When I first saw Rawlings

RAWLINGS PENSIVE1 Late President Jerry John Rawlings

Wed, 18 Nov 2020 Source: Osei Tutu

It was in the year 1990 that I first saw Rawlings and that happened to be the only time I ever saw him.

At that time he came to Asante Bekwai to commission the electrification project in the town.

My father, who was an ardent fan of Rawlings, was determined to go and catch a glimpse of him. Being a kid then I was also determined to follow my father even though it was not too safe for a kid.

My father did his best to detain me in the house but somehow I contrived to follow him. He was surprised when he saw me at the durbar ground. At that point, he could not ask me to go home but rather kept me closer to himself.

Upon the arrival of Chairman Rawlings, the programme proceeded smoothly. One thing I remember vividly was the translation of his speech to Twi when he urged the people not to use the electricity for discotheque but rather use it for industrial purposes.

All this while I had not yet seen him. It was when he was leaving the durbar ground that he raised his hands to acknowledge the thunderous cheers of the people that I saw him. He was in a military uniform. He was of medium build, tall, fair in complexion, and with a dark moustache.

I must say it was but a moment's glimpse but I saw him well enough and that visage of him remains fixed in my memory up to today.

It was later that those who stayed behind told me they saw him more plainly when he passed through the town in an open-top vehicle.

But I did not regret going to the durbar ground because I had the opportunity to see his full length.

Columnist: Osei Tutu
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