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Greetings Family,

Nyansapo - is an online community radio station hosted by the Ligali Organisation. It is designed to enable honest and progressive discussion of community issues. 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.

Please Note: Publication of the Nyansapo newsletter will be reducing in size and frequency. Please stay in touch by visiting and contributing to our forums at

Our Pan African Drum programme on 13 October 2009 discussed the issue of;

Rebuilding Community : Can history play a part in teaching us 'do for self' basics?


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

You can listen to archived podcasts of previous programmes at;

NYANSAPO is the name of one of the many Adinkra symbols in Akan culture, it is a knot that is so intricately tied it is said that, “only the wise can untie the wisdom knot”. This ebe (proverb) points to the fact that only wisdom affords one the ability to see parts in relation to the whole within which they belong. Wisdom breeds patience, and the insight needed to untangle complex issues and arrive at just solutions grounded in divine order without profaning Ancestral culture in the process.

Programme Timetable

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

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

Community announcements and contributions from listeners are welcome.

10pm - 11:30pm
Talk of the Day (Topical debate)
Rebuilding Community : Can history play a part in teaching us 'do for self' basics?

11:30 - 12:00am (ish)
Loose Ends (Wind down)
Organic cook up flavoured discussion on recent media, films, books, events and cultural arts with Bro Kwabena and listeners.

The radio show is also available via MySpace or clicking either of the links: Nyansapo Radio or Nyansapo Direct Studio Link

Ligali DVD's
You can support us by making a single or regular donation online or volunteering to help.
Remember, we can’t continue to be successful without your ongoing support.

Nyansapo - The Pan African Drum

Toyin Agbetu
Toyin Agbetu

Nyansapo –Rebuilding Community

“A person always breaking off from their work never finishes anything” – African Proverb, Efik

Greetings, last week I was speaking with a wise friend about my inability to meditate. Other than when sleeping or surrounding myself with water I have very few means of locating that sacred space to free my spirit to explore. One of the remedies she recommended was music. The next time I had the opportunity she suggested I should walk with an mp3 player. So ten minutes later I did just that and as I walked down the road listening to some serious classics I started having this urge to sing. I kept on looking around me and everybody else seemed so miserable. I wanted to shake them and ask can’t you hear the music? Doesn’t it make you want to sing, to dance but it was like being on a different world. Anyway I’m there smiling with this silly grin on my face, walking with that bounce that I perfected from school days and whoa and behold the sun comes out. No lie. When I first set out all around me was grey and sullen, silent and miserable and now I have both music and light. Slowly some of the Africans I pass whilst not smiling back at me start to nod as if they are somehow feeling my vibe as if they are seeking entry into my world. In truth… our world.

But I dare not dance, nor sing, even a smile seems like it would be barely tolerated. It made me realise that although we all inhabit the same space, many of us really are in different worlds. It’s like when I walk onto the tube during rush hour, yet it’s unlike when I enter through the gates at university.

You see the study and work I’m engaging in while relentless, tiring, intense - is still actually quite uplifting, I suspect I enjoy my studying because many around me are actually interested in learning and that I am also fortunate enough to have a couple of brilliant lecturer-activists who not only surprise me with the depth of their knowledge, but also on their ability to survive soul intact despite being surrounded by domineering systems based on eurocentric academia. Saying that, the world inside university does in many places seem to mirror that of the African struggling in the Diaspora, I suppose that’s why its so important that in contrast, the world we create at home reflects the cultural disciplines which many of us aspire to on the motherland.

Anyway as a result, what I have come to realise is that when we take music from home onto the streets of Britain – IT IS possible to have our cake and eat it too. However the trick to making it work is locating others who are listening to a similar soundtrack, those that step with a similar vibe. We don’t all have to like the same albums but it sure helps if we are feeling some of the same genres and artists.

If someone keeps playing those ‘we Africans are all doomed’ songs then ask them to change the track. Better yet, play them the ‘we are moving forward’ tune. There are loads of them. Yes, things are tough and they’re definitely likely to get worse, but if you’ve been dancing to our beat, our rhythms then you would have noticed that the tempo is changing, some of us are sitting this one out, but a new generation is stepping to the floor with some new moves, new grooves. We just need to look for them, guide them, and ultimately support them.

If someone else whose out of step with our rhythms  keeps complaining that the bass is too heavy, then advise them to focus on the midrange, listen to the vocals, the bass is there to support not drown out the details contained in the message. If they still don’t get it then perhaps our song is not for them, not everybody is ready to do the dance of liberation. It’s a harsh truth but a true one. Some Africans will always prefer going round in circles to a ponderous waltz instead of moving to the numerous traditional forms of African dance. Me… well I’m loving rediscovering the world outside my world. Meeting new voices to join in with the chorus, to work in harmony not only to create a better future for us here, but also back home. For those who can’t or don’t want to hear the beat, feel the beat, move in rhythm... guide them to that hideous, bullying karaoke-on-steroids show - X-Factor. Now is not the time for us to loose our rhythm, or indeed… our soul.

Niobe: I remember. I remember you used to dance. I remember you were pretty good.
Morpheus: There are some things in this world, captain Niobe, that will never change.
An exchange from the film, Matrix Reloaded.

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

Toyin will be one of the many panelists on an open debate called “There is a thin line between love and the BLACK ARTS” where artists and creative people from the community are invited to present solutions to the issues that are facing young and up-and-coming artists who choose a career in the fine arts. It will be taking place on  Thursday 15th October 2009, 7 – 9PM at Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, Crouch End, London N8 9JA. Admission is free.

