Ever heard of the African revolutionary Thomas Sankara?

My second granddaughter is named Kara Jo – the second name after the Labour MP Jo Cox who was murdered and the first name after the African revolutionary who was assassinated. I confess that I had not previously heard of Sankara.

However, as it happens, there is currently a play in London called simply “Sankara” and earlier this week I went along to a performance. The venue was a small, fringe theatre called “The Cockpit”. There is no stage but four flights of seats around a floor-level square where the actors perform.

The play has been written and directed by Ricky Dujany and the largely black cast is headed by Ike Chuks as the eponymous soldier/politician. It is a fascinating story although the play itself is quite heavy-going politically.

Thomas Sankara came to power in a coup in 1983 in the former French West African colony of Upper Volta which he renamed Burkina Faso which means “land of upright man”. He pioneered a raft of radical economic and social reforms but became increasingly dictatorial and was himself overthrown in a coup of 1987.

You can learn more about the play here.

You can learn more about Sankara here.


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