“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.”

— Thomas Sankara

The last century was “The Age of Extremes.” In the second half of the century, the world underwent profound changes. The most radical changes happened on the political and geographic levels. Many nationalists were trying to liberate their countries from foreign influences or their local cronies. One such man named Thomas Sankara, born on December 21, 1949, was one of the most remarkable African leaders of the 20th century. As a young soldier, Sankara led a revolution in Burkina Faso and proceeded to build a self-reliant, egalitarian economy and society that was a model for the continent.

But he met the same fate that other visionaries suffered. Blaise Compaore overthrew him in a coup. Compaore promptly reversed Sankara’s revolutionary policies with the backing of the International Monetary Fund, France and the United States. He was assassinated on October 15, 1987.

His legacy continues to inspire a generation, and he remains one of the most extraordinary and charismatic African leaders, who strongly believed in African unity, the African liberation struggle, it’s social and economic freedom.