Nyansapo – Made In Africa
“Poverty is like a lion, if you do not fight you get eaten” – African Proverb, Haya
Greetings, a couple of days ago as I was driving, the car warning light came on telling me to get some petrol. It was not the best of days, I was already vexed at having seconds before seen the flash of one of those big brother speed cameras in the rear view mirror which must have been triggered by me doing the horrendous ‘crime’ of 40 miles and hour on a completely clear and open road in an electronically marked 30 MPH zone (and I do mean completely open - not another car or person in sight). Now as I was some way from home I figured it best I stop at the nearest petrol station and refill as it was late at night and I didn’t want to become stranded on a dual carriageway with my family in the back.
Within minutes I saw the familiar structure of a forecourt garage and pulled into one of the lanes. And then it hit me. I looked up at the sign above and I realised I was in a Shell petrol station. Now many people may find what I did next strange but instinctively I reversed the car out of the lane, spun it round and left via the entrance I came in through. You see as a principle I have not purchased petrol from a Shell station for over ten years. Now I know they have recently agreed to pay $15.5 million in hush money to cover up their leading role in the murder of the human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa but I still don’t care. It doesn’t matter how much blood money they throw about, until they publicly admit guilt, apologise for their crimes and make reparation - justice hasn’t been served. You see the problems in Nigeria's Delta Region still continue and companies like Shell alongside its investors, shareholders and political collaborators continuing to make profit at the expense of the Ogoni and other people in the region. They do not deserve what little money I posses.
Fortunately I found a Tesco station five miles down the road, now I’m not saying they are much better than Shell but for the moment there is no evidence of them having help murder innocent people (small traders is another issue) to establish their business. Anyway, all this made me start thinking about what other boycotts we can practically engage in. I have a loathing of other morally bankrupt businesses such as Barclays Bank for their support of the racist anglo-dutch regime during the overt apartheid era in Azania (South Africa) - as well as their historic role with the financing of our Ancestors enslavement. However with the current perverse neo-colonial ordering of the Pan African world today I also recognise that the current incarnation of Barclays and other financial bodies in many ways simultaneously support (on a macro level) as well as exploit Africans. So while a simple boycott by itself is a start, it is not the right strategy to totally deal with these institutions.
So where are the clear cut cases where we can make a difference? Well I have a friend who refuses to purchase anything from Starbucks for the way they exploit Ethiopian farmers denying them millions of pounds in profit each year. I agree. In 2005, I also advocated (and still do) that our community boycott so called ‘black beauty’ businesses peddling cancerous skin whitening products and so called ‘weaves’. A month ago Mohammed Mushtaq, 42 was fined £80,000 for the illegal sale of banned and unlicensed ‘cosmetics’ at Peckham Cosmetics, 79-81 Rye Lane, Peckham, London, SE15 5EX. Despite previous advice and warnings from Southwark Trading Standards about the law and the significant health risks to Africans who use skin whitening creams, Mushtaq continued to sell unlicensed pharmaceuticals containing potent cortico-steroids and other harmful ingredients.
Sadly this is not just a typical case of Asian traders exploiting our community, do you remember how on 6 January 2007, Yinka Oluyemi and her husband Michael were fined £70,000 for selling illegal and harmful skin products containing excessive levels of hydroquinone to their African customers. The couple who lived in a £725,000 home in Sydenham, earned £1 million selling poisonous skin lightening products. If it were up to me these all these drug selling criminals would be imprisoned but sadly they typically opt for the fines. They remain confident that we their customers will pay it off for them within months so they can continue doing the same thing again - business as usual.
Yet, all this talk of boycott is about things that we won’t do. Other than the examples such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott instigated by Rosa Parkes, or the strikes in the vein as that depicted in Ousmane Sembene’s brilliant book ‘God’s bits of wood’ it is in many ways the easy option.
So what else is it we can and should do?
Well looking at it from a point of community empowerment, if we are withdrawing from one place, we should be endorsing and depositing in another.
Let me give you a simple example. The other day I made some eba and okra stew for my children. Now because they have grown up regularly eating traditional dishes they were excited, don’t get me wrong, when not eating traditional dishes they still consume healthy natural produce – but there seems to be something about eating our food especially those they can with their hands that they enjoy.
However this goes beyond their happiness, and straight into the heart of developing our community. I purchase the gari, powdered yam and pepper at a shop on my road that sells Nigerian food, I pick up the okra alongside yam, plantain, apples and bananas at an African butchers that sells fresh produce outside his store. My daily newspaper is collected from an African newsagents, my hard dough bread and vegetable patties from a bakeries in my local market, my books, art, occasional music CD’s and DVD’s from African bookshops around my area, even my raw shea butter comes from an African website. Although I am prepared to pay a little more for our own businesses, I don’t frequent any venue that offers bad or rude service. I feel no way to purchase stuff we need from non-African stores if collectively we don’t provide it, I also feel no way to avoid cheap junk and offers of freeness from non-African stores if we don’t need it.
However many of us still harbour feelings of low expectations when it comes to using our services. From plumbing to legal council, too many of us are looking for work to be done on the cheap – even freeness and then complain when we get what we pay (or didn’t pay ) for. That is how we have lost so many of our community newspapers, radio stations, schools and businesses. This has to change.
Back in the day when I used to go to Chinese (and other non African restaurants) I used to wonder how come we rarely ever see any of their people in our own restaurants, helping our economies? Now I know why and as a result am rarely in any kind of non African eatery unless I have been invited (and it’s being paid for by someone else).
Those of you that know me will understand that I am not a capitalist. I don’t believe in making profit out of those less fortunate, yet I do believe that while we live in this environment, during this perilous period, it is time that we start looking for products and services that proudly state ‘Made in Africa’. By this I mean quality goods and services that are designed to cater for our needs, to enrich our families, to develop and make sustainable a self determinate community.
Don’t get it twisted. I do not mean that we cannot and should not provide for non-Africans, but I do mean that we should do it without compromising any element of ourselves. Quality should never be sacrificed at the alter of quantity.
