So many conflicting things have been said and written about the ‘leadership’ in the continent of Africa, which most if not all, Europeans believing that Africans cannot generally rule.
The question of ‘bad leadership’ in Africa has also been exaggerated to an extent that one would believe that only monsters and lunatics rule the continent, save for the images of few such as Nelson Mandela.
However, with a variety of assassinations and military coup around the continent mostly backed by the West, Africans recently on social media continue to express regret over losing some leaders who were previously viewed as controversial or ‘bad’ leaders as would normally be portrayed by Western Media.
The following leaders accordingly are much celebrated today especially by the youthful population of Africa on social media.
1. Thomas Sankara: Often referred to “Africa’s Che Guevara”, Sankara remains one of the most influential and iconic revolutionary figures in African and the world at large. He became president of the Republic of Upper Volta at 33 following a military coup in 1983 and lasted until his assassination in 1987. His short rule saw the rapid transformation of Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) in every aspect of the life of the people of Burkina Faso. He is and remains the man of the people!
2. Muammar al-Gaddafi: Despite the controversy that surrounded his “autocratic” rule, Colonel Gaddafi is ironically one of the most popular leaders whom Africans express ‘regret ‘over losing. Gaddafi’s removal from power and assassination in 2011 saw the one time darling of the world, Libya faces long-term insecurity and political division, as well as an economic crisis in the oil-rich country.
3. Patrice Émery Lumumba: The independence leader of the resource-rich state of Congo is still widely seen as the sacrificial victim for the wider Pan-African movement. His open and unapologetic stand against the exploitation of the Congo by colonial and imperial powers saw him assassinated on January 17, 1961, by Belgium and U.S agents. He remains one of the most celebrated Africa leaders.
4. Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral: Known by his revolutionary name, Abel Djassi, Cabral remains one of the most celebrated philosophical revolutionary leaders in Africa. He led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands and the ensuing war of independence in Guinea-Bissau. He was assassinated on 20 January 1973 and since then Guinea Bissau has never seen stable leadership. The agricultural engineer, intellectual, poet, theoretician, revolutionary, political organizer, nationalist and diplomat remains celebrated across the continent.
5. Samora Machel: Samora is the influential and motivation revolutionary leader and first leader of Mozambique. Samora received military training, joined the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) and became the official leader in 1970, following the assassination of the incumbent, Eduardo Mondlane. President Machel, died in 1986 along with 33 other senior government officials in a suspicious presidential aircraft crashed near the Mozambique-South Africa border. He is popular for his stand against the exploitation of Mozambique by the colonial powers. He was a Pan Africanist and who championed the course of the people.