Now there’s a chance of justice for Thomas Sankara, it’s useful to review what got him killed 1/8…
Thomas Sankara was the leader of a bold initiative to transform a country trapped in a dependent relationship with the rest of the world, particularly France 2/8
Sankara refused to accept that poverty in West Africa was inevitable, and offered a new kind of freedom. Sankara was really vulnerable only to counter-coups – from forces who wanted to return to business as usual with French imperialism 3/8
Sankara’s govt launched a mass vaccination programme in an effort to eliminate polio, meningitis and measles. From 1983, 2 million Burkinabé (25% of the 8 million population then) were immunised 4/8
Before 1983 infant mortality in Burkina Faso was at roughly 20% but fell in the period of Sankara’s presidency to 140 per 1000 births. These were vital and welcome initiatives, [among many others] 5/8
Opposition, under Sankara’s instructions, had been marginalised or stamped out. This left him exposed, with only a small militant core by his side. There was no popular movement among the working class and the poor that might have resisted a return to the old state 6/8
Sankara had stripped himself of the ability to defend the transformation he had tried to achieve. He had tried to substitute his popularity, charisma and oratory for a real movement that could confront the forces working towards his defeat 7/8
When, in 1961, the revolutionary Frantz Fanon wrote about Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba’s murder and isolation, he was expressing the dangerous loneliness of the African radical intelligentsia, of which Sankara was a later representative 8/8

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Charles Onyango-Obbo

Charles Onyango-Obbo Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @cobbo3

26 Oct 20
In Lekki, one of the poshest suburbs of Lagos, the Nigerian army removed the cameras, turned off the street lights & LED billboard and killed "over 78" #EndSARS protestors singing the national anthem…then put the dead bodies in their trucks 1/7…
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation (200M people), is really two countries. The southern, mostly Christian half, with all the oil, ports & most industry, is around 95% literate. Only 1 of the 19 northern, mostly Muslim states is over 50% literate 2/7…
50% of young women in northern Nigeria have no formal education. Only 27% of southerners live below poverty line; 72% of northerners do. Yet it is young southerners on the brink of revolt, cos it is the political domination of the north that keeps ruling kleptocracy in power 3/7
Read 7 tweets
23 Oct 20
The wall network of Benin City was collectively 4 times longer than the Great Wall of China and consumed roughly 100 times more material to build than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt 1/5…
Benin City was also notably AMONG THE FIRST urban centres to have a likeness of street lighting. There were large metal lamps that burned palm oil, standing many feet high, placed around the city 2/5
The Benin wall network extended for some 16,000 kilometres in all. Dug by the Edo people, they took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct, and are perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet 3/5
Read 6 tweets
7 Sep 20
Struck up a conversation with the chap who cuts pineapple & other fruits at the Nairobi Carrefour where I shop. Seems he was puzzled, then surprised, that a customer would want to talk to him in any serious way. But he has a story 1/5 #NairobiPineappleCutter
Over the last 3 years, and he's gotten very adept at slicing pineapples. I asked him how many pineapples he has cut. Another puzzled look. He laughs, and says, "ah, they are too many to count".
I tell him, "You can, just write them down each day" 2/5 #NairobiPineappleCutter
I continue; "You know, if you work 330 days a year, and cut 10 to15 pineapples, over the last 3 years you have cut about 10,000".
"Wow", he says 3/5
Read 5 tweets
4 Mar 20
“No Roses from My Mouth” .@drstellanyanzi’s collection of poetry (159 of them, some were seized) that was written in prison, is a deliberately provocative – and apt – response to a dictatorial regime that fails to see the folly of imprisoning writers 1/8…
We have not had a book like “No Roses From my Mouth” this in this region. It is hard to think of another writer doing what Nyanzi is doing - A. K. Kaiza 2/8
From “No Roses From my Mouth”:
There will be no orgasm
Coming from my mouth
Who cares about pleasure during war?
Instead there is venom and acid 3/8
Read 8 tweets
29 Feb 20
On 1 March 124 years ago, Ethiopian Emperor Menelik's warriors, farmers, pastoralists & women routed a well-armed Italian army in Adwa. The spectacular victory ensured Ethiopia’s independence, making it the only African country never to be colonised 1/4…
Before it was defeated, Italy’s expansion across Ethiopia was facilitated by the devastation caused by rinderpest that killed up to 90% of the country’s livestock. Famine & disease had also wiped out over 30% of Ethiopia’s population between 1888 & 1892 2/4
One of the key leaders of the Ethiopian forces at the 1 March 1896 Battle of Adwa was Etege Tayitu Bitul, wife of Emperor Menelik. A fearless strategist and brilliant administrator, she led 6,000 cavalry & employed traditional music and war chants to motivate the warriors 3/4
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!