He is 32, and a Kenyan journalist. He knows very well there is an older Jerry Rawlings who lives in Ghana. In fact he holds the record as Ghana's longest serving president. The young Jerry Rawlings says he not only knows old soldier Rawlings, he was named after him, and will be like him in the future.
Born to Madam Elizabeth Akinyi and the late Mr Samson Ondijo, both from Siaya County, West of Kenya, Jerry Rawlings said his father was a fan of Ghana’s former president, hence his decision to name him after Mr Jerry John Rawlings.
Mr. Rawlings in an interview with Graphic Online in Cairo, Egypt, where he attended a three-week training programme organised for Young African Journalists by the Union of African Journalists, described former President Rawlings as a great leader who needs to be emulated.
The Kenyan political reporter with Standard Media Group based in Nairobi, who currently lives in Kericho County, said “I have read about him, I have seen how he talks; I believe that Jerry Rawlings was a great leader and he is still a great leader. I can say he had good quality of leadership probably I will emulate as an upcoming leader as well”.
“Jerry John Rawlings is an outspoken man, a person who stands for the truth, nothing but the truth. A person who is courageous, a person who is charismatic, he draws many people towards him and I think he is just a great man, a great leader,” he expressed his admiration.
Mr Rawlings who also dreams of becoming a president of his country one day, said he is being influenced by the qualities of the former president, explaining that he had held various leadership positions right from his childhood.
“Right from my childhood, I have held various leadership positions till now. So, I have been influenced by his courageous nature. He is the man of the people and I believe I am the man of the people; people always want to be with me. I am an advocate and I stand for the truth and that is why I am in those leadership positions”.
Supporting his leadership claims he said he is currently the Secretary General of Political Journalists Association of Kenya (PJAK) and a member of the National Governing Council of Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ). Mr Rawlings added that he is a former National Vice Chairman of the Central Organization of Trades Union (COTU-Kenya) of Youth Committee.
“My greatest heart desire will be to meet this Jerry John Rawlings, just to sit down with him, listen to his words of wisdom and even ask him the great things he did for Ghana. I will also like to shake his hands and talk to him,” he said.