From Power to Pauper: Meet ex military dictator who now live a pauper

Valentine Esegragbo Melvine Strasser was born on the 26th of April, 1967. He was a military leader who served as a head of state of Sierra Leone. He served from the year 1992 till 1996. Initially, he was a junior military officer, however in the year 1992, he siezed power just about 3days after his 25th birthday, making him the world’s youngest dictator.

Valentine was amongst the group of 6 young Sierra Leone soldiers who overthrew president Joseph Said Momoh. The overthew occurred on the 29th of April, 1992. They collectively founded a military assembly called the National Provisional Ruling Council, NPRC.

After he spent 4 years in office, on January 1996, Valentine Strasser was removed in another military coup, the difference is that this time around, he was ousted by his own NPRC soldiers. His soldiers were not content with his method of ruling and spearheading the peace process. 

After Valentine Strasser’s overthrow, he left the United Kingdom. Difficulties and hardship came into his story afterwards, coupled with divorce and also s recurring embarrassment from one of his victim’s daughter, he was thereafter forced to abandon the school in UK.

He returned to Sierra Leone. He’s been living there with his mom and is on a daily struggle for survival. He’s taken a chance with Palm wine bars. It was reported that he’s complained several times of his hardship and lack of job.


This is the story of Grace to Grass. When this young man was a dictator, it was reported that he had successfully managed to survive coup attempts, survived civil War and forcing young boys into the military.

According to the recent news, he’s living off his meagre pensions for now.

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