Alexandra Galleries


Nyansapo: News and Updates

Nyansapo logo
The Pan African Drum

Greetings: Welcome new listeners to 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.

The radio show is also available by going to Nyansapo on MySpace or clicking either of the links: Nyansapo Radio or Nyansapo Direct Studio Link

Volunteers Needed:

Pan African Drum
We are looking for volunteers to help produce the Pan African Drum programme and newsletter. Those interested will need to be able to research news stories, book guests for interviews and collate information about community events on a weekly basis.

For all enquiries: Please phone or contact


Ligali Screenings

Maisha Truth DVD

Screening: Maafa Truth 2007

When: Sunday 18th October 2009, 2pm - 6:30pm
Where: 280 St Anns Road, Tottenham, London N15 5BN

After the completion of a successful 1st series; the ADAP DVD FILM SHOWCASE has returned for a 2nd installment of the Afri-centred empowerment they won’t teach you in school.

This DVD Showcase Series will open by seeking to dispel the myth of Africans’ liberation by the hands of Europeans with the supposed Abolishment Act, as we take a closer look at our story in ‘Maafa – Truth 2007’, by film maker and community activist Toyin Agbetu.

So everyone please come-unity with us again, to create another successful educating, entertaining, friendly and interactive series. This event is brought to you by the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION FOR PROGRESS (ADAP)

For more info contact: 07846026165 /

Maisha Solutions DVD

Screening: Maisha Solutions (Part 1)

When: 27 October 2009, 18:30
Adm: Free Screening
Where: Shortwave Cinema, 10 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN

Maisha Solutions (Part One) - will be screening with a Q&A session as part of African History Month for the BFM Film Festival.

For more details

Maisha Choice DVD

Trailer: Maisha Choices (Solutions Part 2)

The final part of the Maisha Solutions series is completed. There are no screenings organised yet for Maisha Choices (Solutions Part 2) but a ten minute trailer can be watched online via YouTube

Copies of this and our other DVD's can be obtained direct from the Ligali website or by making a donation at;

Maarifa Books

Maarifa Book shop and Information Centre
6 Bradbury Street , Dalston , London N16 8JN

Centerprise Bookshop and Restaurant
136-138 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London, E8 2NS

Yolanda and Theo Molemohi
Yolanda and Theo Molemohi

Yolanda and Theo Molemohi

Yolanda Molemohi, aged 4, and her two-year-old brother Theo Molemohi were found by their mother at a flat in Whalley Range, Manchester on Wednesday 14 October 2009. The two children had been strangled and were taken to hospital where they crossed over to join the Ancestors. A 37-year-old father, Petros Mwashita who was separated from the children's mother has been arrested.

Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with their family and friends.

We Remember...
Thomas Sankara
Thomas Sankara: An African leader we must remember and seek to achieve justice for

Who killed Thomas Sankara?

15 Oct 1987 Sankara was assassinated in a coup d’état along with 12 aides. His body was unceremoniously dumped in a makeshift grave which quickly became a shrine for days as thousands of people file past it to pay their respects. Popular feeling forces the new regime to give Sankara a decent grave.

Below is a short extract of a transcript follwoing the broadcast of an interview by Silvestro Montanaro. It was published; 3rd September 2009, by Pambazuka News under the title: Italian revelations on the assassination of Thomas Sankara

Astounding allegations have come forth about the 1987 assassination of the former president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, through a documentary aired on Italy’s public channel RAI3. The documentary, entitled ‘African Shadows’ and by Silvestro Montanaro, details the alleged links of the American and French secret services to Sankara’s assassins and the involvement of the current President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré. Pambazuka News published the striking three-part transcript of the recent documentary, featuring the testimonies of well-known Liberian figures.

NARRATOR: This is an intriguing international issue. I am meeting with Liberian Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, ex-wife of Charles Taylor.

SILVESTRO: Do you think that people should be worried if Taylor tells ‘the truth’? Should important people?

LADY: Yes, absolutely. I am sure of it…

SILVESTRO: Very important people?

LADY: For sure. There is a part of this story that has remained hidden, even from me. I am certain that he still holds secrets. How did he leave the US? What deal did he make with Ghaddafi in order to train in Libya? Who were his friends, and what information did they give him?

MOMO: He had lots of friends in the US…

SILVESTRO: Important people?

MOMO. Yes, certainly, business people.

SILVESTRO: Can you give me any names?

MOMO: Ah, no. I cannot divulge their names. I am not a fool… He had friends in diplomatic circles, who have gone underground, but I know who they are, and that they would not be happy if I spoke out. Taylor did not drop out of the sky just like that. From prison to Liberia. It is them who sent him to Liberia, and they are very aware of this fact!

NARRATOR: This gentleman, also considered a war criminal by the UN, was Taylor’s aide-de-camp. Today, General Momo Jiba – one of those who know the real story – gives us a glimpse of the goings-on during the reign of Charles Taylor.

SILVESTRO: Who sent him here?

MOMO: Those who sent him know themselves. The big hand. They know everything. He did not come here alone. Taylor was in prison in the US … and all of a sudden, he was in Monrovia. How did he get out of a US prison? How was he able to escape?


MOMO: Eh heh... I cannot say it … a big hand, The Big Hand.

HISTORIAN: What happened in the US with Charles Taylor is quite a remarkable story.

NARRATOR: Liberia’s current minister of posts and telecommunications, Marcus Dahn, is also one the country’s pre-eminent historians. He also suspects a third force behind Taylor’s escape.

