A deserted feeling surrounds the royal palace in Kokologho. A little bit disappointed we stand in front of the closed gate. No children are to be seen running around, just a few adults walking around.
A neighboring woman with a sad expression explains it with one single sentence: The King has passed away.
And when a King passes away in Burkina Faso it takes a while before a new one will be inaugurated. Especially in this case, I am explained, while we walk around the block covering the royal courtyard and the women’s quarters.
It all started when the mayor of Ouagadougou fled the city during the 2011 military rebellion, seeking shelter in his mother’s village, Kokologho. The King agreed upon hiding the mayor. However, the mayor being a child born out of wedlock, this is not such a common thing as it may seem. A bastard is still cast out in the eyes of many living a traditional live.
The villagers of Kokologho were not at all amused with the King’s decision. Having lost the respect and confidence of his people, he was no more worthy being a King.
So he did, what he ‘had’ to do and took his own life…