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Greetings Family,

Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum is an online community radio programme hosted by the Ligali Organisation. It is designed to enable honest and progressive discussion of community issues, including those raised in the weekly Nyansapo column written by Toyin Agbetu for the New Nation newspaper. The next programme on 2 December 2008 will ask the question;

Should all mental health service users be criminalised?

"10% of the black people locked up in high secure hospitals (Broadmoor, Rampton, Ashworth) have never committed a crime in their life.  The average stay for a black man in these places is 10 years"

Matilda MacAttram, Black Mental Health UK

Nyansapo - Miriam Makeba

"During the earlier years of Maafa, our Ancestors used to be classified with having a mental disease called ‘drapomania’. European witch doctors (scientists) claimed this inexplicable ailment was responsible for the irrepressible desire in enslaved Africans for freedom and led to our Ancestors constantly seeking to revolt and run away from their enslavers.

But there is a great irony in all this nonsense. During 2006, there was controversy after a statue of the British leader Winston Churchill was unveiled portraying him wearing a straight jacket. Churchill who was a fan of eugenics advocated for a Bill that proposed the introduction of compulsory sterilisation for the 'feeble-minded' in Britain.  Today we know that he was not only a manic depressive but also suffered from a bi-polar disorder that could have had him sectioned under today’s draconian laws.

So what are the solutions? Well I believe its time we all contributed to challenging politically motivated media stereotypes that polarise, criminalise and stigmatise those suffering with poor mental health and increases racist discrimination in the field.

I am told that a recent event I booked to attend (but sadly missed), rightly focused on tapping into our traditional African cultural practices in order to seek holistic healing for those of us suffering from stress and ill health.  If you want to read their findings on the use of successful alternative healing practices check out their website at However please be careful to only use traditional African healers who are proven to be trustworthy and honest. Often those that appear mentally healthy can simultaneously be spiritually sick. May the Ancestors guide and protect us. Ase." -

Toyin Agbetu, The Ligali Organisation

Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum broadcasts live every Tuesday between 9pm - 12 pm. We discuss pan African news, current affairs and feature reviews of cultural media and events. It is an interactive programme so please feel free to call and join in, we are currently running a limited test service and intend to be broadcasting a full compliment of programmes early 2009.

There are several ways you can interact with the programme you can;

Call in for free using Skype: nyansapodrum
Send an email to;
Send a text message to; 077286 99049
or call in on the main Ligali phone line; 020 8986 1984

Thank you for your patience as we redevelop our internet communications infrastructure, we are currently working on solutions to address all issues of buffering and audio quality. We expect all our other issues, technical and otherwise to be resolved early in the new year.

As ever, your support and feedback, especially constructive criticism is welcome.

Ligali - in service to our family, with the spirit of our Ancestors.

Ligali is a Pan African, human rights organisation founded by Toyin Agbetu in early 2000, it was named in remembrance of his beloved late father Ligali Ayinde Agbetu who taught him to take pride in his African heritage and challenge those opposed to universal human rights. The Ligali and African History Month websites were subsequently co-developed by former Ligali member emma pierre for our community, to be used by our community. It is maintained and funded entirely by the Ligali organisation but we do need your help to keep it running.



it’s ok to be insane
were fear becomes rare
and night dreams
collide with day mares
an existence where
normality is a world you cannot bear
a word you don’t hear
a feeling you can’t share
too confident
too shy
wanting to hide
but refusing to deny
wanting to fly
but still possessing earthy binds
some worthless?

emotionally intoxicated
high on your pride
fear on your side
ego denied
that Ancestral strength
that guides and resides
with Africa
loving me

“knowledge of self is spiritual wealth”

as wisdom dictates
that voice
that dream

…it’s ok to be insane
I know
for I am
we are

Written by Toyin Agbetu, 11 August 2008 on the morning of his trial where he is being prosecuted by the British state for obstructing their police force in the execution of their duty for his actions which possibly saved the life of a young African in their custody. He was facing the prospect of being criminalised by the state and serving three months in prison.

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