What you should know about Jerry John Rawlings

  • Late Ghana revolutionary leader, jerry john rawlings was the product of a secret, six-year love affair between Scottish pharmacist James Ramsay john and his Ghanaian mistress, Madam Victoria Agbotui who is from Volta Region, Ghana.

  • His late mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui later became the head of the catering department at the State House in Accra, Ghana.

  • His father, Mr. john, had apparently migrated to the then Gold Coast in 1935 with his Scottish wife Mary, to work for the (UAC).

  • Six years after Mr. john had arrived in Ghana, he started a secret relationship with Madam Agbotui, who was already a caterer at the Ghanaian State House.

  • The relationship lasted for six years till 1947 when rawlings was born on June 22 in Accra.

  • Unfortunately, Mr john refused to acknowledge rawlings as his son – right up until his death in 1982 at the age of 75, for fear of rocking his marriage to Mary (his Scottish wife), who died in 1998.

  • In order to preserve the Scottish heritage of her son, Madam Agbotui named him after his father as Jeremiah rawlings john. But the name was later changed to jerry john rawlings following a clerical error when the young rawlings signed up at the Royal Air Force (RAF) for advanced flight training.

  • During his time in military training, the young
    rawlings still desired to trace his roots and to meet his father.

  • Mr. john and his wife Mary had moved back to Scotland when he was 13 and settled down at Dalbeattie.

  • rawlings, therefore, took a leave of absence from the RAF to track down his father, whom he had learnt, was working in a chemist’s shop in Dalbeattie. He eventually located the place but when he asked an old man behind the desk if he knew his father (Mr john), the old man replied that Mr john had moved away a long time before.

  • jerry’s suspicion, however, grew on the trip back to London that he had actually been speaking with his father in the store.

  • Today, rawlings still has distant relatives in Scotland even as his relatives there eventually learnt of the family secret that Mr James Ramsay john had kept from them.

  • rawlings did not complete any tertiary education beside Achimota Secondary School where he did not even acquire the G.C.E ‘O’ Level and had only an Air Force graduate diploma.

  • jerry rawlings fully adopted Ghana as his nationality and his children identify as 100% Ghanaians.

  • During the 1992 Presidential elections, some opposing candidates attempted to exploit his Scottish links by claiming rawlings was not a full blooded Ghanaian, but the populace already knew rawlings had decided/committed to be totally African and their leader.

  • jerry rawlings first met his wife, Nana Agyebadu while in primary school at Achmota. After his full military training many years later, he went in search/hunt of Nana, found her and they dated for 10 years. They got married in 1977.

  • They have 4 children - 3 daughters and 1 son.

The dramatic irony is that jerry rawlings became greater than the father who rejected him or any of the man’s legal children. It was jerry that actually inherited his name, ‘rawlings’ and announced it to the world.