ON OCTOBER 15 1987 Thomas Sankara and his comrades were assassinated. That day the world suffered an irreplaceable loss.
Who was Thomas Sankara I know most of you are wondering?
Well Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (December 21, 1949 – October 15, 1987) was a Burkinabé military captain, Marxist revolutionary, Pan-Africanist theorist, and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. Viewed as a charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, he is commonly referred to as “Africa’s Che Guevara. He is referred to as the upright man and this is what he managed to achieve in Burkina Faso:
Sankara the visionary demonstrated that only the people can change their circumstances with the support of a pro-people government that is committed to serving the majority, not the political and business elites.
In the mid-1980s Sankara already insisted that women’s liberation was key to the liberation of all.
He followed this up with practical steps to end women’s oppression, including outlawing polygamy, forced marriages (ukuthwala), the genital mutilation of women (harmful and degrading rites of passage) and was the first to make sure women were promoted to roles that were traditionally reserved for men
Can our leaders in power and outside of power take a lesson from Sankra? The Wikipedia shows that Sankara did the following:
“He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of ministers.
He reduced the salaries of all public servants, including his own, and stopped the use of government chauffeurs and first class airline tickets.
He redistributed land from the rich and gave it directly to the peasants. Wheat production rose in just three years from 1700kg a hectare to 3800kg a hectare, making the country food self-sufficient over a mere three years.
Sankara opposed foreign aid, saying “he who feeds you, controls you”.
He converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country).
He forced civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects.
He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was only available to a handful of Burkinabés.
As president he lowered his salary drastically and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer.
Right now, our country is in a deep political, economic, agricultural and moral crises. He manged to attain food security in a mere three years
Our intellectuals don’t know how to think outside the dominant ideas that cause suffering and exclusion. It’s time to look at the example of Sankara, to be inspired by it and trust in the people again. The time of politicians is over!
Well he passed on after being assasinated. Please how that came about and look at Burkina Faso now.