A week before he died, Sankara said, “revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, but you cannot kill ideas”. And so, for us today, the final challenge rests not in finding more Sankaras, but in becoming them – in bringing these ideas to life
Thomas Sankara. Photo: AFP
Thomas Sankara, former leader of Burkina Faso, was the apparent opposite of everything we are often told that success should look like. Mansions? Cars? Who? What? Get out of here. As Prime Minister and later as President, Sankara rode a bicycle to work before he upgraded, at his Cabinet’s insistence, to a Renault 5 – one of the cheapest cars available in Burkina Faso at the time. He lived in a small brick house and wore only cotton that was produced, weaved and sewn in Burkina Faso.
Going by his lifestyle, Sankara was the antithesis of success, but it is this very distinction that enabled him to become the most successful president Africa has ever seen, in terms of what he accomplished for and with his people. Sankara would not have chopped P-Square’s money given twice a chance – in fact, he might have sat him down and taught him a thing or two about the creeping menace of pop culture patriarchy – because Thomas Sankara, “The Upright Man”, was a feminist. In this and many other ways, Sankara was the African dream come true, the only living proof that hopes of African independence are not dead on arrival.
For what higher title do we carry than to be the Vice Regent of Allah on this earth?
" By time, verily Man is in loss except those who believe and do righteous deeds. And reminds one another with truth. And reminds one another with patience." Surah Al-'Asr.
"The person who utters a word which meets with God's favour may think it has not been heard, yet for this word, God will raise him to a higher level of Jannah. Conversely, the person who utters a word that stirs God's anger may give no thought to what he said, only to have God cast him in Hell for seventy years."
(Narrated by Malik and al-Tirmidhi, also by al-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah)
"Dear God You do not burden that I must but win, but You command that I must but try. Dear God count me amongst those who try. Verily my solah, my ibadah, my life and my death is only for You, Master of all Universe. Peace and aching salutations to the love of our life Muhammad s.a.w"
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