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General News of Saturday, 30 January 2021


From exciting weekend drives to quenching bushfires – Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings eulogises father

Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings(2nd to the left) is the second daughter of the former President Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings(2nd to the left) is the second daughter of the former President

Soldier. Warrior. Father.

These are the words of the second daughter of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings which she noted encapsulated the person he was.

In a bare-it-all and touching tribute to her father, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings, named after the warrior queen of the Asante empire, bode her farewell to Ghana’s longest-serving president.

While recounting some fond memories which she shared with her father, Yaa Asantewaa revealed how among other things, Flight Jerry John Rawlings would build his own model aircraft which he eventually flew expertly to the awe of family and friends.

She further indicated how he would take her for weekend drives in the company of other soldiers at Akosombo.

“Quite a common occurrence in the eighties were those bushfires along the road to Akosombo. Our eventful and exciting drives there for weekends was most often interrupted by an approaching orange glow that pierced the night, warning and greeting our vehicle.

"And always without fail, your instinctive urge to take action caused you to bring the vehicle to a safe halt, where you jumped out hastily with your security in tow. Soldiers and one, officer alike, attempting to extinguish this roadside bush fire, and not a moment’s pause till the fires were brought under control,” part of her 3-paged tribute to her father reads.

Yaa Asantewaa further posited in her tribute that Mr Rawlings raised her to “challenge the ordinary and to push beyond our comfortable boundaries”.

“You taught me to stand up for those who could not, even at the risk of standing alone. I was never too young or too small to be privy to your thoughts, which you shared on world politics, on the plight of people of Africa. As my political insight deepened with age, so did my interest in world affairs, and so did our discussions but you always remained the master and I, your learned apprentice.

"With every stage of my life that was accompanied by its own assignment and revelation in life’s machinations, you remained consistent with your mantra on life: “Walk your path. Know your purpose. Live your life. Make your mistakes and learn from them. In all this, be guided by your inner spiritual radar. Most importantly, never let your feet leave the ground.”

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings died on November 12, 2020, at age 73 and was buried at the Military Cemetery after a four-day state held funeral in Accra.