Walking into a coup d'etat – 'The man who smiles every day with death'

“…I am not Thomas Sankara, nor Jerry Rawlings. I am Assimi Goita. Remember me as a reformer not a revolutionary. Remember me as the bearer of hope to the people, the one who came when your blood was shed for your desire for change. I will go to the end of my mission.

I will never betray your trust. Death does not scare me, I saw it every day on the battlefield. It’s failure that scares me. If death marries me on the way to our target, do not mourn me. Don’t make my grave a sanctuary. I did what I thought was right for my country. I did it for my country. I did it for me, but I did it for you too. I am Assimi, the man who smiles every day with death.”

But even in the most beautiful poems, there is often something unforgivingly heartbreaking. That’s what I thought when I read the poem by Assimi Goita, of Mali. It was shared with me shortly following our departure from Burkina Faso. I could not help but wonder if the incoming president, a military official himself, shared similar sentiments, about change, and the sense of ownership in the process which would change Burkina. I thought, there is something so beautiful about constantly reimagining yourself, and hoping, against brokenness, for a country that will one day, complete its renovations. There is something fragile and real, in realising that the current way is not always the right way and that sometimes, it’s wiser to make space for change. Perhaps that is what the Burkinabe thought, as the winds of change swept through their nation.

Editor's Comment
Government’s efforts commendable!

Since the news broke, the government made sure to work hand in hand with the South African government to assist the families of the victims. The two countries came together to help the families identify the bodies of their loved ones through DNA testing. The government also announced that they would assist families with food for mourners before the funerals.Even though the deceased persons were mostly residents of Molepolole, the government...

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