BLF follows in Sankara’s footsteps

BLF follows in Sankara’s footsteps

Black First Land First (BLF) calls on everyone, especially those engaging in revolutionary struggle and aspiring for political office to follow the example of the great Burkina Faso leader, Thomas Sankara.

In 1983 through a revolutionary coup and various campaigns like ‘Homeland or Death’ and changing the country’s name that advocated self reliance, return of the land and economy, as well as anti corruption, Thomas Sankara rose to power in what was then known at the Upper Volta. Upon becoming President, Sankara rechristened the country ‘Burkina Faso’ which means ‘Land of Honest People’ which in turn captures what being a Burkinabé is – proud, free, honest, and hard-working. Also renaming the country fostered national unity by combining ‘Burkina’ which is the Mooré word for ‘honest’, with ‘Faso’ being the Jula word for ‘homeland’.

In a space of four years Sankara made profound changes including facilitating women’s liberation via land return, ending polygamy, and banning forced marriages and other harmful practices against women; making the cheapest car at that time, the Renault 5, the official vehicle for ministers; reducing his salary as well as that of all government officials; ending the use of chauffeurs and first class airline seats; achieving food security; and democratising power to facilitate more participatory governance. His visionary project was brought to an abrupt end by a pro-imperialist assassination led by Blaise Compaoré who replaced him in office and reversed all the revolutionary gains under him.

Thirty one years after his death there’s one movement that has become restive and revitalized Sankara’s spirit − BLF. When BLF says “Land or Death” we mean as Sankara did “Homeland or Death, We will Overcome”. BLF has boldly incorporated the Sankarist leadership ethos. To this end we say in our constitution that ‘[a]ny BLF member who has been elected into office as a public representative and who is subsequently found to have been conducting herself/himself contrary to what is required of her/him in terms of “The Thomas Sankara Oath” shall be recalled from such office.’

True to our Sankara pledge, BLF intends to live up to the greatest revolutionary standards of incorruptibility. We reinforce this commitment in the face of politicians currently using the state apparatus to enrich themselves.  As Sankarist practitioners, BLF has undertaken to end the practice of using state power and access for personal gain. Also like Sankara we are in internationalist solidarity with the oppressed people and nations of the world as we seek to end centuries of colonial, apartheid and neo-colonial rule.

In this context, BLF’s ‘Thomas Sankara Oath’ outlines the cultural dictates and political commitments binding politicians and public servants. In accordance with this BLF members taking Public Office commit themselves to serving the public through providing high quality services and developing an efficient public service system that guarantees the dignity and equality of all. The Sankara Oath ends with this profound battlecry:

“I THEREFORE declare that it is a criminal offence to use private services for myself, my family and my dependents, including but not limited to: education, healthcare, housing and transport. I’m committed to public service therefore; I use the services I provide.”

Thus following Thomas Sankara’s footsteps, BLF shall facilitate the restoration of our people’s dignity.


Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
15 October 2018

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First
Twitter: @black1stland1st

Deputy President: Zanele Lwana
Cell: +27799867225

National Spokesperson: Lindsay Maasdorp
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Head of Media & Communications: Brian Tloubatla
Cell: +27 82 216 7664

Extracts from BLF political education induction documents – reading lists

Extracts from BLF political education induction documents – reading lists

Let’s study to fight

In the current national black waves recruitment program – towards the National Land Imbizo that will be held on 27 May 2017 in Mofolo Park, Soweto – two main areas of politics is generating a lot of interest, namely: the political orientation of the movement; and the question of who is black. The following are extracts from political education induction documents of BLF that speak to the areas of interest.

The Philosophical and Ideological perspective of BLF

The BLF is a black consciousness movement, inspired by Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko and Thomas Sankara. We seek a synthesis of the revolutionary ideas of Sobukwe (his radical Pan Africanism), Biko (his black consciousness) and Sankara as a practical elaboration of people’s power. These three revolutionaries cement the overall ideological orientation of our movement.

