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Memorable and Worthwhile quotes from Ahmed Sekou Toure

Without being Communists, we believe that the analytical qualities of Marxism and the organization of the people are methods especially well-suited for our country.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, first president of Guinea, as quoted in Rolf Italiaander’s The New Leaders of Africa, New Jersey, 1961

 

People are not born with racial prejudices. For example, children have none. Racial questions are questions of education. Africans learned racism form the European. Is it any wonder that they now think in terms of race — after all they’ve gone through under colonialism?
Ahmed Sékou Touré, first president of Guinea, as quoted in Rolf Italiaander’s The New Leaders of Africa, New Jersey, 1961

An African statesman is not a naked boy begging from rich capitalists.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, first president of Guinea, as quoted in ‘Guinea: Trouble in Erewhon’, Time, Friday 13 December 1963.

 

The private trader has a greater sense of responsibility than civil servants, who get paid at the end of each month and only once in a while think of the nation or their own responsibility.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, first president of Guinea, as quoted in ‘Guinea: Trouble in Erewhon’, Time, Friday 13 December 1963.

 

We ask you therefore, not to judge us or think of us in terms of what we were — or even of what we are — but rather to think of us in terms of history and what we will be tomorrow.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, first president of Guinea, as quoted in Rolf Italiaander’s The New Leaders of Africa, New Jersey, 1961

 

We should go down to the grassroots of our culture, not to remain there, not to be isolated there, but to draw strength and substance there from, and with whatever additional sources of strength and material we acquire, proceed to set up a new form of society raised to the level of human progress.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in Osei Amoah’s A Political Dictionary of Black Quotations, published in London, 1989.

To take part in the African revolution it is not enough to write a revolutionary song: you must fashion the revolution with the people. And if you fashion it with the people, the songs will come by themselves.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in Osei Amoah’s A Political Dictionary of Black Quotations, published in London, 1989.

At sunset when you pray to God, say over and over that each man is a brother and that all men are equal.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in Robin Hallett’s, Africa Since 1875, University of Michigan Press, 1974.

 

We have told you bluntly, Mr President, what the demands of the people are … We have one prime and essential need: our dignity. But there is no dignity without freedom … We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.
Ahmed Sékou Touré’s statement to General De Gaulle during the French leaders visit to Guinea in August 1958, as quoted in Robin Hallett’s, Africa Since 1875, University of Michigan Press, 1974.

 

For the first twenty years, we in Guinea have concentrated on developing the mentality of our people. Now we are ready to move on to other business.
Ahmed Sékou Touré. as quoted in David Lamb’s The Africans, New York 1985.

 

I don’t know what people mean when they call me the bad child of Africa. Is it that they consider us unbending in the fight against imperialism, against colonialism? If so, we can be proud to be called headstrong. Our wish is to remain a child of Africa unto our death..
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in David Lamb’s The Africans, New York 1985.

 

People of Africa, from now on you are reborn in history, because you mobilize yourself in the struggle and because the struggle before you restores to your own eyes and renders to you, justice in the eyes of the world.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in ‘The Permanent Struggle’, The Black Scholar, Vol 2 No 7, March 1971.

 

[T]he political leader is, by virtue of his communion of idea and action with his people, the representative of his people, the representative of a culture.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, as quoted in Molefi Kete Asante and Kariamu Welsh Asante’s African Culture the Rhythms of Unity: The Rhythms of Unity Africa, World Press, October 1989.

 

In the history of this new Africa which has just come into the world, Liberia has a preeminent place because she has been for each of our peoples the living proof that our liberty was possible. And nobody can ignore the fact that the star which marks the Liberian national emblem has been hanging for more than a century — the sole star that illuminated our night of dominated peoples.
Ahmed Sékou Touré, from his ‘Liberian Independence Day Address’ of 26 July 1960, as quoted in Charles Morrow Wilson’s Liberia: Black Africans in Microcosm, Harper and Row, 1971.

 

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