RBG Blakademics November. 2010African revolutionary Thomas Sankara's example lives onPage 2
African revolutionary Thomas Sankara'sexample lives on
Text written by
Demba Moussa Dembélé
Thomas Sankara was killed in the belief that itcould extinguish the example he set forAfrican youth and progressive forces acrossthe continent. They could not have been morewrong. One week before his assassination onOctober 15, 1987, in a speech marking the20th anniversary of the assassination ofErnesto ``Che'' Guevara, Thomas Sankaradeclared: ``Ideas cannot be killed, ideas
never die.’' Indeed, the history of humanity is
replete with martyrs and heroes whose ideasand actions have survived the passage timeto inspire future generations.Their ideas, courage and sacrifice for thefreedom and dignity of their people havemade these martyrs larger than life. ThomasIsidore Sankara is one in a long lineage ofAfrican sons and daughters whose ideas andactions have left an indelible mark on thehistory of their continent. That is why 21 yearsafter his death, Sankara continues to guidethose who are struggling to end thedomination of their continent and theenslavement of its peoples.
Sankara’s great popularity is in part a reflection of Africans’ disillusionment with
corruptleaders who are incapable of meeting the basic needs of their peoples and who taketheir marching orders from Western capital and institutions like the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sankara’s popularity is also rooted in the
profoundsincerity of his commitment to serving his people, his devotion to the cause of theemancipation of the Burkinabés and all African peoples. His charisma, honesty andintegrity made him a hero for the ``wretched of the Earth'', to coin a phrase from FrantzFanon, who was greatly admired by Sankara.