Today the term ‘sell out’ has lost most of its potent currency because many of us have in affect ‘sold out’ on a macro level. When we spread stories based on narrow experiences about how ‘black’ people never do good, or are unreliable, or untrustworthy instead of recognising and promoting those of us that are the complete opposite then we are selling ourselves short. As a community desperately in need of greater awareness of its independent, self determinate trusted circle of quality produce and services we need to support each other in order to enable our own development.
In short we need to have the chance to learn and grown from our mistakes, build on our strengths and cut loose the weak and treacherous amongst us.
The African that never buys goods or use services from their own community is as pathetic as the African that willingly kneels before the British queen accepting a role of subservience to the British empire for a trinket of imaginary privilege.
There is a saying I love that helps keep my sense of pride and love of people intact despite all cultural and socio-political attacks. It is a simple mantra that holds true today as it ever did no matter how hard some of us seem to deny it.
“You can take the African out of Africa, but you cannot take Africa out of the African”.
Let us support our ‘Made in Africa’ goods and services. It makes absolutely no sense for us to boycott our own.
May the Ancestors guide and protect us. Ase.
Will Shell payout change Nigeria Delta?
Saro-Wiwa Jnr - How We'll Use Compensation Money
Starbucks in Ethiopia coffee row
Toyin Agbetu is a writer,
film director, poet, and founder of Ligali, the pan African human rights based organisation.
Nyansapo: News and Updates
Nyansapo: The Pan African Drum
Greetings, new listeners to the Nyansapo - the Pan African drum is broadcast from the UK and attracts new supporters from Africa and the Americas every week. Our broadcast is currently only available online. Our podcasts of previous shows are usually available 24 hours after broadcast from
The Ligali website, forums and radio station are facing a series of technical challenges. We apologise for any inconvenience or down time caused as we carry out essential maintenance work. Donations at this time would be most welcome.
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;
Jonathon Mccoy: 11 year old speaks out against usage of the n word
Jonathan Mccoy, a young 11 year old African invokes our Ancestors as he makes a powerful presentation on the need to eliminate usage of the n word within our community and media.
Toyin Agbetu: Thanks family, friends and community for their support and his continued liberty
The Acquittal of Toyin Agbetu
When: 11 – 12 August 2008
Where: Court 6, Stratford Magistrates Court, 389-397 High Street, Stratford E15 4SB
Toyin Agbetu was cleared of all charges after an intense two day trial where the District Judge led an aggressive prosecution, switched venue mid trial, ejected a community supporter and made spurious references to Nigerian heritage and African spirituality. It was in January 2008 when Toyin on stopping to observe a gang of police officers using excessive force on a young African male in Hackney was arrested, held in custody and falsely charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest and obstructing police in the execution of their duty.
Represented by Dalston practitioners Debridge solicitors and defended by barrister Matthew Ryder, the case exposed the savagery of the incident Toyin observed when arresting officer PC Earnshaw admitted using torture based “pain compliance” techniques for a duration longer than that recommended by Police guidelines on a teenager who it was later found incapable of complying to her request. Earnshaw who later threatened Toyin with a taser before attempting to ram his head into the back of a closed police van door whilst handcuffed later admitted she was “desperate”.
Dismissing the case Judge Cummings ruled that Toyin’s actions did not constitute obstructing an officer but she simultaneously added that she was satisfied that uniformed police officers do not use excessive force in the execution of their duties. The court temporarily erupted with laughter at the absurdity of her inane comments.
Toyin gives thanks to the many friends and family whose dignified presence and messages of solidarity gave him both physical and spiritual support as they tolerated the repugnant actions of the state in its attempts to criminalise and potentially imprison him.
He shares the view of many in our community in extending a special thanks to Matthew Ryder for the superb indefatigable manner in which he brought Truth and integrity into a court of law intent on making a mockery of justice. Over a thousand cases a year are reviewed for suspected ‘miscarriages of justice’, of the cases referred back by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, 65% of convictions were quashed.
Matthew Ryder on Extreme Materialism
Matthew Ryder on Stop and Search
Comments and Feedback
Your words touched me so much. I'm so glad that you were home for the two months gone.
A lot of what you said I feel so much especially the bit about not really wanting to be here but having to. After spending 20yrs in both Ghana and Gambia ( 9months of every year there and three months of every year here ) I long every day to be home.
I don't want to go into anything long but I just want you to know that I feel you, I love you and may the Ancestor bless you and your family always.... Keep on keeping on!!
Spread the Love
Greetings Brother Toyin and your guests in the studio,
Brilliant show, it is marvellous to hear about the progress that is being made by our brothers and sisters
who take time out to give something positive back to our Motherland.
This is something that I strongly believe should be widely encouraged. After all of the wickedness that the continent has been (and is still being) subjected to,
it is a breath of fresh air to know that the work that should be taking place IS taking place.
Once again, Keep Up The Good Work
Greetings Brother Toyin;
My best to you and yours!
with light and refreshment
Listened to the show about a couple hours...
After hearing that atrocious story from Sister C - the "flogging-female"
account, I couldn't stop shaking my head nor keep my thoughts from muddling
in the mire of another "masquerade" of female subjugation - spirit, principle and power!
and then you played the GODFather of SOUL's cut It's a Man's Man's Man's World
I shook my head and yelled YES! how appropo and took a moment to be lifted in the day!
and hope that once again the Souls of the perpetrators be stirred and shaken every time we meditate upon balance of the male/female - inciting Harmony - bit-by-bit...
[even if ya gotta get "ghetto-style" forward the good works by any means necessary]
ease to ALL...
CCTV cameras are present in many British class rooms
Hundreds of UK schools to install CCTV cameras in classes
Children studying in British school are now to be recorded in a growing movement of educational institutions monitoring classrooms with video cameras.
The continuing curtailment of young people’s human rights continues as schools across the UK install CCTV cameras to record the identities and activities in classrooms. Already several schools demand fingerprint ID in order to dispense school dinners, this new intrusion is believed to be a means to marry up illegally held DNA samples with photographic and video records.
