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Greetings Family,

Note: The Ligali Organisation will not be accepting any new work until August when we will return for African Remembrance Month 2009.  The widely respected community worker and broadcaster Sista C will be hosting the Pan African Drum for a few weeks from 16 June 2009. The weekly topical community programme will broadcast live every Tuesday from 9pm – 12 midnight.


Nyansapo - is an online community radio station hosted by the Ligali Organisation. It is designed to enable honest and progressive discussion of community issues. Our next Pan African Drum programme on 9 June 2009 will address the issue of;

Being Hopeful : The making of a new dawn for Africans?


Nyansapo

The Ligali organisation is a supporter of the NKRUMAH@100 season


Programme Timetable

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

Call the studio phone line;

0208 1444 708

Send an email to; nyansapo@ligali.org
Send a text message to; 077286 99049
Call in for free using Skype: nyansapodrum

9pm - 10pm
Pan African News (Mixing international and local news)

Community announcements and contributions from listeners are welcome.

10pm - 11:30pm
Talk of the Day
Being Hopeful : The making of a new dawn for Africans?

11:30 - 12:00am (ish)
Loose Ends
Organic cook up flavoured discussion on recent media, films, books and cultural arts.

If you cannot access the website then it will be available direct by clicking the link below;
Nyansapo Radio
or by going to http://www.myspace.com/nyansapodrum


Ligali DVD's
You can support us by making a single or regular donation online or volunteering to help at www.ligali.org/aboutus/supporting.htm.
Remember, we can’t continue to be successful without your ongoing support.

Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum

nyansapo_toyin_agbetu
Toyin Agbetu

Nyansapo – Hope

“When a person is not as she used to be, she does not behave as she used to behave” – African Proverb, Igbo

Greetings, being a Pan Africanist is hard work, although it is spiritually enriching its also economically impoverishing. Whilst it’s socially uplifting it is also physically tiring. Loneliness, isolation, relentless forces of negativity attempting to destroy any gains of positivity, yup being a Pan Africanist is hard work. Yet we can’t give up. In fact when people ask how I keep going, what drives me, why don’t I quit, I often smile because there are no words in English that can adequately express that feeling you get when you know despite all odds you are doing the right thing.

This year, as with the last, we have experienced many casualties. Walking the path of African Liberation work is certainly not for the greedy, lazy or squeamish. Yet as our friends and family cross over to join the Ancestors, our children look to us for hope. They want, they need to believe that things will be better, they need to be taught how things will work better, we need to create a future not just of dreams, but a reality borne from practicality and remembrance.

I’ve just returned from the motherland and despite the abject poverty that was surrounding me I was also emerged in a sea of hope. Some admittedly was fake and cultivated by manipulative and exploitative spiritual leaders with a destructive money spirit. But I also met Africans with a beautiful people spirit, many embracing an attitude of reciprocity where we do not take more than we give. Together we generated a creative environment where hope was in abundance and we organised for change. You see despite living in what seems a hopeless environment, all of us have the ability to look up instead of down, to use light instead of dark, to embrace love instead of hate. I believe we sometimes forget this because the media surrounding us deliberately pollutes our minds with images of negativity, encouraging us to live in a state of permanent fear where death is often the only release.

I say switch off the news until you want to watch it, ditch the racist talk radio until you want to listen to it, bin the newspaper until you want to read it. On my journey I managed to read a book called Two Thousand Seasons and it did an amazing thing. In these times of expenses corruption, racist elections, swine flu and a zillion other messages of bad news something happened.

It gave me hope - and I smiled.

Finding our path back to The Way will not be easy. We will be attacked, betrayed from both outside and within, we will lose family and friends, and be pained by what seems senseless deaths and losses, but we will walk on alongside kindred spirits, for we are not, and never will be alone on our journey. Please don’t ever forget that.

May the Ancestors guide and protect us. Ase.

Toyin Agbetu is a writer, film director, poet, and founder of Ligali, the pan African human rights based organisation.

 

Nyansapo: News and Updates

nyansapo_toyin_agbetu
Nyansapo: The Pan African Drum

Newsletter Update

Sista C

The widely respected community worker and broadcaster Sista C will be hosting the Pan African Drum for a few weeks from 16 June 2009.

The weekly topical community programme will broadcast live every Tuesday from 9pm – 12 midnight.

