2. He reduced the salaries of well-off public servants, including his own, and forbade the use of government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets.
3. He redistributed land from the feudal landlords to the peasants. Wheat production increased from 1,700 kilograms per hectare (1,500 lb/acre) to 3,800 kilograms per hectare (3,400 lb/acre), making the country food self-sufficient.
4. He opposed foreign aid, saying that “he who feeds you, controls you.”
5. He spoke in forums like the Organization of African Unity against what he described as neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance.
6. He called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting.
7. In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country).
8. He forced well-off civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects.
9. He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to anyone but a handful of Burkinabés.
10. As President, he lowered his salary to $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer.
11. He required public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabé cotton and sewn by Burkinabé craftsmen.
12. He was known for jogging unaccompanied through Ouagadougou in his track suit and posing in his tailored military fatigues, with his mother-of-pearl pistol.
13. When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied: “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.”
14. An accomplished guitarist, he wrote the new national anthem himself.