Captain Thomas Sankara, many people call him as “Africa’s Che Guevara.”. He is considered as an African revolutionary and a symbol of the liberation movement.
Thomas Sankara was born on December 21, 1949, and died on October 15, 1987. He was a military officer, revolutionary, and pan-Africanist President of Burkina Faso.
On August 4, 1983, at the age of 33, Sankara became President. As President, he promoted democratic and popular revolution.
On August 4, 1984, the first anniversary of his accession, he renamed the country Burkina Faso, which means “the land of upright people.” He also gave it a new flag and wrote a new national anthem.
40 Thomas Sankara Quotes.
- “The enemies of a people are those who keep them in ignorance.”
2. “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”
3. “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.”
4. “Everything that man can imagine, he is capable of creating,”
5. “We are not against progress, but we do not want progress that is anarchic and criminally neglects the rights of others.”
6. “Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa. It is a reconquest that turns each one of us into a financial slave.”
7. “He who feeds you, controls you.”
8. “The patriarchal family made its appearance, founded on the sole and personal property of the father, who had become head of the family. Within this family the woman was oppressed.”
9. “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.”
10. “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.”
Also Read – Haile Selassie Quotes
Thomas Sankara Quotes on Imperialism and Education
11. “Imperialism is a system of exploitation that occurs not only in the brutal form of those who come with guns to conquer territory. Imperialism often occurs in more subtle forms, a loan, food aid, blackmail . We are fighting this system that allows a handful of men on Earth to rule all of humanity.”
12.”I want people to remember me as someone whose life has been helpful to humanity.”
13. “Our country produces enough to feed us all. Alas, for lack of organization, we are forced to beg for food aid. It’s this aid that instills in our spirits the attitude of beggars.”
14. “Without patriotic political education, a soldier is only a potential criminal.”
15. “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 codewords, 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.”
16. “Inequality can be done away with only by establishing a new society, where men and women will enjoy equal rights, resulting from an upheaval in the means of production and in all social relations. Thus, the status of women will improve only with the elimination of the system that exploits them.”
17. “The only difference between the woman who sells her body through prostitution and she who sells herself in marriage is the price and duration of the contract.”
18. “The patriarchal family made its appearance, founded on the sole and personal property of the father, who had become head of the family. Within this family the woman was oppressed.”
19. “We must learn to live the African way. It’s the only way to live in freedom and with dignity.”
Short Thomas Sankara Quotes
20. “The French revolution taught us the rights of man.”
21. “We must dare to invent the future.”
22. “I can hear the roar of women’s silence.”
23. “Never be shamed of being Afrikan.”
24. “We must choose either champagne for a few or safe drinking water for all”
25. “In every male languishes the soul of a feudal lord, a male chauvinist, which must be destroyed.”
26. “Women hold up the other half of the sky.”
27. “A military without political training is a potential criminal.”
28. “Let there be an end to the arrogance of the big powers who miss no opportunity to put the rights of the people in question. Africa’s absence from the club of those who have the right to veto is unjust and should be ended.”
29. “Conceiving a development project without women’s participation is like using only four fingers when we have ten.”
30. “We try to see that our actions live up to our words and be vigilant regarding our behavior.”
Thomas Sankara Quotes on leadership and Courage
31. “Perseverance requires courage.”
32. “May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence.”
33. “Comrade revolutionaries, we should see to it that marriage is a choice that adds something positive, and not some kind of lottery where we know what the ticket costs us, but have no idea what we will end up winning. Human feelings are too noble to be subject to such games.”
34. “As revolutionaries, we don’t have the right to say we are tired of explaining. We must never stop explaining. We know that when the people understand, they cannot help but follow us.”
35. “By changing the social order that oppresses women, the revolution creates the conditions for their genuine emancipation.”
36. “We are not against progress, but we do not want progress that is anarchic and criminally neglects the rights of others.”
37. “Inequality can be done away with only by establishing a new society, where men and women will enjoy equal rights.”
38. “No altar, no belief, no holy book have ever been able to reconcile the rich and the poor, the exploiter and the exploited. And Jesus himself had taken the whip to chase them from his temple. It is indeed because that is the only language they hear.”
39. “We have to recondition our people to accept themselves as they are, not to be ashamed of their real situation, to be satisfied with it, to glory in it, even.”
40. “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.”
My favorite Thomas Sankara quotes are “Everything that man can imagine, he is capable of creating,” and “The enemies of a people are those who keep them in ignorance.”
For my Africa related blog posts, The story of Thomas Sankara is among the most popular on this site.
Why is Thomas Sankara remembered?
- His administration: Sankara presided over Burkina Faso from 1983 until his assassination in 1987. He carried out a number of progressive policies during his presidency with the goal of making Burkina Faso a socialist nation that could rely on itself. His humility, integrity, and commitment to the welfare of his people were qualities that best described his leadership style.
2. His dedication to pursuing social justice: Sankara had a strong commitment to equality and social justice. His programs included campaigns to fight corruption, advance gender equality, and widen access to healthcare and education in an effort to better the lives of Burkinabes.
3. His opposition to imperialism: Sankara actively worked to lessen Burkina Faso’s reliance on loans and aid from abroad. He was a vocal opponent of Western imperialism. He pushed for a pan-African strategy for growth and urged other African countries to emulate Burkina Faso.
4. Sankara was a strong supporter of the environment and understood the significance of sustainable development. In order to stop the desertification of Burkina Faso, he started a massive reforestation campaign and promoted sustainable farming methods.
5. Sankara left a lasting legacy that has inspired people in Africa and all over the world despite his brief period of political authority. He is remembered as a visionary leader who tirelessly worked to make the world a better place for all people while standing up for the rights of the poor and marginalized.