Supporters of the controversial plan claim that the cameras can be used to reduce bullying and provide teacher training. Claude Knights, director of children’s charity Kidscape said; “good behaviour shouldn’t stem from a camera on the wall”
However many parents have even more serious concerns, one being that the recorded footage which includes audio recordings is likely to be shared amongst illiberal police officers and increases the risk of adults with deviant sexual urge being better able to assess and prey on vulnerable children.
Earlier this year, pupils were cheered after they walked out of their classrooms in protest against the CCTV cameras recording their lessons. They refused to come back until they received assurances they had been turned off. When they did return to the classroom they all wore masks in continuation of their protest.
Peckham Cosmetics: Fined for selling skin poisons to customers
Shop keeper sentenced for selling illegal skin whitening creams
A joint investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Southwark Trading Standards has led to the sentencing of Mohammed Mushtaq.
Mohammed Mushtaq, 42 was fined £80,000 for the illegal sale of banned and unlicensed ‘cosmetics’ at Peckham Cosmetics, 79-81 Rye Lane, Peckham, London, SE15 5EX. Despite previous advice and warnings from Southwark Trading Standards about the law and significant health risk caused to Africans who use skin whitening creams, Mushtaq continued to sell unlicensed pharmaceuticals containing potent cortico-steroids and other harmful ingredients.
MHRA Press Release
In July 2006, the MHRA together with officers from Southwark Trading Standards conducted an inspection of the shop to take place where (over 4,000 illegal items were seized) significant amount of unlicensed medicines and banned cosmetics were seized. Analysis of the products revealed that they contained cortico-steroids and hydroquinone (a banned cosmetic).
Mick Deats, Enforcement Group Manager at the MHRA said, “Mr Mushtaq has put the public at risk by selling unlicensed medicines. These products, being sold as skin bleaching creams, are potent and could cause serious damage to your health. There are dangers associated with the long-term use of steroid creams, such as thinning of the skin. This case serves as a reminder that will continue to crack down on those who put public health at risk.”
Report exposes excessive government spying on innocent civilians
Revelations of extreme spying activities by the British governments adds to assault on the liberty of innocent civilians.
A report released by the interception of communications commissioner, Paul Kennedy has revealed that the British Police force and other officials tapped phone calls and emails an average of 1,381 times a day last year.
In a report published 10 August 2009, it was revealed that police, intelligence (cointel/spying) services and local authorities made a total of 504,073 surveillance requests to phone and internet companies in 2008. This amount to one in 78 adults being targeted.
Many people suspect if this is the figures revealed by the official report, that the real state abuse of the liberty and privacy of innocent citizens must be much higher.
The Pan African World
Another World is Possible for Africa
Written by Ama Biney /
Published: 11 August 2009
What would a progressive African leadership look like? The critical term is “progressive”, which I would define as, improving society, community, the nation in the interests of the collective or majority. It is focused on advancing material, social, economic, cultural and political conditions that enriches and betters the lives of ordinary people, concretely and qualitatively. The great Amilcar Cabral once said: “Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in someone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.” (Revolution in Guinea).
In the light of the above, I would consider a progressive African leadership to implement the following policies and positions:
- They would dismantle the colonially inherited borders erected in 1884-85 at the Berlin Conference and genuinely permit the free movement of African goods and people without the prevailing harassment and corruption that continues to hinder ordinary people’s lives
- They would set up a continental cartel for the oil, diamonds and other rich minerals of the continent, so that Western multi-national companies could no longer pick off African producers one by one. Such a cartel would speak with one voice in dealing with the global market and global buyers for similarly our coffee, cotton and other agricultural products.
- They would not only provide first class roads and railways but link Africa from Cape Town to Cairo and from East Africa to West Africa
- They would end the appalling & humiliating racket in which Africans have to pay for visas to enter European capitals in African cities, only to be rejected and not reimbursed their money
- They would vociferously denounce and place sanctions on Western governments when people of African descent (such as Stephen Lawrence and many others) are killed by racists in European capitals
- They would demand financial compensation & reparations for Mau Mau (Land & Freedom Army) veterans and the possessions known as African “artefacts” that continue to remain in the hidden vaults of many European museums
- They would cease servicing the African debt immediately and harness all African economic, technological and scientific activities in the interests of African people, particularly increasing African intra-trade and South to South trade in order to lessen Africa’s dependence on the West
- They would dictate the terms of trade for African products on world markets and ensure that Africans began to manufacture goods from our own raw materials i.e. our cocoa is not made into “Belgian chocolates” but “African chocolates” in African factories, so that one day “made in Africa” goods will be an everyday occurrence across the world
- They would provide free education from nursery to university level for all Africa’s children
- They would provide employment, electricity, hospitals with medicine and equipment, a minimum wage for urban workers and African farmers
- They would demand all siphoned monies from Africa’s corrupt dictators lying in Western banks are returned to Africa and used for the development of the people
- They would seek to encourage Africans born in the Diaspora to the continent to settle and visit and contribute to the development of the continent
- They would forge closer relations with our brothers and sisters of African descent in the Caribbean, North America, and South America
- They would remove all Western military personnel and military bases in the guise of AFRICOM and its French, British, Portuguese, Belgian variant from every inch of African soil
- They would provide prostheses for those millions of Angolans, Mozambiquans, Liberians and Sierra Leonean made amputees through landmines and the savagery of civil wars
- They would provide psychological counselling to the thousands of women of Rwanda, DRC and Darfur and elsewhere who have been victim of rape by men in war
- They would seek to eliminate the stigma of HIV and Aids and widely provide more anti-retroviral drugs for those living with the disease so their lives are prolonged and alleviated of physical pain
- They would ensure orphans from war or HIV/Aids receive human love and a home
- They would put in place a gender sensitive education system from primary school to university level that is reflected in training in both the public and private sector institutions and in wider public debate to overturn centuries of cultural and social conditioning that girls and women are second class citizens
- That every African school child reads Diop, Garvey, Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Fanon, Rodney, Cabral, Sankara, Machel – as well as know their local heroines and heroes. And that they are truly taught Pan-African history of both Africa and the Diaspora in their primary and secondary school years
- They would uphold the system of 50% of women parliamentarians that exists in Rwanda and replicate it across the rest of Africa
- They would instil in public servants across Africa the ethos that they are there to serve the people and not loot, exploit, or lord over the ordinary African man or woman in the street
- That African cinema, theatre and the arts are vigorously promoted and exchanged around the continent so that Africans know themselves because it is still the case that Africans, whether from North, South, West, or East Africa, know more about the culture of Europe than the culture of their brothers and sisters on the opposite side of the border
- They would encourage more continental Africans to consider taking a holiday not in Europe but in another African country and by this way learn more about the beauty and history of another region of Africa, other than their own country
Of course, I am not naïve to think that all of the above can happen overnight. However, such a progressive African leadership, which integrally includes women (because how often do we automatically conceive of leadership as male?), would uphold such a comprehensive ideological vision that I have outlined above. Moreover, this vision would be articulated in a concrete plan and strategy that would unfold over decades i.e. it would be translated into real benefits in the lives of African people. Europeans have think tanks that are talking shops that provide ideas for Western governments.