HISTORIAN: Taylor fled Liberia after President Doe accused him of stealing millions of dollars from state coffers. He was arrested and was due for extradition to Liberia. It is noteworthy that Taylor’s lawyer, Ramsey, one of the best in the country, was attorney general under Jimmy Carter. Taylor was incarcerated at a federal prison in Massachusetts, one of the most secure. It seems to me especially difficult to escape from a federal prison…
Taylor managed to escape, to come back here and launch a revolution to depose Samuel Doe.

BLEAH: It is impossible to escape from such a facility without someone’s assistance. Taylor was not a little bird. Neither was he God, or a spirit.

NARRATOR: Mose Bleah was Taylor’s vice-president, and one of his top aides. When Taylor fled, he became president for a period of a few months.

BLEAH: Many people, including some who currently occupy important posts in the government, helped us. Even our current president admitted to having assisted Taylor, and having given him financial assistance at the time.

SILVESTRO: But it was mostly the Americans…

BLEAH: Certainly … yes…

SILVESTRO: In what way?

BLEAH: How can I explain this to you… Our godfather – since some of us Liberians consider ourselves a province of the US – helped us. The US consented to Taylor becoming president.

ALLEN: You must understand that the leaders of the NPFL [National Patriotic Front of Liberia] chose Taylor. The leadership of the NPFL included the likes of Mrs Ellen Sirleaf, the current president.

NARRATOR: Cyril Allen was a leading figure in Taylor’s party, former head of the National Petroleum corporation and is now one of the top names on the UN’s blacklist.

ALLEN: They were seeking help in toppling Samuel Doe. So the Americans asked whom they had chosen to lead their revolution. Their response was immediate and unequivocal; we have a Liberian who has a bone to pick with Samuel Doe. This man has a brilliant military mind, he is intelligent and courageous… Unfortunately, he is in one of your prisons. We ask that you to let him go so he can lead the revolution. They complied, and there Taylor was…

SILVESTRO: They agreed?

ALLEN: Of course, they made it possible for Taylor to escape.

MINISTER DOE: You need to find out from the State Department, from the highest levels of the CIA, the FBI, and the political establishment … they know what happened. Listen, I never want find myself in the American prison system. It is practically impossible to escape. Incredibly, Taylor managed to escape. Who was Taylor’s lawyer? Ramsey Clark, former US attorney general and one of the most powerful men in the world. Taylor escapes from prison in Boston and the next thing we know, Taylor is in Africa. When Taylor got here, he had a sack-load of money. We enquired into the origins of the initial US$25,000. I had all this information on my computer, but unknown individuals destroyed it. Luckily, a friend of mine kept copies. One of the signatures on the document was that of the current president, and the other was, well, an American.

SILVESTRO: Where were you trained, prepared?

MOMO: I was trained…

SILVESTRO: Please be truthful.

MOMO: Yes… in Libya.

Sivlestro: Who trained you?

MOMO: He he, good question…

SILVESTRO: What kind of instructors did you have? Where were they from? Which country? Please be honest.

MOMO: I cannot reveal that on camera, it is top-secret. But they were definitely instructors.

SILVESTRO: Who supplied you with arms?

MOMO: For combat?


MOMO: He he.

SILVESTRO: The same people?

MOMO: No, no, it was a revolution, we provided for ourselves. Nobody gave us anything. President Taylor used his own resources.

[The filming crew leave and return with a hidden television camera]

SILVESTRO: And how did Taylor go about spying on Gaddafi for the CIA?

MOMO: One … a key area was Burkina Faso.

SILVESTRO: Taylor’s mysterious escape path crosses with the fate of Thomas Sankara, the young president of Burkina Faso. Some time ago, Liberian senator and former warlord Prince Johnson, told the Truth Commission that he and Taylor had been involved in Sankara’s death. I approached him so he would explain the story.

PRINCE: But this is not part of what you have written here…

SILVESTRO: It is part of the last question.

PRINCE: No, it isn’t. And in any case, you must stick to the agenda you prepared here…

SILVESTRO: Excuse me?

PRINCE: You cannot raise a new issue that was not mentioned before.

SILVESTRO: Is it that difficult for you to answer the question?

PRINCE: No, no, it does not work like that.

SILVESTRO: So, what actually happened in Burkina Faso?

PRINCE: No, we … once an issue has been dealt with one, two, three times…

SILVESTRO: The issue of Thomas Sankara?

PRINCE: This is getting tedious.

SILVESTRO: Excuse me?

PRINCE: I went to the Truth Commission, I gave an interview to the French media that was broadcast worldwide, and I will go on repeating what I said about Burkina Faso.

SILVESTRO: I understand, but please answer the question.

PRINCE: Right, after I spoke, the president of Burkina Faso faced all kinds of problems, and I do not want to end up there again. Besides, if you really want to know what happened in Burkina Faso, why don’t you go there and ask President Blaise Compaoré … you are part of the international media, you are like a doctor, to whom the truth must be told. Therefore, go to Burkina Faso… (bursts of laughter).

NARRATOR: Then, with the camera ostensibly off...

PRINCE: There was an international plot to get rid of this man, and if I tell you how this happened, are you aware the secret services could kill you?

SILVESTRO: An international plot. Because the truth would harm the current president Blaise Compaoré. In 1987 when Sankara was murdered, Compaoré was considered his best friend. Immediately after Sankara’s death, Compaoré said 'I was ill'.

NARRATOR: Momo and Allen recount to me what exactly happened.

