Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Thomas Sankara: Burkina Faso to celebrate revolutionary icon thirty years after death

Burkina Faso

In the streets of Ouagadougou, the icon of the Burkinabe revolution is omnipresent. Assassinated thirty years ago, Thomas Sankara, the “African Che Guevara” fascinates many people as well as his mysterious death.

Thomas Sankara came to power by a coup in 1983, aged 33, shook the post-colonial era by renaming the then Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, meaning “the land of honest men “.

As the head of the National Committee of the Revolution, Thomas Sankara lived a very simple life admired by many.

A school principal, Alphonse Naba, recalls vividly the early days of the revolution.

“It was hard for some, we will say the haves and the rich at the time. They had the impression that the revolution had come to deny them of their wealth. But for the average Burkinabé, we were really happy. “

Sankara was assassinated by a commando in 1987, his then companion in arms, Blaise Compaore ruled the countryfor the next 27 years, making it impossible to investigate the death of Sankara.

But the fall of Blaise Compaoré in 2014 through a popular uprising resulted in a judicial inquiry as well as commemorations in homage to the revolutionary icon.

View more