Reading list:

Sobukwe’s speeches
Biko’s 1972 interview
Biko’s “White Skin, Black Souls”
Thomas Sankara the upright man (Film)
Chinweizu “Black Colonialists: the root of the trouble with Africa”

Who is black?

The key question that defines our movement is: WHO IS BLACK? In this regard the BLF accepts the definition provided by Steve Biko. Every member is required to read the documents listed below.The relationship between our position being black and the fact of racism and white supremacy is a fundamental question for our movement. Studying these documents should give a member an understanding of the following:

Black as a political identity
Why black solidarity is important
Identifying who is black
The characteristics of a non white
What is racism?

Reading list:

Steve Biko’s “definition of black consciousness”
Steve Biko’s “Quest for True Humanity”
SASO Policy Manifesto
Andile Mngxitama’s “Black Can’t be Racist!”
BLFs statement, “peace amongst blacks, war to the enemy”

20 May 2017

Issued By Black First Land First (BLF)
National Secretariat for Political Education

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
Facebook: Black First Land First | Twitter: @black1stland1st
National Secretary for Political Education: Neo Mokatsanyane
Cell number: 0814167288
Email: [email protected]

On maintaining good political health of the movement

On maintaining good political health of the movement

On maintaining good political health of the movement

Message from the National Secretary for Political Education

We are currently experiencing the intensification of the global war for the consolidation of white imperialist power. In this context imperialism is sharpening its efforts to effect regime change in the country by removing the pro BRICS agenda President Zuma and replacing him with a puppet of imperialism, Cyril Ramaphosa. In this regard we have witnessed how opposition parties and civil society entities, in collaboration with imperialism, have tried to create a constitutional crisis in the country to lead it into paralysis. To this end Black First Land First (BLF) has counseled that the best form of defence is attack – hence its two pronged response to destroy the enemy via the campaigns #HandsOffZumaEconomicLiberationNow and #FightImperialismTakeBackTheLand. Continue reading “On maintaining good political health of the movement”

BLF remembers Thomas Sankara

BLF remembers Thomas Sankara

On  October 15, 1987 the black world lost one of its best sons. On this date, the white world used the hand of one of us to assassinate Thomas Sankara. Blaise Campaore allowed himself to be a traitor of black liberation by giving effect to a white conspiracy to murder Sankara. But as the people’s leader said one week before he was killed, “[w]hile revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas”.

Black First Land First(BLF) believes in and is inspired by a Sankarist leadership practice. Sankara taught us that it is possible to resist the temptation of using political office to serve oneself before serving the people. Sankara went into the highest office in Burkina Faso when he became President, but he didn’t use it to enrich himself. 

We learn from Thomas Sankara that the leaders of the people must not live lifestyles which are parasitic on the people. A leader of the poor shouldn’t live luxuriously while the people suffer. The love for bling and brands by leaders is counter the spirit of Sankara. Let the people be served first!

In the few years that Sankara was in power, he turned his country into a model society of self reliance. He stopped privileges for leaders and made women liberation a reality. He was anti imperialist and called on Africa to free itself from the yoke of Western imperialism. His message and example inspired the youth all over the world. Imperialism panicked and conspired with Campaore to murder Sankara. They were too late because Sankara lives on via his revolutionary legacy. 

BLF declares this month “Sankara Month” and calls upon the youth of our country to take time to honour and educate itself about who Thomas Sankara was. The most basic lesson that Sankara teaches us is that “a solider without political education is a potential criminal”. BLF shall be hosting public screenings of the documentary, “Thomas Sankara: the Upright Man” followed by discussions as well as public education on Thomas Sankara, The Sankara Oath and the People’s Manifesto.

Thomas Sankara lives!

Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First

15 October 2016

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail:[email protected]

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087
Mail: [email protected]

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: [email protected]