ALLEN: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, Blaise Compaoré, Thomas Sankara, Domingo Guengeré, and ... Foday Sankoh, as well as the man from Chad, whose name I can’t recall, had all been trained in Libya and were all friends. They are the ones who actually organised the Burkina revolution and installed Sankara as president. Once in power, he set about putting in place his plans. The next thing you know, the US had infiltrated the liberation movements and set about overthrowing Sankara, who was leaning too far left. The Americans were not happy with Sankara. He was talking of nationalising his country’s resources to benefit his people. He was a socialist so he had to go.


This section contains a sequence of archive images. What follows is the commentary accompanying the images.

NARRATOR: Video showing Sankara: Thomas Sankara was president of Upper Volta from 1983–87, and renamed it Burkina Faso, meaning 'land of the honourable'. To avoid foreign dictates, he refused aid from the IMF and the World Bank. Burkina Faso was semi-arid, hungry, indebted and had one of the highest infant mortality rates, with no hope of going it alone. He had to fight desertification, achieve food self-sufficiency, and provide healthcare. The new motto was 'two meals a day and ten litres of water a day for all every day'. The whole country, especially women, were mobilised to achieve this goal: to consume only what the country could produce on its own, without unnecessary imports and military purchases, end waste, privilege and corruption. He led by example.

SANKARA: Our ministers can only fly economy, not first class. We have abolished presidential immunity, and are in the process of lowering civil service salaries. There are court proceedings against those who are robbing our country, and these are taking place in public.

NARRATOR: Sankara ate millet, like the peasants in his country, travelled around in a small ordinary car, always wore traditional dress, and never had any personal property. His presidential salary was a pittance, and he shamed every other statesman in the world and at home. His example was not followed with enthusiasm. Roads, railways, schools and hospitals were built, agricultural production grew and desert was reclaimed. In the space of four years, the goal of two meals a day and ten litres of water was a reality. But the spectre of external debt racked up by past corrupt governments loomed. Sankara was fighting on the global stage against this new debt-slavery.

SANKARA: We must speak in one voice, saying this debt cannot be paid. And since I am the lone voice, I will be assassinated. We must say together, we cannot pay, because we have to work to build a future for our people. If only Burkina Faso refuses to pay, I will not be here at the next conference.

Silvestro’s comments: Sankara did well, and did it for all. He called into question the delicate power dynamics of the time. It was an issue that needed to be tackled. Momo Jiba and Cyril Allen, Taylor’s closest allies, recount what happened.


The interview continues

MOMO: My boss told me to approach Sankara for help in taking power in Liberia. In return, he offered lucrative business opportunities. Thomas Sankara told him he was not interested and asked him to leave the country. He told him that he would not help and asked him to find another staging point for his rebellion. Guengere, who is currently Burkina Faso’s minister of defence, Blaise Compaoré, Charles Taylor, and Chad’s current president … you know who he is?


MOMO: Yes, him too.


MOMO: They all met in Mauritania for a whole day … after a while they were joined by a white man from Paris. The discussions carried on, and then there was another meeting in Libya, where the Sankara problem was discussed some more. What emerged was that if we were to use Burkina Faso as a launching pad, Sankara had to be eliminated. Blaise Compaoré, would become president, and he would help us…

SILVESTRO: And was Gaddafi okay with the plan?

MOMO: Yes, yes … please remember, this must all remain confidential.

SILVESTRO: Yes, yes…

MOMO: If Gaddafi helped Taylor, and France sent word that they were in support of the coup d’état … better yet, if France provided funds and indicated that they would recognise Compaoré’s government, then all was well. Blaise told Guengere, the current Burkinabe army chief to avail a group of commandos, Taylor provided other troops, and the coup was staged.

SILVESTRO: Was France the only country involved?

MOMO: France was totally involved.

SILVESTRO: What about the US and the CIA?

MOMO: I am not sure of that … I don’t want to tell you lies.

ALLEN: The Americans and the French sanctioned the plan. There was a CIA operative and the US embassy in Burkina Faso working closely with the secret service at the French embassy, and they made the crucial decisions.

SILVESTRO: So the CIA and the French secret service…

ALLEN: And the French secret service decided to eliminate Sankara. Those are the facts.

MOMO: They sent their men, some commandos, and then there was Prince Johnson, and myself. We communicated by walkie-talkie, we had all the information on Sankara … when he left home, and when he returned … everything was planned.

SILVESTRO: Were you there?

MOMO: Of course, I was in Burkina Faso, I was part of the operation.

SILVESTRO: And were you present when Sankara was assassinated?

MOMO: Of course, I was in the room when he was assassinated.

SILVESTRO: What do you remember of that moment?

MOMO (laughs).

SILVESTRO: Sankara was waiting to meet Blaise Compaoré?

MOMO: No, it was not a meeting … there were important discussions taking place.

MOMO: And Blaise Compaoré, after seeming to have returned home at exactly midnight, was there, ready to act with the others … he entered the room and fired.

ALLEN: He fired the first shot … Sankara was seated and Compaoré was across the table. Then there was a second shot, Sankara sank into the chair and died … a few seconds before that, he had been speaking to Compaoré.

MOMO: I was right there when Thomas Sankara said, 'Blaise, you are my best friend, I call you my brother, and yet you assassinate me?' Blaise made an irritated gesture and said something to him in French – I don’t understand French very well – and then he fired a shot.

ALLEN: If Blaise Compaoré had not shot Sankara, Guengere would have done so, and would now be president. All of this was part of America’s interest in controlling Burkina Faso.