Remember: If you cannot access the Ligali website then the radio show will be available direct by going to http://www.myspace.com/nyansapodrum or clicking the link below;

Nyansapo Radio

 

African Remembrance

Tajudeen Abdul Rahim
Pan Africanist:
Tajudeen Abdul-Rahim

Tajudeen Abdul-Rahim

Passionate Pan-Africanist
by Ama Biney

 Maybe it is ambitious on our part and perhaps even audacious, however, I do not think we can all claim to be revolutionaries if we are not ambitious and ready to dare, sometimes where others may fear to tread.”

Tajudeen-Abdul Rahim, 21 January 1991. Who could not be charmed when engaging with Tajudeen Abdul-Rahim? Man woman or child, would be impacted upon by his infectious smile, booming recognisable voice, shrill laughter and the substance of his words. Needless to say, he touched a lot of lives in more ways than one and that is why he is deeply mourned across the continent and in the Diaspora by those who knew him. He was a passionate Pan-Africanist, and a tireless activist with a razor sharp capacity for intellectual analysis of not only African affairs but global developments.   

I met Taju – as I use to call him – back in 1984 when I was a student at Birmingham university. It was through attending conferences at the Institute For African Alternatives (IFAA) in Old Street in London , that I met the then black-bereted, pipe-smoking Taju. It struck me, that for some uncanny reason he shared a physical resemblance with that other great African fighter, Samora Machel who was alive when I met Taju for the first time. On that occasion, I had left my bags at IFAA and Taju arranged for me to collect them and from that meeting we became instant friends. Every time we met for the 24 years I have known him, he often bemoaned the fact that I was always laden with books and bags. He had several names for me, the first was “bag lady!” It gave way to our working together with other political activists in the London based Africa Research & Information Bureau, between 1990 and 1992, when Taju was the Coordinator of the organisation at 18 Pilgrimage Street. Those were the years of the Abachas, Rawlings, Does and other dictators that the London based Pan-Africanists campaigned against.  Human rights, democracy, justice and equality were convictions Taju relentlessly fought for. It was Taju who appointed me Book Reviews Editor of the journal Africa World Review. When the great scholar-activist AbdulRahman Babu encouraged him to take up the position as Secretary General of the Pan-Africanist Movement in Kampala , there were some highly intense struggles about the holding of the 7th PAC in Kampala .

I recall – in the days before email – there was letter writing by pen and computers. Being a hoarder of documents and speeches, I still have some of those letters he penned. Taju and I would have intense disagreements over many issues such as the personal is political, gender struggles, and the prospects of then 7th Pan-African Congress being hijacked by neo-colonial forces.  In the acknowledgement of his Pan-Africanism: Politics, Economy & Social Change in the Twenty-First Century he referred to me as “PPPC!”  because it was during this time that he coined this new name for me. I was his “Personal, Private, Political Commissar” and also his “little sister.” These were terms of endearment that made me smile as it captured our relationship. (The “commissar” harked back to the days of the old politics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the late 1980s). Taju had the human and intellectual maturity and honesty to thrash out political disagreements and move on without malice.  

He was a consummate diplomat seeking to mobilise disparate factions around a platform of fundamental principles. He moved at ease with people; presidents, academics, African elders, the ordinary African man and woman in the street, believing fundamentally that Pan-Africanism had to unite  the masses, whether they be farmers, peasants, students, professionals, women’s groups, or trade unionists and concretely better their lives.  When he lost his mother in 1997, his personal pain was aggravated by the fact that the military dictatorship would have imprisoned him if he had returned in order to attend the funeral. This pain was renewed with the deaths of his father, brother, sister and the untimely death of fallen comrades over the years. All through the years I have known Taju, I would marvel at his capacity - like the Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah - for a mere 4 hours sleep. After talking till the early hours of the morning, (which he thoroughly enjoyed), he could sleep comfortably anywhere. We were similar in the fact that he would be like a bear with a sore head if he was hungry and could not find some good African food to eat. When his daughter Aida casually commented that he would not be around to see her graduate because his pipe smoking would inevitably lead to an early death, he gave it up. To support him, I stopped bringing him gifts of cigars from my trips to Cuba . Similarly, in the latter years of his very short life, he had begun to make some life style changes. Taju was an embodiment of implementing change and Nkrumah’s “African Personality” in his African attire,  political suits and vision. He sparkled and represented the best in Africa ’s revolutionary leadership for future generations.  

