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Former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings dies 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings is dead.

JmRawlings died on the morning of Thursday, November 12, at the Korle-Bu University Hospital in Accra, where he had been admitted a week earlier, according to several Ghanaian media outlets.

He led Ghana from 1981 to 2001.

Born in Accra to an Ewe mother and a Scottish father, Jerry Rawlings was noticed very early on for his outspokenness and his itch for revolution.

As a gifted and brilliant young man, he joined the Air Force and within a few years he was promoted to the rank of flight lieutenant (the equivalent of captain in the army).

In May 1979, he took part in his first military coup d’état.

It was a failure: he was arrested, brought before a court-martial – a court in which he chose to defend himself alone – and freed a few weeks later by a group of officers whose common dream was fighting a hierarchy they considered corrupt.

Together, the following June, they overthrew Fred Akuffo’s regime for good.

Jerry Rawlings quickly became leader and committed himself to returning the power to the civilians.

The promise was kept: general elections were held and, three months later, Rawlings stepped down to make way for Hilla Limann, who had just been elected president.

Jerry Rawlings was just over 30 years old and massively popular in Ghana.

Disgusted by Hilla Limann’s regime, whose corruption and bad governance he criticized, Rawlings took up arms again in December 1981.

He overthrew Limann, took over the leadership of the Provisional National Defence Council and established himself in power for a long time.

The beginnings were difficult. Ghana had been facing a severe economic crisis for several years, and Rawlings eventually resolved to implement the IMF’s structural adjustment program.

Politically, the situation was no better: the constitution is suspended, political parties abolished, Parliament dissolved, and human rights abuses committed.

Eventually, however, Ghana regained some normalcy.

Under pressure from the opposition and the international community, Jerry Rawlings set his country on the road to democratization.

In 1992, he resigned from the army and founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Democratically elected in 1992, he was re-elected in 1996 for a second term at the head of Ghana.

In 2000, Rawlings was barred by the constitution from running for a second term, so he endorsed his vice-president, John Atta-Mills, to run for another term.

Atta-Mills failed to defeat Kufuor, but Rawlings remained the man who kept his promise and bowed out gracefully.


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Business

How I made my first million

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At what age did you make your first million? 

I was 19.

How did you make it? 

I was running a creative design and printing agency. I bid for and won an order to design and print marketing materials for a global NGO which has offices in Kenya.

How did you spend or invest it? 

I re-invested most of it into the business by buying more machinery to reduce costs associated with outsourcing. I also set up a new business with a friend – a movie shop in Nairobi CBD.

The biggest money mistake you have ever made? 

Setting up the movie shop was the greatest money mistake – but I picked up two of the greatest business lessons. One, to never divest too early, and only invest in a business you understand well.

What is the best investment you have ever made?

 I would say investing in myself and in my exposure through travel. Travel has made me see endless possibilities for innovating new products, business models and solutions in the African market. A combination of the international exposure and strong local market understanding is priceless.

What is the worst purchase you have ever made? 

The movie shop. I bought a ready business that I did not understand and it went crumbling down. We eventually closed it a few months later.

If you had a spare million or two, where would you invest it right now?

I would invest it in my current business – a software technology company. This is because I believe the business has potential to become a great success.

What is the biggest money lesson you have learnt about growing it and making it work for you? 

Initially, we all have to work for money. However, I have learnt that the wealthy person has learnt how to make money work for them, through consistently investing what one earns.

Where do you learn about finances? 

I read a lot of books about real success stories from entrepreneurs because I believe entrepreneurship is a great way to create wealth, while creating value in the society. I also stay curious to learn about different investment vehicles because I know I shouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket.

Any financial myths you think should be busted? 

Money is not the root of all evil; greed may be. Money is a good thing because it can create freedom and prosperity, if well spent.

What two personal finance rules do you follow? 

Live within your means; and work to make money as a tool to accomplish real goals. Real goals are not just about making “enough” money, because it is almost impossible to define “enough.”

Investing or saving…Which one carries more weight?

Investing. However, they go hand to hand as saving to invest is acceptable.

One can get rich easily… but how does one stay rich? 

By constantly making calculated investment risks, and always striving to be wealthy, not rich.


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The life lessons I learnt from a brief stay with my grandfather

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With the schools closed, my parents got tired of me and my three siblings quarrelling and sent us to the village to stay with my grandparents.

More than any book or class, this visit taught me so much about appreciating what I have in my life and being open to the differences that I was blind to.

I protested going to the village at first, but now I am happy I did.

I had never liked being around my grandfather for so long because he is such a strict disciplinarian.

However, staying around him taught me why he is the way he is. He taught me about the value of hard work and integrity.

My grandfather is not one to stand lazy and idle people. So he taught me that I needed to structure my day to the tasks I needed to accomplish and spend time in the evening enjoying leisure.

So in this plan, we wake up in the morning to sweep the compound clean. My sisters then join my grandmother in the kitchen to make breakfast, as my brother and I help grandfather feed the cows before milking them.

Tending the animals

After breakfast, we would all go to the farm to weed. The afternoons were more of reading and playing. My brother soon gravitated towards tending the animals while I enjoyed working on the farm with my grandmother.

I also loved fetching water from the stream. We then spent the evening watching television to catch up with the news.

The discipline also made us more mindful about how our lives affected others, even when no one was watching.

We carried enough sanitisers and face masks to last us the duration of our imposed stay. We were careful because our grandparents were at that age of being vulnerable to the virus.

I noticed that many villagers were sceptical of the existence of Covid-19. They argued and dismissed the global pandemic as a hoax.

Some said they were yet to see anyone who had succumbed to the virus. Some were really tickled to see us donning face masks all the time, but we stayed true to the act knowing my grandparents’ lives depended on it.

This is how my grandfather raised my father and his eight siblings, and I am happy I got to learn this.

by nation.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Foul smell leads to recovery of couple

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Crime Scene Tape
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Decomposing bodies of a couple that has been missing for more than a week were found in their house in Laini centre off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, yesterday.

A foul smell emanating from the house of the 72-year-old-man and his wife, 62, led to their recovery. Police have launched investigations into the incident.

There were conflicting reports about the deaths with some claiming that the two were murdered while others suspected that they could have died of carbon monoxide emitted from a jiko.

Police declined to give names of the deceased until the next of kin are informed. Emotions ran high as locals viewed the bodies.

A village elder, Moses Mwathi, revealed that the couple was working in a quarry before they went missing.

Mwathi said neighbours thought that they had travelled to their rural home but got concerned after a foul smell started emanating from their house.

“On checking they noticed that the house was locked from inside and the bodies could be seen lying on their bed,” he said.

Police gained access into the house after breaking the door. The bodies were taken to the mortuary

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said initial investigations pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a jiko.

“We can’t, however, rule out murder at this moment and only a post-mortem examination will establish the real cause of the death,” said the police boss.

And in the nearby Kinungi village, a 35-year-old farmworker committed suicide by hanging himself in a house.

The body was found by his employer before police were called in. Jim Kimani, a friend to the deceased, said he was in low spirits over debts.

“He claimed that some people he owed money were harassing him but we never thought that he would commit suicide,” Kimani said.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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