Thomas Sankara: An African Hero

Unapologetic in his love for Africa. Uncompromising in his defense of African Interests. Upright in his stance on African values and principles, this is the historic account of an African hero who is rarely talked about but whose record speaks for itself.

Thomas Sankara was the victorious military genius whose valiant conduct and strategy during a border war with Mali led to his rise. Burkina Faso won that war thanks to the future gun-toting President. Sankara was ready to defend his homeland against terrorists both foreign and domestic. The handsome, courageous mighty man of valor was resolute in his convictions.

He was Uncompromising in his defense of African Interests; Unapologetic in his love for Africa; Upright in stance on African values and principles. He was once branded as betraying the revolution but today his ideas are embraced by the young people who have inherited the dust following more than a quarter century of failed leadership under the incompetent Compaore dictatorship.

The only thing that Compaore left the Burkinabe descendants was billions of dollars of debt on top of debt in the name of progress and terrorism from radical Islam. Young people are searching across Africa for an example of leadership and they find it in Thomas Sankara. This is a man who exemplifies African pride and the self-sufficiency and action with results.

“Our country produces enough to feed us all. Alas, for lack of organization, we are forced to beg for food aid. It’s this aid that instills in our spirits the attitude of beggars”

Sankara defended local industries by encouraging consumption of local products to protect local fruits and fruit juices and the local cotton industry. In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency based on his vow to protect local industries. In the 1980s protecting local industries was an African issue today, it has spread to western countries as the issue of globalization consumes the dialogue. Sankara took power from the colonial oppressor by changing the name of the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means the land of upright people. In African culture one exerts power by naming something and names have meaning. The idea of keeping a colonial name would be viewed as a symbol of continued French dominance of the Burkinabe. Sankara was not a god, he was human and had he lived he would have seen the collapse of Soviet Union.  However, he brought accountability by prosecuting perpetrators on a continent that is often plagued with corruption and mismanagement. President Thomas Sankara is one of Africa’s favorite sons, he had the reputation of having results and getting things done and so it is not uncommon that everyone wants to attach their causes to his name and feminists are no different. They want to further their cause so they are attempting to paint him as a feminist which he was not. Sankara fought for women’s rights which is not feminism. Feminism seeks to create a matriarchal state and is not interested in gender equality but in promoting dysfunction. Sankara was first and foremost about economic empowerment and African solutions to African problems. At the onset of the Sankara revolution in Burkina Faso women’s rights were a principal goal. Sankara was an advocate for women, but this does not make him a feminist. Feminism is about creating a gender war between men and women and destroying the family unit this is not what Sankara was about. It is important to remember that this was a man who named the country the homeland of the upright. He was a believer in discipline and morality something that feminism is opposed to.                                                                                 President Sankara was a fierce advocate for women for sure. This was unheard of across the continent in the 1980s, because the United Nations had not made women a priority. Sankara had women in his cabinet before it was trendy to have women in leadership positions. He appointed women to judicial and state agencies and state-run airline and state-owned businesses. Sankara would not call himself a feminist because he was pro-family and chastised men who did not provide for their families. In his speeches he denounced lazy husbands who did not provide for their families and spent their money on prostitutes. Sankara outlawed prostitution and created training programs to provide prostitutes with a means of earning a living. Women in Burkina Faso were traditionally low on the power structure and their status was slightly above that of animals. They had little education and Sankara sought to create educational opportunities for women and encouraged them to rally around their own causes such as access to health. President Sankara believed in equality so naturally because the custom allowed boys to stay in school after they impregnated a girl. Sankara fought for pregnant girls to stay in school so that they could continue with their education. President Sankara instituted a new code of conduct that instituted a minimum age for marriage in order to protect the girl child. In 2017, advanced nations such as the United States do not have such protections for children. President Sankara abolished female genital mutilation to protect girls from this heartless practice. President Sankara outlawed polygamy to protect the family unit he was aggressively pro-family. The practice of polygamy is detrimental to women and wealth building and promotes poverty across Africa. Sankara’s policies allowed widows to inherit their marital estate something that had not been done before in Burkina Faso. The widows had been left to fend for themselves. He promoted female entrepreneurship through the establishment of markets run by women. Sankara constructed 314 maternal health centers to help reduce complications in child-bearing. His policies led to the immunization of 2.5MM children in 1 week which saved Burkinabe babies. In 1985, vaccinations saved 18,000- 50,000 children who usually died of meningitis and measles.

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