[WIKI] As President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara lowered his salary to only $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer. A motorcyclist himself, he formed an all-women motorcycle personal guard. ⠀
He required public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabe cotton and sewn by Burkinabe craftsmen. When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.” Sankara rejected the idea of foreign aid, saying that “he who feeds you, controls you.” The country's food production became self-sustaining. ⠀
He spoke eloquently in forums like the Organization of African Unity against continued neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance. He called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting.
He forced civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects. He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to anyone but a handful of Burkinabes.
Sankara was assassinated by agents of imperialism in coup plot orchestrated by France on October 15, 1987.
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