Azumah Nelson eulogizes Former President Rawlings
Ghanaian boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, has eulogised the late former President Fl.Lt. John Jerry Rawlings, describing him as “A true champion like no other”.
In a statement the three times World Boxing Champion noted that the death leaves a lot of void in his family, because he played service above self.
Read full statement below
Thursday 12th November, is a day I will never forget. It’s a day that brought me
excruciating pain after my number one fan and mentor, J.J. Rawlings passed away.
His death leaves an unfillable void in my life. To the world, His Excellency J.J. Rawlings was an influential Statesman etched in Ghana’s history as a dynamic force who helped shape the foundation of our beloved Ghana.
Away from the spotlight, he was even more dynamic and impactful.
A profoundly thoughtful man who placed service above self, J.J. Rawlings hugely shaped my view on life, work, and many other things.
I will forever thank God for his wise and
confidential counsel. If he were before me today, I would say, without haste, that
undeniably, God used you to change my life into the man the world celebrates today, as a former world boxing champion.
You are indeed the true champion, a champion like no other.When I think of you and the impact you had on my professional career, and on the careers of countless others, you are unquestionably Godsent! I dedicated my biography, “The Professor” to you, because you taught me so many life-building skills that played a direct role in bringing out the champion in me.
You believed in me, even when I doubted myself. As the true professor, you shared “lessons in life” that demonstrated humility,
gratitude and faith.During your time as the Head of State, you showed effortless humility by cleaning my room and ensuring that my fellow boxing colleagues and I had a place to rest after rigorous training.
Always a man of subtle acts of kindness, for years while I trained as a struggling
boxer, I would randomly receive portions of beans and gari. It wasn’t until many years later that I discovered we were beneficiaries of the debt you owed the beans sellers. You even rented an apartment for me.
In return, you only asked me to train hard and represent our beloved Ghana for the world to see that greatness can come from Ghana, the true gateway to Africa.
When it came to counsel, you freely shared priceless guidance with me. When I wanted to join the military after representing the force at the World Military Games where I won gold, you advised me against it saying “you saw greatness in me and joining the force will limit my growth in boxing”.
You saw things I didn’t see. I dare say you are a prophet we failed to acknowledge.
I speak on behalf of many of your mentees, and give you our heartfelt thanks. You have
motivated us, enabled us, supported us and promoted our personal growth and professional development.
You recognized our individual potentials and helped us reach that potential and beyond. We all have similar stories to share about how you have personally advanced our careers and still continued to help us, until your untimely demise.
We collectively represent your leadership and mentorship legacy.“Leaders like you are true champions, fighting in the ring of life, where bouts can bring you down, you pushed on, rose above and won.
And as a true champion, you shared your
greatness with others, empowering them to rise higher and help make Ghana, Africa, the world a better place for all.”
Rest well, and know that your undeniable legacy is etched in the minds of all, and many generations ahead will celebrate you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Journey well Papa J, A True Champion like No Other.
Fondly, Azumah Nelson