Needless to say, in terms of his educational career, he was an intellectual meteorite at Bayero University , Kano where he gained a first class degree in political science. There he came under the influence of the radical historian Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman and radical sociologist Prof. Patrick Wilmot during the 1970s and early 1980s. He received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University . With his gift for language, brilliance of mind, and astute wit, Taju had the knack of dismantling ideological cobwebs and explaining complex social, political, economic and cultural reality – often with some good old African proverbs both in his speeches and in his prolific written work. At a debate in London , organised by Pan-African Advocacy & Education Programme and the Centre for Democracy & Development in November 2007 the topic was: “Is a United States of Africa possible?” It is obvious which side of the debate Taju stood. Among many of Taju’s declarations in his dynamic delivery that day, was: “Slaves dared to dream of freedom. Colonial subjects dared to dream of independence” – hence as Africans, he alluded to the great words of Thomas Sankara who once urged that: “we must dare to invent the future.” Taju said: “If you have a dream you must keep it alive.”

Taju’s perceptiveness aided his wonderful flair for communication to all audiences. Like all great orators before him – whether Malcolm X or Steve Biko -  he kept you mesmerized, entertained and wedded to his compelling logic. He resonated hope, inspiration, solidarity and a genuine love for Africa and African people. He was opposed to oppression whether it be black or white and stood for solidarity with all oppressed peoples around the world.  Taju was born on 6 January 1961 in Funtua, Katsina State and when I saw him last in early May 2009, among our many points of discussion was whom among our circle of comrades would soon reach the great five zero. He said he had two more years to go. How ironic that he said that and died on Africa Liberation Day! 

Throughout his life he penned many articles, articulated necessary positions, strategies and took a political and ideological stand. Taju could never be silenced. Though he has made a colossal contribution in such a short space of time, he had so much more to give and do for our great continent. I mourn deeply for him as the “senior brother” I called him, for he was the brother I never had in a family of girls.  He once said that, in looking at any situation: “There is always something to be done. It can be changed. No matter how bad the situation is, it can be made better.”

 Ama Biney (Dr), London, 26 May 2009


 

Victims of Violence - May 2009

 

Date

Name/Pic/Age

Type of incident

Details of incident

Outcome

27.04.09

Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi, 16 from Stockwell

Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi

stabbed in the chest and abdomen

was found with fatal stab wounds to his chest and abdomen in Larkhall Park, Stockwell,

Crisdian Johnson, 21, and his brother Shane, 19, both from Vauxhall, were charged with murder and allowing a dog to be out of control in a public place.

01.05.09

 

21, Sanchez, from Northolt, West London
Sanchez

 

Stabbed.

At about 1pm police were called to Willow Tree Lane in Hayes, where they found the 21-year-old suffering stab wounds after a suspected gang attack. He was taken to Ealing hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

 

A fight erupted in the grounds of Ealing hospital after Sanchez was stabbed to death and another injured. The disturbance forced police to seal off Ealing General Hospital's Accident and Emergency department for about six hours. An hour later, as members of the dead man's family and friends gathered outside the hospital, police were called again to reports of a disturbance.
At the same time a 28-year-old man arrived at the hospital suffering from stab wounds which police believe were inflicted during the fight in Hayes.
He was treated but later released and is now under arrest on suspicion of murder.

24.05.09

Jahmal Mason-Blair, 17, from Dalston

Jahmal Mason-Blair

was stabbed in the neck in Hackney

He died at the scene.

A 13-year-old boy is due in court later charged with the murder.

 

Libation Corner

 

Dr Ivan van Sertima

Dr Ivan van Sertima passed on the 25 May 2009, African Liberation Day. He was the author of They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America and in 1981 was awarded the Clarence L. Holte Prize, a prize awarded every two years "for a work of excellence in literature and the humanities relating to the cultural heritage of Africa and the African diaspora."

He also authored Early America Revisited, a book that has enriched the study of a wide range of subjects, from archaeology to anthropology. As an acclaimed poet, his work graces the pages of River and the Wall, 1953 and has been published in English and German. As an essayist, his major pieces were published in Talk That Talk, 1989, Future Directions for African and African American Content in the School Curriculum, 1986, Enigma of Values, 1979, and in Black Life and Culture in the United States, 1971.