NARRATOR: Whatever the case, one thing is certain: The good will is gone and Burkina Faso is once again one of the world’s poorest countries.



We hope this documentary will contribute to the search for the truth, and lead to more vital testimonies.

We do not fully believe the version of events where Sankara was assassinated at midnight in the presence of Blaise Compaoré, who fired the fatal shot. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the assassination took place between 16:00 and 17:00. However, we must remain open to this.

For a long time, Liberians have been suspected to have been implicated in the death of Sankara. Up to this point, not a single Liberian had offered an explanation as to what their role was. We have serious doubts as to the veracity of this account of the day he was assassinated, but the Liberian connection is confirmed.

We unearthed a fresh confirmation of the accusations against France and Libya.

Of great importance here is the implication of the CIA. Neither is this the first time that Liberians have confirmed it in detail. Charles Taylor would surely have collaborated with the CIA to infiltrate African revolutionary circles.

There are already several accounts that express surprise at Taylor’s escape from the US. Shortly before the release of this documentary, Taylor himself recounted his surreal 'liberation escape' during the Special Tribunal on Sierra Leone, and confirmed that he had received assistance.

The producer can confirm that this documentary was shot before the release of the Liberia Truth Commission report that implicates the current president and several other personalities.

* Silvestro Montanaro is an Italian journalist working for RAI3.
* This documentary was aired on 15–29 July 2009 on RAI3. The content is also available at Farafinamag. The Italian version is available from Thomas Sankara and RaiTV.
* Translated from French by Josh Ogada
* Please send comments to or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Community Noticeboard


Petition against the Home Office's restrictions on invited non-EU artists and academics - we nearly there!

Dear petition signatory,

The petition against the home office's ludicrous restrictions preventing non-EU artists and academics from participating the UKs cultural life is getting closer to our target of 10,000 signatories. When we reach our target we will send a delegation to 10 Downing Street with the petition. We're nearly there, but I'm writing to you for your help.

The points based system which replaced the far more flexible work permits will be a year old on 27 November. We want to hand the petition in by that date to mark that moment when our freedom to invite artists, writers, poets, dancers, musicians, academics and intellectuals - professionals and amateurs - were taken away from us.

Very recent examples of barred entry included:

  • US artist Cristina Winsor detained and deported for allegedly intending to sell 2 small paintings at a local arts event in east London;
  • US artist MP Landis, his wife and 4 month baby detained and deported for not having the correct paperwork; Glenfiddich Distilleries invited him for a summer residency;
  • Indian artist Anirban Mitra refused a visa for the same residency opportunity after waiting for 4 months for a decision at great expense;
  • Russian author Sergei Mironenko of Memorial and Evgeni Tsymbal, Russian film director, were were refused visas despite being invited by reputable organizations (the London Book Fair and Queen Mary University of London respectively)
  • The Lahore Pipe Band from Pakistan were refused visas to participate in Scotland’s World Pipe Band Championships

The home office and the UKBA needs to get a sense of proportion. Hundreds of community, amateur and cultural groups are being affected as well as big national arts institutions.

We need to send a loud message to the Home Office that these ludicrous regulations need to be seriously reviewed and reconsidered. This petition has collected a huge breadth of voices from all walks of life, nationalities, political and religious persuasions.

If you haven't signed it, PLEASE do so. If each of you can persuade a friend, colleague or family member to sign the petition then we've more than reached our target.

The petition link is: <>

More information about the visiting artists campaign is available at:  <>

Thank you.

Manick Govinda
Visiting Artists Campaign Co-ordinator

  Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

New Initiatives' ORIGIN African rites of passage programme is enrolling for our 2010 programme. Can you help spread the word through your database and networks? The details are on our site.

but have a look at the Forest School feature too (retreat last weekend)

People can get enrollment forms online

Your support is very much needed and appreciated.


Bro. Pablo.



Black History Month is held every October in the UK to promote the knowledge of Black History and the contribution that people of African and Caribbean origin have made to society. Black History Month in the UK was founded by Akyaaba Addai Sebbo in 1987 who worked for the Greater London Council.

We believe that Black History should be celebrated all year round!

“For me, every month is October. But Black History Month is like a mountain that has been submerged in the ocean- the mountain representing knowledge- and then re-emerges. What we need to do is to continue to study, and to celebrate, so that the mountain always remains in view.”- William Seraile, Professor of Black Studies.

Please find below details of the events that we will be hosting in October 2009:

  • Thursday 15th October 2009- Sub Saharan African and Black American contributions to Science and Technology at the Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham
  • Friday 16th October 2009- Queens and Great women of Ancient and Mediaeval Africa at the African Caribbean Library, Clapham
  • Monday 19th October 2009- The Black presence in Britain in Britain before 1948 at the Enfield Homes, Edmonton
  • Tuesday 20th October 2009- The Haitian Revolution at the PCS Learning Centre, Victoria
  • Tuesday 20th October 2009- Who were the Ancient Egyptians? at Ealing Central Library, Ealing
  • Wednesday 21st October 2009- ‘Slavery is not our history!’ at the PCS Learning Centre, Victoria
  • Thursday 22nd October 2009- Magnificent traditions of Ancient African arts and crafts at the Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham
  • Friday 23rd October 2009- The Legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop and the dismal state of current Afrocentric scholarship at the African Caribbean Library, Clapham
  • Monday  26th October 2009- The Roots of Black Music at the Croydon Clocktower, Croydon
  • Tuesday 27th October 2009- Film Screening- ‘John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk’ at the PCS Learning Centre, Victoria
  • Wednesday 28th October 2009 - New National Curriculum and the Possibilities for Real Black History in Secondary Schools at the PCS Learning Centre, Victoria
  • Thursday 29th October 2009- The Roots of Black Music at the Marcus Garvey Library, Tottenham
  • Friday 30th October 2009- 'Who in the Black Community is to blame for Youth Crime?' at City Hall, Westminster

Full more details please contact us via

There is an admission charge of £4 per person. Refreshments will be on sale.


Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum
Presents the 2009 annual theme and series of workshops

Afrikan Freedom means Defeating Neo-colonialism: Nkrumah @ 100 (1909-2009)

Kwame Nkrumah – Training Course

6.30 Arrival 7pm Start - Youths are especially welcome - All free of charge

An introduction to the life and ideas of Kwame Nkrumah






How state power was stolen from Nkrumah and how the loss impacted on Afrikan liberation and other progressive movements in the world.

Asari St Hill



The political growth of Nkrumah after the theft of his legitimate control of state power in Ghana.

Brother Omowale



Consciencism: Nkrumah’s grounded approach to Afrikan spirituality

Kwami Agbodza



Applying Nkrumah’s ideas in the modern world

Sister Affiong

Venue for Workshops: 44-46 Offley Road, The Oval, London SW9 0LS

Nearest Tube: Oval (Northern Line); Buses: 3, 36, 59, 133, 155, 159, 185, 333, 436

Kwanzaa planning meetings – Same venue alternate Mondays @ 6.30pm

For more information: Ring 07940 005 907; email –; Website –


Alex Pascall:  Historical Talk

When: Friday 16th October 2009, 11.30 to 1.30 pm
Where: The African Caribbean Library, 285 Lavender Hill, London SW11 1JB

Alex Pascall is a Broadcaster, Oral Historian, Musician and Playwright. Come listen as he reflects on the 50 years since he came to Britain.

Tel:  0208 871 7466


Art Matters


There’s a thin line between love and the Black Arts
In association with The Journey: Cultural Expressions Exhibition

Black Arts

When: 15th October 2009, 7 – 9pm
Where: The Original Gallery, Haringey Park, Hornsey Library, N8 9JA
Admission: free

Join in this lively discussion on issues facing emerging black artists and those wishing to pursue a career in the fine arts. The debate follows a presentation by artist collective Colour and Movement, in association with Alexandra Galleries, and will be headed by a panel of distinguished black artist’s and art practitioners.

Download more details here……

By Ayesha Ogunlabi
By Ayesha Ogunlabi

THE JOURNEY: Ayesha Ogunlabi

When: Thursday 01 - Friday 30 October 2009
Time: Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
Where: Alexandra Park Library, Alexandra Park Road N22 7UJ
Booking: 020 8489 1419

Private view and artist talk: Tuesday 20 October, 6.30-8.30pm

Ayesha Ogunlabi (nee Feisal) is an artist of African and Lebanese origin. Her art is an
inspired mix of African culture and personal experiences. Spanning all artistic disciplines –painting, printmaking and photography –her art is a fusion not only of techniques but also inspiration.

THE JOURNEY: Cultural Expressions
When: Thursday 01 to Friday 30 October 2009
Time: Monday-Friday 1-7pm / Saturday-Sunday 12noon-4pm
Where: The Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, N8 9JA
Booking: 020 8489 1419 / Info:

Private view: Friday 02 October, 7-9pm

An exhibition featuring the work of internationally acclaimed artists Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy (MBE), Alvin Kofi and Jerry Blankson. Cultural Expressions highlights the transient nature of people from the African continent, their traditional values and… their cultural expressions.

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart : Classic African literature by Chinua Achebe

Adannaya Theatre Company brings:
Chinua Achebe's Noble Prize Award Winning book 'Things Fall Apart' to the Stage

When: Saturday 28 November 2009, 9am - 6pm
Location: London

"The novel Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe's homage to his Ancestors and the culture of the Ibo tribe in Nigeria. Written in 1958, it has been translated into 40 languages and sold more than 2.5 million copies.

Achebe's blend of culture and harsh reality makes for an amazing read that should be required for high-school students. It provides a wealth of information about the culture and traditions of Nigeria, and details about how colonialism was able to tear apart a powerful tribe.

Readers will feel like they are part of the Ibo as they follow their day-to-day activities, but will also realize how quickly things can fall apart. When the tribe stops worshipping the same gods and partaking in the same ceremonies, the results are catastrophic. Things Fall Apart is essential reading for people to comprehend the fragility of humankind.

>> Full Review

To audition for available character roles please contact:

Phone: 07932063233
Web: Facebook


Education Matters

Islington AHM 09
African Youth Education Program

African Youth Education Program

When: Saturdays 9.45am-2pm
Where: London, E17 (Nearest tube: Walthamstow Central, Buses:48,69,97,230,W15

New term starts: Sat Oct 3rd 2009

We are a group of people with a common interest in improving the situation facing African people. Our purpose in coming together and creating the African Youth Education Program is to begin to help to facilitate this process. Our youth are our future - therefore any serious intention of building our community has to start with them.

We teach:
Self-Development Studies, Maths, English, Kudo and Endeleo

For more information contact:
07958 671 267 / 07816 277 360 or email:


Open Lecture : Home education: rights, childhood and policy-making

Where: Room 801, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL
When: Thursday, 26th November 2009, 5:30—7pm

 6th annual Allan Levy Memorial Lecture adresses Home education: rights, childhood and policy-making. 

