Born on December 21, 1949, Thomas Noel Isidore Sankara took power during the revolution that start on August 4, 1983, he renamed the Upper Volta, a name inherited from the French colonial power to Burkina Faso which means “Land of the Upright People.”
Here are some top 5 facts about the military man
1)He Encouraged Burkina Faso Products
Sankara only wore locally made cloth with cotton from Burkina Faso. He believed wearing European clothes confirmed remain of a dependent on the oppressor. His civil servants were to wear local clothing while on duty.
Sankara truly understood that Burkina Faso must produce and buy its own products to grow as a self-sufficient country.
2) Choose To Be A Soldier Instead Of A Priest
Sankara’s Catholic parents wanted him to be a priest, but he chose a military career. During this time, he read Marxist books and mastered French. Sankara believed an educated soldier is the best soldier, as he would say, “A soldier without training is just a criminal in power.”
3) Built Infrastructure Across His Country With No External Assistance.
For the first time in the history of Burkina Faso, they built scores of schools, hospitals, boreholes, and a 100km railway with no external assistance. Cereal production rose by 75% between 1984 and 1986. Sankara also encourages tree planting and greening projects.
4)Composed The National Anthem Himself
Sankara is known to have given Burkina Faso a new flag after the new name he gave them. As a guitarist, he also composed the country’s national anthem and gave it its tune.
5) Thomas Was An Outstanding Orator
Thomas Sankara won’t hesitate to admit mistakes publicly or express moral objections to presidents of powerful nations, even if it’ll annoy them. He once criticized French President François Mitterand during a state dinner for hosting the leader of South Africa’s apartheid.
In conclusion, Thomas was killed in a coup organized by his best friend, Blaise Compaore. Sankara was buried in an unmarked grave while his wife and two children fled the country.
Twenty years after his assassination, Sankara was commemorated on October 15, 2007, in ceremonies that took place in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Burundi, France, Canada, Tanzania, Senegal, and The United States of America.