In Africa, our survival is so critical, it’s imperative we plan to challenge the prevailing neo-colonial hegemony we are under, otherwise we will continue to be pillaged and plundered by the West. This progressive leadership must not only come from above i.e. operate at a national level but also strategically be nourished and cultivated from a grassroots level i.e. village, district, urban and regional level. Leaders come from the people, that is, ordinary people – both men and women committed to positively changing the realities of their people. This is the global task for African people today .
Ama Biney (Dr) is a Pan-Africanist, scholar-activist and journalist.
Emancipated? Independent? Really?
Written by Mark Wignall -
Sunday, 9 August 2009
About 12 years ago when the Stone Team did a national survey, it was revealed that were they given the chance, close to 70 per cent of adult Jamaicans would use a visa to emigrate to the United States, Britain or Canada.
In that same survey, when asked what 'Independence' meant to them, close to 30 per cent said it meant 'celebrations', 'float parades' and 'having a nice time'.
I was 12 years old when Jamaica became an independent nation. A kid with stars in his eyes, hope in his heart and a long road of uncertainty ahead of him. Very few people in 1962 understood what the new engagement meant and I fell neatly into that category. I saw the Union Jack descending, the new Jamaican flag being hoisted and I felt pride, albeit with confusion, coming to me from three directions.
First there were my parents. As far as they were concerned, the old rules would have to suffice. Carry yourself in public places and in the home with dignity. Do your schoolwork or be damned. Do not associate yourself with 'bad company' and later, when my hormones began to kick, my mother would issue the stern but quiet warning, 'Keep your troubles outside.'
From the political rulers, the message was like that delivered from the podium by a university dean at graduation. The world was our oyster. We could attain anything we set our minds and shoulders to. We came from a long line of strong, resolute people who, though enslaved for 400 years in a holocaust of gigantic proportions, had never quite given in to the notion of slavery. As a newly independent nation we were going to prove to the 'mother country' and the rest of the world that we were going to be a force to be reckoned with.
The third direction was the most troubling of them all. Outside of maybe 10 per cent who could be considered 'thinking' people and another five per cent who were too rich and settled in the commanding heights of the society to be bothered by the humbug of independence, the majority of our people had not a single clue what it all meant. The passage from emancipation in 1838 to the 'awakening' in 1938 to independence in 1962 had found them still trying to come to grips with finding enough money to buy dinner, to educate their children, to read, to write and to be somebody in this new paradigm that was being rammed down their throats.
Enter the new breed of politicians in the post-independent Jamaica and the result, 47 years later, stares us in the face. The picture is not pretty: Close to the bottom of the economic pile in the region when 40 years ago we were at the top of all countries in the Caribbean. Seated right at the top of those countries whose 'decay rate' has been staggering, we lead the Caribbean in murders, and in 2005 we were at the top of the world. We treat our aged like garbage, and the young in the care of a state close to breaking are handled worse than cattle.
We continue to lie about our literacy rate, saying it is between high 70 and low 80 per cent when in reality it is closer to 60 per cent. As a nation, we have little to crow about, but noise has to be made - by the politicians, the church (politicians too) and those big business interests who share pillow space with them.
What purpose this sham of national praying?
The history of this country is tied up in conquest and that, as is the norm, is locked into violence and tyranny. Columbus arrived here in the late 15th century and saw about 100,000 Arawaks (Tainos) living here. The Spanish invasion took root in the early 16th century and, either because they were inherently evil or, more likely, they were led by religion to see 'heathen' in people they considered primitive, by the end of the 16th century they had decimated the entire Arawak population.
How do you wipe out an entire civilisation in less than 100 years? Simple. First, say God is speaking to you. Second, forcefully abduct a significant percentage of another civilisation (from the African West coast), enslave them by putting them to work on sugar cane plantations and, once you have seen their worth and, sadly, their replacements (another ship is coming), then you kill at will! Simple really, when it's the Bible in the forefront of your convictions.
From the evil days when it was used to justify enslavement of entire peoples to the present when it is skilfully used to keep us in a state of mental torpor, the Bible has been our constant companion. The only thing that has changed is that the white slavemaster of the 16th century has passed it on to the black house slaves of the 21st century and the focus has moved more to one of mental enslavement.
An Observer reader, after reading one of the recent editorials, wrote, "We should just change it to dependence day. All we do is borrow, borrow, borrow. What is the Jamaican dream? Oh... to get a visa to any foreign land. We claim we are independent, yet some old white woman 5,000 miles away is our head of state. Listen to the best part... we need a visa to visit that land 5,000 miles away."
