Thomas Sankara (December 21, 1949 - October 15, 1987) was a charismatic left-leaning leader in West Africa. As head of Upper Volta's government and later President, he changed the name of Upper Volta to Burkina Faso and undertook major reforms to eliminate poverty. Sometimes nicknamed "Tom Sank", he was considered by some to be an "African Che Guevara".
I decided to start this week with the comemoration of one of africa's most heroic symbol of modern times"THOMAS SANKARA",the man from the land of men of intergrity,Burkina Fasso. The revolution Sankara led between 1983 and 1987 was one of the most creative and radical that Africa has produced in the decades since independence. He started to blaze a trail that other African countries might follow, a genuine alternative to Western-style modernization – and, like other radical African leaders such as Patrice Lumumba and Amilcar Cabral, was shot down as a result. Whereas his murderer, still in power eight years later, has pursued self-enrichment and politics as usual – and has been fêted by the West for his compliance.
During this week of events marking the 20th anniversary of his death,i'll be sending some tips and other articles of this globally loved gentleman who decided to go the opposite way(the real way).
On the 4th of August 1983,some young officials took over power in the then Upper volta proclaiming a revolution and Thomas Sankara was named president.One year later,he changed the name of the country to Burkina Faso,which means in their local language"the land of men of upright men"(men of integrity).
It clearly became open that Sankara's style was new and different and his characteristics of integrity,provocation,transparency,honesty,warmness,unpredictableness,sentiments of love and hate,discerned so much hatred and enemies which led to his assassination on the 15th Oct.1978.
But his spirit still lives and even stronger in the heart and minds of all Africans today. He campaigned for disarmament,elimination of foreign debts in poor countries,reafforestation,women's rights in africa,abolished state priviledges to himself and all his staff because he couldn't think of a rich president in a poor country,he welcomed foregn leaders in villages and not in big palaces,ordered his ministers and government officials to coltivate farmyards inorder to better understand the problems of the poor farmers,created an office for non governmental organisations,fought against imperialism and post colonisation and maybe(obviously) because of all these,he was assassinated,though on his death certificate it is reported he died of natural causes.
‘I would like to leave behind me the conviction that if we maintain a certain amount of caution and organization we deserve victory... You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.’
Thomas Sankara, 1985