Houphout Boigny was born in 1905, to a pro-French Baoule aristocratic family of Ivorian origin.
He got his training as a doctor in colonial Senegal and was appointed as medical officer in hitherto, in a hospital designated to French colonists.
For many Ivorian he’s not just a doctor, he was an ‘intellect’ with some supernatural powers which can undo anything.
His nickname ‘Le Veuix’ means old man, the wise Ivorian old man who fought against colonialists, forced them to undo forced labour system and worked for the rights of black in era of pro-racist colonial regime.
He was committed to nonviolence and hosted many peace conferences in his home town of Yammusukro.
It was his nonviolent peaceful protests which forced colonialist to leave the country and Ivory became an independent state.
He restructured state institutes and revolutionalized industry.
Being the first president of a newly independent state he dedicated 40% of national budget for education.
He was a Roman Catholic but married a Muslim women kady Racine Sow.
He was an anti racist and always advocated:
“Racial discrimination is painful and appalling to our dignity”.
Ivory coast then (and still to date) is multi ethnic .He was the man who bought different ethnic societies under the umbrella of ‘nation hood’
A few are of the argument that he wasn’t sincere in his peace related efforts as he supported brutal right-wing coups against Nkrumah in Ghana in 1966.
But all in all, he certainly had leadership qualities, and worked for stronger foundations of the newly established nation-state of Ivory Coast.
Copyright © 2019 Ghanalive.TV. All Rights Reserved.