Click here to read the full article
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 firstname.lastname@example.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)
Made in Africa
Written by Toyin Agbetu, 7 August 2009
made - in – Africa
three little words that
describe our entire world
inside of we
and external of thee
made - in – Africa
a truth repeatedly denied
by others intent on lies
denying not our soul
but their own
betraying not our humanity
but their illicit network of global thrones…
promoting cult religions
birthed from our singularity
a false image of intellect and beauty
denying our diverse originality
creating clones of people
zombies of clan banality
leaders with cheap politrickary
doctors promoting pharmaceutical dependency
bankers breeding commercial insanity
ministers of churchs of gross immorality
soldiers who kill for a salary?
made - in - Africa
three little words
not regressive reality
three little words
that project our healthy sharing
and not sick possessive societies
made in Africa
that once realised
but first we have to believe
just open our eyes and see that..
time is a healer
for those who have been deceived
that’s you and that’s
made in Africa
made in Africa
made in Africa
buy one get self free,
stocks won’t last..
…we’re dying fast
Inspired by an article written by Ama Biney on our collective responsibility to realise a progressive vision of leadership for Africa and her children wherever we are.
What will be your legacy?
Do I wander through life aimlessly?
Wild, reckless, inconsiderate
Unmindful of the consequences of my behaviour
Do I run wild in a savage stupor?
Pugnacious, belligerent, impolite
Unconscious of the altitude of my ignorance
Unaware of the latitude of my negligence
Leaving a trail of scarcity
Along a path of regret
Leaving years of psychological scars
In the repressed minds of distressed adults
In the misguided souls of troubled youths
Will I leave disillusioned children?
Angry and confused
Shameful and misguided
Lost and astray
Crying for direction
Weeping for guidance
Longing for unconditional love
Grieving for sound judgment
For I taught them not a lifetime of wisdom
For wisdom was not important
For I offered them not sound advice
For I never took life seriously
For I taught them not discipline
For I was reckless and immature
For I showed them naught but a dropp of love
For my selfishness knew no bounds
Will I leave disappointed partners?
Bitter and frustrated
Troubled and wounded
Disturbed and injured
Wishing for sincerity
Longing for honesty
Praying for fidelity
Yearning for faithfulness
For I killed their trust
Due to my shamelessness
For I eradicated their hope
Due to my disrespect
For I damaged their faith
Due to my infidelity
For I destroyed their confidence
Due to my deception
For I killed their self development
Due to my ignorance
Will I leave appalled individuals?
Disgusted and revolted
Unconcerned and apathetic
Sarcastic and scornful
Mocking my ignorance
Sickened at my negligence
Horrified at my irresponsibility
Deriding my financial intelligence
Appalled at my selfishness
For I disrespected many good folk
In the name of humour
Mere mockery in fact
For I abused much kindness
In the name of friendship
Sheer exploitation to be precise
For I never listened to others
In the name of intelligence
Simply arrogance no doubt
For I spoke ill of people
In the name wisdom
Purely foolishness indeed
For I was impatient with the most enduring
In the name of progress
Clearly mental commotion
For I was unforgiving with the most compassionate
In the name of truth
Conceitedness in fact...
Haki Aitoro is an inspirational writer/poet who writes a unique style of inspirational poetry which he describes as provocative poetry.
Follow link for more: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/success-poems-what-will-be-your-legacy/
It's almost the end of August.
Have you nominated someone for the UK's first ever 'Black Youth Achievements- The Awards'?
Nominations close 31st August and you can nominate via the website www.blackyouthachievements.org
Nominees should be between the ages of 8- 25, resident in the UK and have parent/s grandparent/s of African / Caribbean heritage.
The categories are:-
Business and Enterprise,
The event will be held at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham on Saturday 21st November.
Tickets are £12.50 for awards ceremony and just £20 for awards and pre-event meal, which is being specially created by Chef DeFour of DeFour Caterers (www.hasandefour.com)
~Contact Bernie Grants on 020 8365 5450 or BYA 07908 258 681~
Visit Positive People with Skills Network at: http://theppsn.ning.com
GET MUSIC INDUSTRY QUALIFICATION, KNOWLEDGE & CONTACTS FOR FREE!
BBM sister organization Akoben Awards is delivering in association with BTWSC a free OCN Level 2 accredited Music Industry Overview course Tuesdays 11am-5pm & Saturdays 2-7pm throughout August at Mission Dine Club Centre in Harlesden, NW10 4BZ. Topics covered: Copyright, Publishing, Contracts, Income streams & industry bodies, and Marketing. For 18+ especially in Brent and surrounding environs. 020 8450 5987, email@example.com
I hope you do not mind me sending back some information I think Afrikan on your network might be interested in.
The first is GACuk event to Honour the life of Tony Chessman who lived in the UK and 'Retired' in Barbados.
If retirement can be described as increase pan Afrikan work.
We are hoping to time our event as starting the same time as that being held in Barbados where he pass 1730hrs, most of the event will start fully at 1800hrs giving those on the plantation time to get there.
The second is a free Reparation conference being held by the Rail union RMT.
This is the 3rd of these conference by the only UK union who have agreed to give resources and support to its member campaigning for Reparation.
It will be held in the RMT boardroom at the Union Head office of Unity House and starts at 1200hrs on Saturday the 22nd of Mosiah (august) and will run until 1600hrs with a small social after.
Calling all drummers and dancers, Maracatu Estrela do Norte will be on the road at Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday 30th August and Bloco Afro ERI OKAN will be out on the following day, bank holiday Monday 31st August.
In the run up to these parades we are glad to announce that the Maracatu and Samba Reggae pre Notting Hill carnival open rehearsals are confirmed
4pm - 8pm - on
Sunday 9th, 16th, 23rd and Saturday 29th
Maracatu Drumming led by Sam Alexander
Maracatu Dance led by Mariana Pinho and Ricardo da Silva
Samba Reggae Drumming led by Sam Alexander and Itamar Lima
Samba Reggae Dance led by Jackson Pinto
We will be rehearsing at AREA 10 in Peckham, South London. It's a bit tricky to find, but if you get lost ring Sam on 07944 928 906. You need to go to the centre of Peckham, where the big arch is and you will find AREA 10 in a large white warehouse behind the super modern Peckham Library. The official address is Area 10 Project Space, Eagle Wharf, Peckham Hill Street, London, SE15 5JT but the entrance is around the other side!
Buses 12, 36, 37, 63, 78, 436, 345, 177, 312, 343
Train: Peckham Rye Station
£6 per session. Discounts and concessions apply!
