For us at the First Sky Group, the demise of former President Jerry John Rawlings is the most devastating news we have heard this year.

Indeed, a very great and irreplaceable tree has fallen.

As a young boy, I had great admiration for the late former President’s cardinal principles of accountability, truth, integrity, and discipline.

Indeed, the very first time I heard the word integrity was from Chairman Rawlings, as he was affectionately called during the revolutionary days.

I quickly reached out for an Advanced Learners Dictionary to look up the meaning of the word.

Since then, I have imbibed his principles into my life and that has culminated in shaping my life and has brought me to where I am today.

Indeed, these principles have, since, become the building blocks, cornerstones, and culture of our daily operations at the First Sky Group Ltd. I can say confidently that these principles have contributed immensely to the success and growth of this company over the past 16 years.

One of my wishes as the Chairman of First Sky Group was to have worked closely with him. Even though this wish could not be, I thank God for the fact that for the past few years I got very close to the late former President, and he became my father and a close friend.

In 2018, at our annual Thanksgiving Service, I made a bold declaration that I have never been involved in any corrupt business practices as a businessman.

The former President told me later that he decided to follow the media landscape closely to see if there will be banter to my bold declaration. He did not find any. Since then, we became very close.

My last encounter with him was a day before his mother’s funeral, and we both agreed to meet once the funeral was over. Sadly, that never materialized.

Former President Jerry Rawlings was a selfless leader and had a sense of fairness, and equity. He cared for the vulnerable and marginalized in society. He inspired and motivated me to work for God and humanity.

This is the bedrock or guiding philosophy of our company. As a result, we undertake several corporate social responsibilities and activities to alleviate the plight of ordinary people and to improve a lot of many in society.

After all, the number of years one spends on earth does not matter but what matters is the quality of life you have touched and transformed.

He was, without doubt, very observant, attentive and a knowledgeable man I ever have met. Unapologetically compassionate and humble, despite his charisma.

Truly, he is my mentor and represents the man I have always aspired to be.

I am glad that he honestly inspired me right from childhood to become the man I am today, with all humility.

He was indeed a phenomenal leader. We have lost a great man who was larger than life and will forever occupy a special place in our hearts and be remembered with fond memories.

We have no doubt that history and posterity will be kind to him.

Hede nyui eye na dzudzor le nutifafa me. Amen