n 2014, protesters opposed Blaise Compaore’s bid to change the constitution so that he could extend his 27-year rule [File: Joe Penney/Reuters]

On October 30, 2014, Serge Bambara, better known as Smockey, a popular Burkinabe hip-hop artist, stood and watched as the country’s national assembly building was burned and looted by protesters.

The demonstrators, who had for days taken to the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou, were angry at longtime President Blaise Compaore’s attempt to extend his 27-year rule by amending the constitution.

A leading figure in the uprising, Bambara had pleaded with the crowd not to set fire to public buildings. Nonetheless, as the flames engulfed Parliament, it marked a turning point in Burkina Faso’s history and the end of Compaore’s authoritarian

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