This is the final run-up to Notting Hill on the 30th and 31st of August so start limbering up those drumsticks and your dancing shoes!
Looking forward to seeing you all there.
Bloco-Afro ERI OKAN performs at Notting Hill Carnival every year. Over the last two years the group has developed themes which were Homages to Fela Kuti and, last year, Nelson Mandela. This year we will pay homage to Bob Marley.
ANOTHER CYCLE OF BTWSC’S FREE OCN LEVEL 2 EVENT PLANNING COURSE KICKS OFF IN SEPTEMBER
Build your knowledge about what it takes to plan an event, be it an AGM, club night, networking session or a club night, improve your contacts, and get a recognised qualification: OCN level 2 Event Planning. Targeted at unemployed people aged 19-64, especially from Brent and Haringey. Classes take place by Wembley Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays 11am-5pm, starting Sept. 9 2009. Opportunity to organise a real event. 020 8450 5987, firstname.lastname@example.org. Click: http://btwsc.com/course_detail.php?courseID=5.
16th August @ MARKET PLACE + ELECTRIC CINEMA
SCREENING + AFTER-PARTY
Pause and Shook Magazine have teamed up to present this special event inspired by the Soul Power film which came out this summer. Soul Power is an amazing documentary about the three day festival which took place in Zaire in '74 prior to the infamous Ali/ Foreman "Rumble in The Jungle" fight, and featured performances from James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz, the Fania Allstars and more. We were so inspired by the film we wanted to encourage everyone to see it, then bring it to life and throw a party to celebrate powerful afro/funk/soul music from '74 to '09. It is also a launch party for Shook # 6 which features an article about the movie.
We've roped in Charlie Dark (Blacktronica), Eric Soul (Afrogroov), Bemi (Amplified), Eric Lau, Juven and H!ts (Pause) to provide the soundtrack to a serious hot and sweaty dancing session that will make the Market Place feel like Kinshasa whatever the English summer is saying. We will also have an Afroboutique and in-house stylist who will be making you all look fine - it is the Market Place after all.
To make sure you get the full experience we've arranged a limited number of discount tickets for a screening of the film at The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road earlier in the day at 3pm. Tickets go on sale on 7th August so we will send you the discount code as soon as we have it, or you can email me at email@example.com to receive it. You can then hop on the bus or a couple of stops on the tube afterwards to the Market Place for the afterparty. We will also have some t-shirts and DVDs to give away on the night, and maybe even a few more surprises...
See you in the middle of the dancefloor!
YOUTHS SHOW LOVE FOR OTHER GENERATIONS WITH THEIR VIDEO
Love In The City is a free inter-generational summer video project aimed at Brent youths of 14-18 living around the Roundwood/Church End area. They learn how to make and edit a video and also interact with another generation. Video will be screened at a community event, and deserving young people will receive certificates. Tuesdays & Saturdays 3.30-6.30pm throughout August at Mission Dine Club Centre in Harlesden, NW10 4BZ. 020 8450 5987, firstname.lastname@example.org.
An audience with one very funny man, Wayne dibbi Rollins with special guest Omar at the Hackney Empire.
Hi..... hope is well with you n’ yours
Here’s a little reminder......
If you love quality entertainment.....
put Saturday September 5th in your diary
Rites of Passage: Training, Healing and Meditation
Akoben: Symbol of vigilance and wariness. Akoben is a horn used to sound a battle cry.
Spirit of the Warrior
Date: Every Week
Adm: 1st lesson is free. Thereafter, £4.50 per lesson. Members £2.50 per lesson
Mashufaa is a martial are created for the mental, physical and spiritual upliftment of a generation of people who have become detached from themselves! Mashufaa is about living a life with light through the sweat of training. Sweat lets you know you are alive.
Remember Mind, Body and Spirit are one. Train to live and live to train. Mashufaa Classes will take place from at The Albany Theatre (Plum Room) nearest Rail: Deptford or DLR Deptford Bridge.
Monday and Fridays
Venue: Lord Morrison Hall, Chestnut Grove( off Scales Rd), Tottenham, London N17 9ET
Travel: Tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line), Tottenham Hale / Rail: Bruce Grove / Buses: 243, 341, 149, 259,279
Venue: Boy Scouts Centre (Near Bruce Castle Park), All Hallows Road, London N17 7ADTube: Travel: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line), Tottenham Hale / Rail: Bruce Grove / Buses: 123, 243, W4
Venue: The Plum Room, The Albany Theatre/Centre, Douglas Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AG
Tube: New Cross / Rail: Deptford Station / Buses: 53, 453, 177
Tel: 07956 337391/ 07715 942734
Community Radio: Pan African
Pan African People's Phone In
Time: 22:00 - Midnight
Where: Galaxy Radio 99.5 FM (www.afiwestation.com)
Number for on-air discussion: 07908 117 619
The Pan-Afrikan People’s Phone-in is a space for themed interactive discussions conducted over the airwaves and cyberspace. The themes are focused around issues affecting Afrikan people both locally and globally.
Africa Speaks with Alkebulan / Sister Ekua (aka Esther Stanford-Xosei)
Where: Voice of Africa Radio (VOAR) / 94.3FM
When: Every Monday / Wednesday 8-10 pm GMT
Number for on-air discussion: 0208 180 2523
New African Magazine
The worlds most authoritative, best selling Pan African magazine.
Marcus Garvey Family Day
When: Saturday 15th August 2009
Time: 12 Noon - 8pm
Where: Max Roach Place, Brixton Road, London SW9 7ND
“I Am Project”
When: 10-15 August 2009
Where: Walthamstowe, London
Looking for something to do this summer?
Looking for something that’s FREE?
Wanna explore performing arts, film, photography & spoken word, go on trips and exhibit what you have created? Then Join Us
I AM is a 1 week summer programme aimed at young people aged 11-16. You decide the format of the week, and exhibit at the end of it. And it’s Free!!
