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Kimathi recounts the day his father described his actions as ‘stupid’

The only son and last born of the late former president, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, has described one moment in the life of his father where he made reference to a near-death situation, calling him ‘stupid.’

Kimathi Agyeman-Rawlings, in his tribute to his father, narrated a story about a visit himself and some two friends vacationing with him in Ghana, undertook to the Ada beach.

He described how their youthful exuberance led them to dive into the lake, so quick that not even one of his father’s best swimmers, who was in their company, could stop them.

“Before leaving, you gave us your blessing, recommending that we take one of your best swimmers as security. After 30 minutes of travel up the lake, we arrived at the Ada beach with all its splendour.

“Without hesitation, we dived in before the security could advise against it, heading out till the floor bed had no contact with our feet, Unbeknownst to us, the current had drawn us out at least 40 metres offshore and amidst the tumultuous waves, the fear in our appointed lifeguard was enough to let us know every stroke back to shore would be the difference between life and death,” he narrated.

He explained further that after battling for their lives and swimming back to safety, before they got back home to see his father, the word had already gotten to him.

In the words of his father, as he wrote, he said, “I did not think it necessary to warn you, because I didn’t think you were stupid enough to swim in that part of the beach.”

Jerry John Rawlings died on November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness. He was buried on January 27, 2021, at the new Military Cemetary in Accra after a full military burial service was organized in his honour.

 

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