Daniel Monk, Senior Lecturer in Law, Birkbeck College, University of London

Daniel writes on a wide range of issues relating to children, education and the law. His work engages critically with discourses of ‘children's rights’, and attempts to create a dialogue between 'child law' and the 'sociology of childhood'. His publications include: The Family, Law and Society (with Baroness Hale of Richmond, Judge David Pearl and Professor Elizabeth Cooke), 2009; and Feminist Perspectives on Child Law (co-edited with Jo Bridgeman), 2000.


The lecture is linked to the Institute of Education’s MA Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights  and the module ‘Theories of Childhood and Children’s Rights’. For details see

No need to book a place, but if you have any queries, please contact Katherine Tyler,


Pan African: World View

Mo Ibrahim
Mo Ibrahim: We need to celebrate good African leadership

Interview: Mo Ibrahim on African Leadership

Published: 5 October 2009

Ahead of Monday's announcement of the 2009 Ibrahim Index of Governance, the survey which ranks the quality of Africa's governments, Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born cellphone pioneer who founded the index, sat down with AllAfrica's editors. Excerpts:

Why did you decide to focus your philanthropy on the governance index and the leadership prize?

There's no reason for us to be poor or hungry or backward, because Africa is a very rich continent. It is one of the largest continents on the earth. There are only 900 million Africans – two-thirds of India. It's not like we are overpopulated. And we have all these great natural resources.

The main problem impeding our development is governance – or rather the lack of it. All good things start from good governance; all bad things start from bad governance – and that's an area that's rather sensitive for anybody to address. Africans themselves need to sort it out. It isn't appropriate for others, given commercial and other interests, to be involved. We, as an African foundation, decided to take up this issue.

What is good governance? Is it a lack of corruption? Transparency? Is it democracy, participation, human rights? Is it economic opportunity? Is it women's and social rights? Is it health? Is it a good education system? Is it jobs for the kids? Actually, it is all of this.

So we embarked on this ambitious project to measure the quality of governance in every African country. This is the third year we are producing the index. It is a living project. It is evolving and improving as we understand more of the issues.

The interesting thing now is the Africanization of the process of producing the index. More and more African institutions are helping to produce this index. This year we have included North Africa, so it is covering all 53 states of the African Union. We also worked more on defining the parameters or the components of the index. Instead of 58 parameters, we are measuring 82 or 83 parameters.

What are the major obstacles you face in compiling the index?

The process threw up a number of interesting issues. For example, take poverty. We could not find any reliable measurements of poverty in Africa – a very important component. We found data to be patchy, very old and sometimes non-existent. We tried to find how many Africans are living on less than one dollar or less than two dollars [a day]. We had to drop that important indicator, unfortunately.

The problem is that the statistical offices in African countries have been neglected. They sort of vanished or died, and nobody is paying attention to that, neither the governments, the internationals, multilaterals or the donors. That raises a very important question. How are we going to measure the Millennium Development Goals? How do we measure effectiveness of aid? We throw billions of dollars at the aid industry and yet we are unable to [ascertain] the outcome. This is a major problem that we ask all the stakeholders to pay attention to and try to help us solve.

By compiling this data and publishing the report, are you running the risk that you reinforce negative images of Africa?

No, not at all. The index doesn't say Africa is bad. The index shows countries that are doing well; it shows countries which are doing badly. More importantly it shows the movement of countries, how they're moving over time.

Our index last year showed, for example, that the situation of human rights improved in Africa. This year I think that about 26 or 27 countries have improved in general, so it is not at all meant to denigrate. It's an honest picture of what's going on. It is a mirror. Some of us are good looking; we look beautiful in the mirror. Some of us are ugly and are going to look ugly because the mirror will not lie. Don't blame the mirror!

What does the Index say about the impact of conflict on African countries?

It points out the obvious: the countries which scored very badly all have internal conflicts, civil wars. When we address armed conflicts, we always think of how many people died. But conflict also destroys all other services. It destroys education. How can you have schools running when you have armed conflict? It impedes the delivery of health services. There's no economic activity, so how can you create jobs? It makes it absolutely clear that the first thing we need to address is to stop all these conflicts. They are self-inflicted wounds. We need to actively pursue peace and security on the continent. It is very important to allow the natural development of countries and the delivery of services for our population.

What are the best mechanisms for building peace?

The African Union is getting more active. African elders are playing an increasingly important role – Kofi Annan in Kenya, Graça Machel, who also worked in Kenya and Sudan, [Joaquim] Chissano in Uganda. I also salute the efforts by Thabo Mbeki in Sudan. African civil society has a big role to play. It's really a collective process, but the heart of it is the need for real leadership.

We love President Chissano in the foundation. Essentially what he did was stop the civil war in his country [Mozambique]. Here is a leader who extended his hand to his enemy and said, "Look, I don't like it. But you are citizens of the country. Instead of fighting each other in the bush and all of these atrocities, come and let's fight peacefully in elections and good luck to everybody." He was able to get those people to Maputo, and they were not harmed or badly treated. He achieved peace in his country. How many lives did he save?

If [Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir] did this, how many lives would he save? Look at [former South African President Nelson] Mandela. Who thought we were going to see a peaceful transition of power in South Africa? Everybody was expecting a bloodbath in South Africa, but it takes leadership of a man like Mandela to come and help that peaceful transition. The role of African presidents and leaders is immense. We hope African leaders will rise up and ensure an end to conflicts in their countries.