Contact: 07958 635 636
Excelsior College Fun Day
When: Saturday August 15, 2009
Where: Excelsior College, Selby Centre, Selby Road, Tottenham, London N17 8JL
There will be a line up of African Martial Arts display , Sport Displays, Drummers and Dancers, Henna Tattoos, Face painting, Games for Children and Adults, Netball & Football exhibition match
We will also have a raffle draw
For more information contact: Gareth 07956590101
Screening: Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
When: Saturday 15 August 2009
Where: African Caribbean Library, 265 Lavender Hill, Battersea SW11
This is a free screening of the brilliant documentary on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by the eminent Dr Joy DeGruy-Leary. This film is the best documentary on the subject I have ever seen. It changed the way I see myself and those people in my world. It's phenomenal. It helps you to see where you where previously wedded to ignorance.
It's for everyone.
To register: phone 0208 871 7456
Wade A. Jacks
Buffalo-san Black&Asian film festival
Any additional details: email@example.com
The Veggie Buzz!!!
Date: 18th August - 22nd September 2009 / Tuesday evenings from 7.00pm-9.30pm
Where: Walthamstowe, London E17
FREE 6 week vegan cooking class for African/ Black women, Open day is on the 11th of August from 7.00pm-8.00pm
First come first serve, Interested?
Just call us on 07958671267 or 07932 435 118 for further information.
Coming up event Health Fair 26th September 2009 from 12pm-6pm in Tottenham
About 100 Mothers Movement
Our mission is to nurture self-reliance and development within the African (Black) community, through a network of 100 women. Our research has shown that the African/Black community in London are one of the most socially deprived Minority Ethnic groups. We have come together in an attempt to tackle some of the problems and provide a solution to some of the challenges faced by this group.
If you are interested in joining our organisation please contact us on 07958 671 267 or 07932 435 118
How not to get ripped off: Enforcing and protecting IP
When: 19 August 2009, 6.30-8.30pm
Where: Street Lecture Theatre, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB
Adm: Free (when you book online)
Being copied and someone else ripping off your creative ideas is a major concern once you start to sell, publicise and promote your creative work. You need to protect your ideas and make sure you know what to do if someone does actually copy or makes money from work that is rightfully yours.
This seminar will offer a basic guide to the law, covering the steps any creative professional should take in order to stop somebody else stealing or otherwise using your work without your permission (including copyright, patents, trade marks, licensing and design rights.)
This event is for new Own-it members who haven't attended an IP event previously. It's a basic guide to the law.
Writer, Author, Entrepreneur
2007 Winner, Poetic Soul Short Story Writing Competition
founder - Baobab Tree Books: freedom to be, life is the journey (a subsidary of WRITE2BFR3)
Booking and more info: www.own-it.org/events/how-not-to-get-ripped-off
Life Drawing Workshop
Date: Saturday 22 August 2009, 11.00am – 3.00pm
Where: Walthamstow E17
Adm: Minimum Donation: £30.00
Whether you are a complete beginner or have had some drawing experience, the aim of this workshop is to enable the student to produce confident, analytical studies from the figure and experiment in order to develop their own intuitive style.
Friendly and relaxed, a social experience that gives you the freedom to explore your creativity and interact with others.
For further information or to book a place please contact: 020 8509 7598/07956 337 391 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Slavery Remembrance Day Festival
Date: 22 - 23 August, Various locations, Liverpool
African Ancestors Day
When: Sunday 23 August 2009
Time: 1:30 pm
Where: Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, E14 4AL
AFRICAN ANCESTORS DAY also sees the launch of 'EQUIANO’S EPIGRAMS, The Interesting Narrative in Poetry' by John Agard. The Guyanese Poet is at his very best as he puts words into Olaudah Equiano's mouth, and the book becomes a twenty first century Narrative - in Poetry.
John Agard was born in Guyana, and in 1977 moved with his partner - poet Grace Nichols to England. He has published many collections for children and adults, including his recent ‘Alternative Anthem: Selected Poems’ and ‘Clever Backbone’, both published by Bloodaxe Books Ltd. His awards include the Casa de las Americas Prize, the Hamlyn Award, the Guyana Prize and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Poetry Prize (2009), which he received for the ‘Young Inferno’ - a teenage spin on Dante’s classic, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. His poem ‘Half-Caste’ is on the current National Curriculum GCSE English syllabus.
Presentations by John Agard, Burt Caesar and Arthur Torrington; Drumming and Dance by NYANOME.
Contact: 0870 444 3855
Time to get outa da city people!
When: Thursday 20th - Thursday 27th August 2009.
Where: Westermill Farm, Exford, Exmoor nr Minehead Somerset
Adm: Adult : £5.00 / Child : £3.00 / Car : £2.50 (Prices are all based on a nights stay)
Greetings Beautiful People!, Thursday 20th to Thursday 27th August 2009.
Chi and Aama have recently qualified and gained an Expedition Leaders award. We would like to celebrate, relax and experience with you at the breathtaking campsite in Somerset over 7 days
Details of campsite-
Tel : 01643 831238 Mobile : 07970 594808
Check it out online, it is a popular campsite so make your bookings asap! When booking please state FIELD 4 on the form as this is the field where they allow open fires.
Finally...If you are up to date with your camping skills come share your expertise and take the opportunity to meet the others.. Let us know if you plan to attend.
Aamasade 0797 658 3115
Summer School: Celebrating African & Caribbean culture
When: Monday 24th August - Friday 28th August 2009
Where: Bannerman Road School, All Hallows Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 0HR
Adm: £10.00 per day (Concession for 2nd & 3rd siblings)
The Family Supplementary School presents a summer school including;
Dance and drumming workshops, Art & craft - study skills, Loads of fun activities
Motivation & confidence building programme
Time: Commencing - 10:00am to 4:30pm
Showcase Event on Friday 28th August 2009, £3 entry - 2:30pm - 4.00pm
For Further Information Contact:
Nia 07780673336 / Noel 01179350373
21st Century Jamaica – A Diaspora Perspective
When: Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Where: Queen Mary University of London, Skeel Lecture Theatre, People Palace, 327 Mile End Road, London, United Kingdom
Facilitators for a Better Jamaica are hosting the 4th in the series of “Under The Microscope” Forum.
