Valentine Strasser: From African president at 25 to living in poverty

Valentine Strasser: From African president at 25 to living in poverty

- In 1992, Valentine Strasser became the youngest president in the world after he and a small group of young soldiers overthrew the Sierra Leonean president

- However, his presidency did not even last half a decade before his own men ousted him

- Strasser was left fleeing to other countries before travelling back to his own, where he reportedly lives in poverty

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Many presidents have been in politics for decades before they get elected as heads of state. However, one young man managed to go from junior military officer to president of Sierra Leone at the age of 25- making him Africa's youngest prime minister.

A couple days after Valentine Strasser, who was born in the capital of Sierra Leone on 26 April, 1967, turned 25, he made history by becoming the world's youngest head of state.

One would think Strasser had a bright future ahead of him, but a coup by his own men ended his short-lived reign and things went downhill from there.

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Valentine Strasser: From African president at 25 to living in poverty

On the left: A young Valentine Strasser in his uniform. On the right: Strasser is said to be living in poverty. Photo credit: Face2Face Africa.
Source: UGC

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On 29 April, 1992, Strasser successfully led a group of six young men in a coup against the then Sierra Leonean president, Joseph Saidu Momoh.

Following the coup, the junior military officer became the first president born after Sierra Leone had become an independent nation, Wikipedia reported.

However, in 1996, another military coup, led by Strasser's deputy Julius Maada Bio, ousted him. Briefly.co.za gathered Strasser's own men did not approve with the way he was ruling and they decided he needed to step down.

Maada Bio succeeded Strasser as the head of state of Sierra Leone.

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Valentine Strasser: From African president at 25 to living in poverty

On the left: Soldiers of Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone. On the right: Julius Maada Bio. Photo credit: Face2Face Africa.
Source: UGC

After the coup, Strasser moved to England where he pursued a degree in law at the University of Warwick in Coventry. However, Strasser dropped out after only a year and decided to move to Gambia.

Upon arrival at the West African country, Strasser was denied entry and he decided to head back home. According to reports, the former president now lives in poverty on a small pension.

He reportedly runs an IT institute aimed at helping kids and teenagers develop computer skills. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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