Born on this day in 1925, Patrice Emery Lumumba was only 36 when he was brutally assassinated. The outspoken and charismatic revolutionary was the first legally elected prime minister of the Republic of Congo after he helped the country gain its independence from Belgium in 1960.
Lumumba was inspired by the independence movement of Africa after attending the All-African Peoples’ Conference in Ghana in 1958. This spurred him on to organise nationalist rallies in his country resulting in deadly protests that got him arrested and later released to negotiate the country’s independence.
Known as one of the youngest African leaders, Lumumba became the first Prime Minister of Congo at the age 35 on June 30, 1960. Lumumba’s rule lasted for seven months until his arrest. His subsequent torture and assassination remains one of the cruelest and unfortunate atrocities in African political history.
Lumumba transformed the country in just three months in office and he strongly advocated for a united Africa. He is seen as one of the founding fathers of post-colonial Africa and a key advocate in the Pan-African movement.
A charismatic leader, Lumumba was also a seasoned writer and poet, with most of his works centering on anti-imperialism and the liberation of Africa.
To commemorate his birthday, Face2Face Africa shares with you these two insightful poems he penned: