Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary – Ernest Harsch



This is a non-fiction Biography of Burkina Faso’s President Thomas Sankara. Who took over the country via a bloodless coup in 1983, he ruled for 4 years up until 1987.

The first part of the book reads like a eulogy. It’s narrated in third person. The writer gives an account of people’s experiences and interactions (including his) with Thomas Sankara. Reading this book got me thinking that this guy Sankara was born in the wrong country and at the wrong time. Perhaps if he was born in a first world country he would be a famous world leader. That said, with the little resources that his country had, he managed to make significant changes and impact the lives of people in his country. This he did in such a short time.

As said earlier, he took over the country through a coup. Even though majority of the population preferred him, he was not democratically elected. He however as a friend pointed out, did not instigate the coup.

At the time of his rule, Burkina Faso had no systems in place to take the country to the next level, in terms of development. I kind of got the feeling that his decisions on issues about the country were disorganized. He really tried hard to show that the aspect of servant leadership to a majority of leaders who did not appreciate this kind of leadership. He also did not have like-minded people in his administration who shared his passion and vision. A highly recommended book for anyone who would love to understand the history of Burkina Faso and Thomas Sankara.


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