‘I come here from a country whose seven million children, women, and men refuse to
die from ignorance, hunger, and thirst any longer. My aspiration is to speak on behalf
of the disinherited of the world. And to state the reasons for our revolt.’
– Thomas Sankara, UN General Assembly, 1984
Under Thomas Sankara’s leadership, the revolutionary government of Burkina Faso in West Africa mobilised peasants, workers, craftsmen, women, and youth to carry out literacy and immunisation drives; to sink wells, plant trees, build dams, erect housing; to combat the oppression of women and transform exploitative relations on the land; to free themselves from the imperialist yoke and solidarise with others engaged in that fight internationally. In speeches and interviews from 1983 until his assassination in 1987, Sankara speaks for the people of Burkina Faso and Africa, and as an outstanding revolutionary leader of working people and youth the world over.
About the author
Thomas Sankara was born in 1949 in Upper Volta, a colony of French West Africa. He was a military officer, musician, Marxist-Leninist revolutionary and Pan-Africanist who became president of Burkina Faso (meaning ‘the land of upright people’) in 1983 at age 33. He held that position until 1987, when he was assassinated during a military coup staged by his former compatriots.
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