• Do the Jamaican Authorities lack the capability or discipline to prevent threats to public safety and defend our national integrity?
• Is Jamaica heading towards being a “failed state”?
• Apart from the incomes from remittance and returnees homebuilding developments; what other type of meaningful and sustainable contributions can the UK Jamaica Diaspora communities offer to the Island?
Many Jamaicans in the Diaspora view the Island of Jamaica as their “spiritual” home, some dream of the day when they will return home for good. There is an estimated 1.5 million people of Jamaican descent in the Diaspora. After the United States (US) and Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) has the third largest population of native born Jamaicans and their families, outside of Jamaica, totalling 420,000 [2001 UK census].
Jamaica has been described as the “Biggest Small Country in the World”. For an island of over 2.6 million inhabitants, the name “Jamaica” is a world brand. Jamaica is world renowned for its activities in arts & culture, music, culinary, sports and originality. On the negative side: for its social and political problems.
Yes, Jamaica has it fair share of social and political problems that arise in the wake of widespread violence, crime, abuse, illiteracy, corruption, immorality and poor governance.
The UK Jamaica Diaspora communities have an important and strategic role to play in a 21st century Jamaica’s infrastructure development. Please support this forum, by come along and join in the debates on these fundamental issues.
Facilitator for a Better Jamaica (FFBJ) is saying, it is time for the political parties and Jamaican people both at home in the Diaspora to defend its national integrity from the minority of ill-advised, corrupted, inept leaders [with powerful influence over the masses] and criminal minded people.
FFBJ is inviting like-minded Jamaican and Friends of Jamaica to its ground breaking forum entitled: 21st Century Jamaica – A Diaspora Perspective
1. There will be national & international keynote speakers
2. The forum will concludes with a “road map” for sustainable and productive
Your attendance and your positive contribution are more than welcome. Please bring a friend and tell your friend to bring a friend!
Keys areas for discussion:
1. Do the Jamaican Authorities lack the capability or discipline to prevent threats to public safety and defend our national integrity?
2. Is Jamaica heading towards being a “failed state”?
3. Are there too many unbalance reporting of Jamaica by international media groups?
4. The roles of the UK Jamaica Diaspora organisation and the Caribbean Council
Nkrumah @ 100 Discussion With Dr KB Asante
When: Saturday 5 September 2009, 3-6 PM
Where: Mission Dine Club Centre, Fry Harlesden, NW10 4BZ
Adm: Free (a meal costs £5) - Booking is NOT essential, although it's useful to know in advance who is attending.
Former presidential aide Dr KB Asante joins Nkrumah @ 100 event organised by Ghana First and Ayekoo. Expect former Nkrumah aide, diplomat and political commentator Dr Asante to be joined by other pan-Africanists on the panel, including Marc Wadsworth, for a lively discussion. The session will be broadcast live on Nyansapo Radio.
£Free entry. Meal costs £5. 020 8450 5987, email@example.com.
The 2nd Annual Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition
When: Saturday 19th September 2009
Where: The Bernie Grants Art Centre, Tottenham, London
Due to popular demand and a successful launch in 2008; the Ghana Black Stars Network are presenting the 2nd Annual Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition on Saturday 19th September 2009 at the Berne Grants Art Centre, Tottenham, London.
With a strong cedi against the dollar, interest rates going down, a thriving economy, a growing middle class and a pool of opportunities for the business minded, Ghana is on the international platform growing from the seeds that have been sown.
With all industries from Construction to Agriculture to any service industry open for all; The Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear from key industry professionals on Ghana’s development and opportunities. The event is also a chance for business minded individuals to network and share ideas on doing business in Ghana.
This year’s event is in partnership with the Ghana High Commission UK and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. Media partners include: African Business magazine, New African magazine, Trumpet newspaper, African Caribbean Business Network, Find-A-Job in Africa, Re-Connect Africa, African Voice newspaper and BEN TV.
To contact us and find out more information about the event or GBSN please contact:
0788 6411 661
One Heart Beat Drumming Session
Date: Saturday 26th September 2009, 5:30 - 9:00pm
Venue: The Harrow Club, 187 Freston Road, London W10 6TH
Fuboh invites our men to Come and let the spirit of the drum re-connect us with our root - Nature & The Ancestors. You don't have to be a master drummer. Just come with your heart. This is for our fathers, brothers and sons.
Contact: 07956 673255 / EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
African History Overview course
When: 3 October 2009, 3-6pm
Adm: £10 per session plus £20 registration
AFRICAN HISTORY IS NOT JUST FOR OCTOBER
BTWSC will be launching its OCN Level 2 African History Overview course during the Oct. 3 2009 Ayekoo session What Is African History? Followed by 3 weekly classes starting Saturday Oct. 10 2009, 3-6pm. £10 per session plus £20 registration, or £30 upon registering to cover classes and certificate registration. 020 8450 5987, email@example.com.
Word Power: International Black Literature Festival & Book Fair
Voices of the Diaspora
When: 24th - 25th October 2009
Where: Ocean, 270 Mare Street, Hackney London E8
Dozens of Authors, hundreds of readers, thousands of Books. All under one roof.
Featuring leading writers, historians, poets, publishers, distributors, book sellers dealing with African Caribbean literature from all over the world.
Bonnie Greer, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (author of The Isis Papers), Dr Haki R. Madhubuti (Founder and editor of Third World Press), Nia Reynolds, Paul Ifayomi Grant, Wayne B. Chandler, Dr Marimba Ani, Anthony T. Browder, Sister Nzingha Assata, Jacob Ross, Dr Robinson Millwood, Onyeka, Paul Simons, Nathaniel Agbahowe, Debii Mckoy, Charles Emeka, Anton Marks, Dan Obachike, Dr William ‘Lez’ Henry plus many more
Lecture: Dr Frances Cress Welsing
When: 31st October 2009
Time: 6.30 - 10pm
Where: Centreprise, 136 Kingsland High Street, London E8, 2NS
Adm: Tickets £12 adv - £15 on the door
A lecture by Dr Frances Cress Welsing, author of The Isis Papers, the Keys to the Colors