Remembering Thomas Sankara’s name always provokes a feeling of pain, of anger and injustice, a desire for more freedom or more pride to be African.
Murdered on October 15, 1987 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Thomas Sankara is still remembered by Africans and people from the whole world as the African legend anti-imperialist, Pan-Africanist and third-Worldist, then Burkinabe, head of state of the former Republic of Haute Volta, who once said:
[… the slave who is not capable of assuming his rebellion does not deserve that we feel sorry for himself. This slave will respond only to his misfortune if he is deluding himself about the suspect condescension of a master who claims to free him. Only struggle liberates …]
Thomas Sankara would have been 68 years old today. With his courage, dignity and love for Africa and its peoples, the youth would have found the icon and the reference point to turn to and inspire a change in the current African genius, totally disconnected from its leaders.
Men like Thomas Sankara, as well as Lumumba, Mandela and a few others are rare and made a mark in their time and all future generations.
His vision for Africa, his courage and his clear-sightedness took him far, in an adventure whose dramatic ending is regarded both as a betrayal and a waste for Africa. Indeed, the October 15, 1987 occured at a time when the continent most needed guides like Thomas Sankara. This date or the fulfillment of an ignoble plot to cowardly and savagely assassinate a man and twelve others, has terribly shaken Africa and even the World, to this day.
30 years later, the African youth still remembers Thomas, with sadness because his murderers and the criminals behind stay unpunished until now, but with pride because Thomas Sankara lives in the hearts as a reminder that “Only struggle liberates.”
That piece of advice by Thomas Sankara while closing the famous quote on the importance of fighting and “assuming his rebellion”, is still waiting to be “heard”, not by using violence, but by a creating initiatives which would federate motivations within the African populations, which must to dare to face the policies of “deterrence”, to lay a solid foundation for development in the continent and to blossom the African genius through innovation.
On October 15, Sankara Day is celebrated. Every day is a 15th of October when one thinks of Thomas Sankara. This day which should never have been allowed to happen, can (have happened) for a good reason: show hope that only struggle, courage, pride and dignity can RESTORE (yes Africa has always been beautiful) Africa’s image and give him full freedom.
Today, many of those who govern Africa (or given the power to govern) are from the generation of the illustrious Thomas Sankara. Africa hopes that they will dare to think of “breaking the chains” peacefully one day and bring Africa further into the struggle for total independence, development and dignity.