even personalities for one person in the new generation to tap into. And he calls this, the “Universal Intelligence.” That is why we have LIONEL MESSIs, after the RONALDOs and MARADONAs; the KUAMI EUGENEs and KIDIs after the AMAKYE DEDEs and PAA BOBOs; MARK ZUCKERBERGs after the STEVE JOBs; and finally young intelligent children we are seeing around us after the ALBERT EINSTEINs.
Do you know what this means? It Means, the spirit of Rawlings is waiting for someone to tap into his cardinal traits and intelligence. Africa and Ghana is waiting for the next ‘Rawlings’. Could it be you? May His Soul Never Rest in Peace Until We Have the Next Rawlings.
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