Ghana lost its former President, Jerry John Rawlings on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the age of 73.
Aside from being Ghana's former president and considered by many as a powerful force in Africa, not many people know about Rawlings' beginning; his rise to becoming a political force.
Without any iota of doubt, Rawlings' sudden demise will not only leave a huge vacuum in the hearts of friends and family members but also in Ghana and the entire African continent.
Legit.ng has gathered 9 top facts about him.
1. He is the only leader who was both military and democratic
Ex. President JJ Rawlings walked into the corridors of power through a military coup d’état in 1979 and later handed over to a democratic government.
In 1981 he took back power from Dr Hilla Limann’s government citing weak leadership plus economic malfeasance as his motive and after 13 years returned the nation to democratic governance in 1992 where he contested and won two terms as president.
2. He was a chorister
Young Jerry John Rawlings was part of the Achimota School choir which performed for President Nkrumah at the Flag Staff House on national ceremonies.
3. He was the Chief of Defence Staff from 1982-1983
Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings was the Chief Of Ghana’s Defense staff from November 1982 to August 1983 making him the only CDS to have assumed the highest position of the Land.
4. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings for 38 years
Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings attended the Achimota School together and their love blossomed from there.
The two got married at the Ridge Church in 1977 with few friends attending. They are blessed with four children; Zanetor, Amina, Kimathi, and Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings.
5. He was a big fan of Micheal Jackson
The former President was a fan of King of Pop, Micheal Jackson, and his music. They both met on a few occasions and struck a friendship as revealed by Rawlings when the latter passed away in 2009.
His all-time favourite songs include “They Don't Care About Us” and “Heal the World”
6. President Rawlings was also an avid football and boxing fan
Rawlings was also a fan of football and supports the Accra Hearts of Oak footballing club as well as the Ghana Black Stars.
He was also friends with several coaches including the late Sam Arday among others. He also loves boxing and has been seen at several boxing games.
7. President Rawlings was a practising Catholic
Unknown to many, the former president was a born and bred Catholic man who was birthed by a Scottish father, James Ramsey John and a Ghanaian mother, Victoria Agbotui who was the head of the catering department at the State House in Accra. He continues to practice his faith even in his old age.
8. Rawlings was the son of a Scottish father and a Ghanaian mother
Many people have always wondered why the former President Jerry John Rawlings' name is not indigenous and he is extremely fair in complexion. Perhaps, the most appropriate reason is the fact that he was born to a Scottish dad and a Ghanaian mother.
9. Rawlings the only president in the history of Ghana to have two vice-presidents serve under him
President JJ Rawlings was a hard man to please so it’s no wonder he goes into the history books as the only president to have had two vice-presidents serving under him. After certain issues with Kow Nkensen Arkaah of blessed memory during his first term of office, he went in for the late President John Evans Atta-Mills as his vice for the 1996 elections.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the 73-year-old died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Accra, the capital of Ghana on Thursday, November 12.
He was said to have been on admission at the hospital for about a week due to an undisclosed illness and passed on in the early hours of Thursday.