Remembering a Hero: The Voice of Thomas Sankara

On this day in 1987, a great Pan African leader, Thomas Sankara was assassinated at 37 by his former colleague and close friend Blaise Compore with help from the French government.

Today, we remember him by re-sharing what he shared in the course of enlightening the African and in his contribution towards collective human progress. Below are some of the most memorable quotes from Thomas Sankara, The Up Right Man!

  1. “You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.”- Thomas Sankara
  2. “The revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph. Women hold up the other half of the sky”- Thomas Sankara
  3. “We have to work at decolonizing our mentality and achieving happiness within the limits of sacrifice we should be willing to make. We have to recondition our people to accept themselves as they are, to not be ashamed of their real situation, to be satisfied with it, to glory in it, even…”- Thomas Sankara
  4. “The enemies of a people are those who keep them in ignorance.”- Thomas Sankara
  5. “Comrades, there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence. I hear the roar of women’s silence. I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt.”- Thomas Sankara
  6. “We must learn to live the African way. It’s the only way to live in freedom and with dignity”- Thomas Sankara
  7. “Without patriotic political education, a soldier is only a potential criminal”.- Thomas Sankara
  8. “He who feeds you controls you”
  9. “It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.”- Thomas Sankara
  10. “I want people to remember me as someone whose life has been helpful to humanity”.- Thomas Sankara
  11. “May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence.”- Thomas Sankara
  12. “The greatest difficulty we have faced is the neocolonial way of thinking that exists in this country. We were colonized by a country, France that left us with certain habits. For us, being successful in life, being happy, meant trying to live as they do in France, like the richest of the French.”- Thomas Sankara
  13. “The spirit is smothered, as it were, by ignorance, but so soon as ignorance is destroyed, spirit shine forth, like the sun when released from clouds.”- Thomas Sankara
  14. “We must dare to invent the future” Thomas Sankara
  15. “I can hear the roar of women’s silence” – Thomas Sankara
  16. “Our revolution is not a public-speaking tournament. Our revolution is not a battle of fine phrases. Our revolution is not simply for spouting slogans that are no more than signals used by manipulators trying to use them as catchwords, as code word, as a foil for their own display. Our revolution is, and should continue to be, the collective effort of revolutionaries to transform reality, to improve the concrete situation of the masses of our country.”- Thomas Sankara
  17. “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”- Thomas Sankara
  18. “Debt is a cleverly managed request of  Africa”- Thomas Sankara
  19. “When the people stand up, imperialism trembles”- Thomas Sankara

Which is your favorite?