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TED-Ed looks at the life and legacy of African revolutionary Thomas Sankara. He liberated Burkina Faso from colonial rule but had a complicated time as leader of the newly independent country.

He was hailed as a hero for leading a revolution against the French and for ushering in policies that protected women’s and children’s rights. He was inspired by communist leaders around the world and recognised that the people of Burkina Faso needed to be looked after and be well protected from famine and violence. Although he tried to tackle government corruption from within, he also indulged in authoritarian polices, like banning trade unions and a free press.

He was eventually assassinated by a group of unknown men, although many suspect that they were from his own government. This animation explores his complicated legacy but also lauds his efforts to make Burkina Faso a democratic and equal country for all. The animation in this video perfectly captures the atmosphere of the era. It was one of great opportunity and hope, but also one of fear and instability. It’s an interesting video that shines a light on the difficult post-colonial periods experienced by many African countries.

TED-Ed|Thomas Sankara|2D Animation

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