Tajudeen-Abdul Rahim

Tajudeen Abdul-Rahim passed on 25 May 2009
, African Liberation Day at around 1:00 am in a motor accident while travelling to Jomo Kenyata international air port. Tajudeen led Justice Africa's work with the African Union since its early days. He combined this with his role as General Secretary of the Pan-African Movement, chairperson of the Centre for Democracy and Development, the Pan-African Development Education and Advocacy Programme, and was a fighter in the struggle to get the UN's Millennium Development Campaign to support meaningful programmes. His weekly 'Pan African Postcard' was published regularly in Pambazuka News and in several newspapers including The Monitor (Uganda), Weekly Trust (Nigeria), The African (Tanzania), Nairobi Star (Kenya) and the Weekly Herald (Zimbabwe).


Daniel Justin Brookes

Daniel Justin Brookes, the grandchild of community worker and activist Bro Omowale passed prior to birth on 9th June at 4:30am after the placenta became detached. Bro Omowale’s daughter had recently attended African Liberation Day this year for the first time and had only two weeks of her pregnancy remaining.
Ulrich St. Rose (aka 'Bibi'), the elder brother of Bro Omowale also passed at 57 years of age, last week in St Lucia.

 

Comments and Feedback

 

Dear Toyin,

I will miss reading the Nyansapo newsletter, as I adore reading your words of Wisdom. What will you do with all those thoughts you hold in your head?You really give food for thought. It was the end of "New Nation" that led me to follow you radio programme, as I used to ensure I got my copy of the paper each week, and each time I'd turn to your page , and it would be a point of discussion amongst me and friends some time that week.

So on point.

I will save this copy of the Newsletter and check out some of the authors, playwrights, musicians that you refer to here.

I checked out the jazz at ICH mIX ON sUNDAY, AND IT WAS FANTASTIC, AND i HAVE SPREAD THE WORD.
As the newsletter comes to an end, I saw that Next Generation magazine is now available once again. So, at least I have that.

But if you ever need to empty all those thoughts that you have onto a page,just could we please have impromptu newsletters from you.

What I enjoy about your presentation style on the radio, Toyin is that you keep the conversation positive, and solution focused, no mater what topic you  are discussing, and the music selection. Wow.....

All the best with your projects.
 
Thank you 
 Peace

 
Traditional Voices, Spoken Words
 

Poetry / Spoken Word
The Ligali Organisation is still seeking poems that have most moved you or you feel best reflects our own cultural, political and spiritual beliefs. It doesn't have to be formal prose, lyrics from a song or spoken word performance are all eligible. Please email the words and name of the artist to mail@ligali.org with the subject heading 'Poetry'.

"the writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely X-ray society's weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved in shaping its present and its future." -
Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995)


Hopeless By Toyin Agbetu

‘it’s hopeless’ she said
fearing change would never come
not noting revolution had begun
as their pillars toppled
one
by
one

you see her…
usual ray of light in dark
dimmed as
evil showed its heart
and tried to sow
its seeds
of doubt and misery
whilst
clawing her soul
changing her flow
not realising
the sweat of pure water from
her brow
was that same stream of
positivity
assisting evil
drown in
its
own
filthy
pit of
imperialist
wanton
greed filled history
where...

wants and xenophobic seeds
breed
labour, democrat, bnp, republican
and of course… conserva..
…thieves

and yet
even as she cried
she tried
you see her true spirit hadn’t died
nor lied
unlike he
who when caught denied
his sick, corrupting nature
used words like ‘expenses’ ‘misplaced’
‘immigration’ and ‘race’
as his parliament disgraced
continued to
implode
and the
heart of xenophobic Britain
became exposed
and boom - EXPLODES

and as his sick democracy
publicly elected
supported
hate mongers
as his catholism
denied institutional
deviant sexual
child abusism

- hope -  

like the ankh
of eternal life
brought forth
a dream
into being
through a righteous fight
where
Ancestors
protected our warrior spirits,
guiding
providing for
our healer, teacher, worker spirits
and as
tyrants and giants
crossed into the realm
where innocence,
Truth dominated the world
until once again order
through Maat
from an African perspective
returned us to The Way
elevated
and once again
.
.
respected

‘...it was hopeless’ she sang
knowing change will overcome
the smile on her lips
revealing the revolution
had already
.
.
begun

Written 9 June 2009. Inspired following a conversation with a friend discussing the perceived hopelessness of achieving African Liberation in our lifetime.

In memory of Tajudeen Abdul-Rahim - “There is always something to be done. It can be changed. No matter how bad the situation is, it can be made better.”

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

Nyansapo - In service to our family, with the spirit of our Ancestors

www.ligali.org

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-Joseph 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.

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