Mariam Sankara , née Sereme, born 26 March 1953 is the widow of Thomas Sankara, the President of Burkina Faso (previously named Upper Volta) from 4 August 1983 until his assassination on 15 October 1987. During this time she was First Lady of the country. Thomas Sankara, a Marxist and pan-Africanist army officer, became President of what was then known as the Republic of Upper Volta after a military coup in August 1983. He carried out what he proclaimed to be, the “Democratic and Popular Revolution” (French: Révolution démocratique et populaire), implementing many radical reforms. Sankara was killed in a coup in October 1987, orchestrated by his former friend and colleague Blaise Compaoré.