“If you take a walk around Ouagadougou and make a list of the mansions you see, you will note that they belong to just a minority. How many of you who have been assigned to Ouagadougou from the farthest corners of the country have had to move every night because you’ve been thrown out of the house you have rented? To those who have acquired houses and land through corruption we say: start to tremble. If you have stolen, tremble, because we will come after you”. March 26, 1983
“Aid to Burkina Faso must serve to strengthen not undermine, our sovereignty.” August 1984
“Any African Head of State who comes to New York must first pass through Harlem. This is why we consider that our White House is in Black Harlem.” October 2, 1984
Our ancestors in Africa were actively committed to a certain form of development. We do not want these great African wisemen to be assassinated. 2 octobre 1984 à Harlem
“We propose that the structures of the UN be changed to put an end to the scandal surrounding the right to veto” October 4, 1984
“The greatest difficulty we have faced is the neocolonial spirit 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.” March 17, 1985
“We have to work at decolonizing our mentality and achieving happiness within the limits of sacrifice we should be willing to make. We have to recondition our people to accept themselves as they are, to not be ashamed of their real situation, to be satisfied with it, to glory in it, even.” 1985
We need the new school and the new teaching to concur with the birth of patriots and not stateless people. Putting a child in school should stop being conceived as a simple accounting investment, if indeed the ongoing transformation of societies which fall on successive generations has quantifiable elements and non-quantifiable. 17 october 1986 Appel de Gaoua on the quality of education.
“We too are actors in the international arena, and we have the right to choose a political and economic system true to our aspirations. We have the duty to fight for a more just and more peaceful world, regardless of the fact that we have neither large industrial cartels nor nuclear weapons”. August 27, 1987
“It is always at the side of a woman that we become men again, and every man is a child for every woman.” March 8, 1987
“There are no true social revolution until the woman is liberated. May my eyes never see a society where half of the people is maintained under silence. I hear the racket of this silence of women, I suspect the roar of their storm, I feel the fury of their revolt. I wait and hope for the fertile irruption of the revolution for which they will translate the force and rigorous righteousness coming from their oppressed bowels.” 8 mars 1987, Ouagadougou
“The people’s democratic revolution needs a people that is confident and not defeated, a people of conviction and not a subjected people who suffer their fate.” 4 août 1987
“I have told myself, either I’ll finish up an old man somewhere in a library reading books, or I’ll meet with a violent end, since we have so many enemies. Once you’ve accepted that reality, it’s just a question of time. It will happen today or tomorrow.” October 8th, 1987
One week after Thomas Sankara made this last remark, he was murdered.
Homeland or death, we will triumph!
These quotes can be found in the book “Thomas Sankara speaks” by Pathfinder Press (1988).