Is that why you decided to create the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership?

There are a number of reasons why we have this prize. Number one is we genuinely need to celebrate success in African leadership. An effective leadership can save lives, can help development, take people out of poverty, and change the lives of people. When it's done properly, it is a massive achievement and needs to be celebrated.

The second reason is the image of Africa outside of Africa. We have good people but nobody speaks about those people.

Every time I speak in conferences in Europe, I ask the audience: if you know Idi Amin, Mobutu, General Abacha, raise your hands. Everybody raises their hands. If you know Festus Mogae raise your hands. Two or three people raise their hands, yet Festus Mogae is a wonderful leader. Botswana had three great leaders in succession. They hand over and go back to civil society. Big deal. Everybody leaves office with clean hands. [Botswana] is moving up to a middle-income country. This is a great achievement. Why has the story of Botswana not been told? (Mogae received the prize last year and Chissano in 2007.)

When Chissano won his prize, we could not contact him. We went to the press conference and our brother Kofi [Annan] stood and read the citation and then the press started to ask questions. Lo and behold, the third question was what was the reaction of Chissano when you told him? And [Annan] said, "I do not know because I couldn't find him to tell him."

That day in the afternoon somebody in his office … said, "He's in the bush. He's trying to find [rebel leader Joseph] Kony to procure peace between the Ugandan government and [the Lord's Resistance Army]. He's somewhere on the border between Sudan and Uganda. There's no communication. Please if you reach him, congratulate him - it's his 68th birthday."

He's not a young man, but he's not sitting in his garden around the swimming pool with his friends, having a party, celebrating his birthday. He's in the bush incommunicado, sleeping rough, eating rough, trying to achieve peace in countries that are 3,000 miles away from his own. This is African leadership; these are responsible people who do the right thing, away from the lights. There are no TV cameras; he's just doing it quietly.

There are wonderful people in Africa. People knew Mandela because of the situation in South Africa, but we have many Mandelas. It is our duty to honor those people and tell the world about those success stories. When taxpayers here [in the United States] – and I'm grateful to them as an African – reach into their pockets to give money to fight disease or famine, they need to know that Africans themselves are also doing the right thing. That we are not just a bunch of beggars doing nothing, not just waiting for hand outs. All our friends in the west need to know we have leaders like Chissano.

During your prize ceremony in November, you have selected three topics for discussion – food security, climate change and economic integration in Africa. Why these issues?

Seventy percent of African people are involved in agriculture, yet we cannot feed ourselves. The agriculture sector is ineffective, unproductive. We cannot deny the responsibility of African governments themselves.

About seven or eight years ago, African presidents decided that 10 percent of their national budgets would be allocated to the agriculture sector. Two months ago, in Addis Ababa, I checked with the African Union and was shocked to find that only three countries complied with their own decision. Nobody imposed this decision on the African governments. It was their own decision and still they do not honor it. Is that not the responsibility of governments? Does that not raise the issue of governance?

If Africa cannot make food, are we going to make airplanes, are we going to make computers? How are we going to earn our living? It's a scandal. Unless we take responsibility, take ownership ourselves, nothing will happen, and we'll keep coming back to: "Please come and help us; we have a famine here." That is not acceptable.

On the issue of climate change, we [in Africa] are going to suffer more from climate change and from desertification – we've been suffering already from this – and it's obvious we did not put this carbon [in the air]. How can we adapt and mitigate, how can we develop in a green fashion when our economies have been hit due to the excesses of other developed nations? We want justice, and we need to discuss this.

And regional integration?

In this global economy, in this connected world, how can 53 very small African economies develop and go forward? The numbers look terrible. Four percent of African trade is inter-African trade. Four percent of our trade is among ourselves. How can we survive like this? We have a lot of landlocked countries, and I always wonder how these countries manage. Where does their trade go? Does it jump over the neighboring countries or what?

What we see is a terrible legacy of colonialism. When client countries were seen as extended farms for the mother country, they had only one road leading to the port, taking cotton or maize to the mother country and bringing back some goods, and that's it. Now that is a 50-year-old model. We no longer have mother countries; we no longer have client countries, yet we have not developed a road network between ourselves. We kept our barriers. We've had regional economic institutions in Africa for many years, but we don't really see any progress on the ground.

In Germany or France or Britain, each of them has bigger economy than all of Africa put together. Yet, they formed the European Union to have economic integration and break down barriers. You now drive your goods from Berlin to Scotland non-stop and at no extra cost. No people stopping you every ten miles, asking you to fill forms, to pay a small bribe that delays you. Who do we think we are – 53 little economies trading with God knows whom? The fact is a large number of African countries are not viable. If they were companies, they would have been declared bankrupt. You switch off the light, you say: bye-bye, it doesn't work.

Why do we have this problem with regional projects? We have wonderful rivers to generate clean power, which we can use to light up all of Africa. Yet everybody wants to build their own little stations. Everybody wants to do their own little thing. It doesn't work. The cost per unit becomes too high. Just ask any businessman. You need scale for your business to run, reduce your costs, reduce your prices and make sure you're viable. So we really must address the whole issue here with sanity.

But is there the political will in Africa to do this?

I'm not saying that African countries need to drop their colorful flags or their national anthems. Please, keep it, but integrate your economies! Open your borders, let goods and people move around freely, then we can really move forward.

The sooner we address this, the better. Unless we address this problem, I don't think there is a future.


History Today: "Know Your Enemy" - African Proverb, Swahili

Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya
Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya:
Claims US Election is a sign from God

Obama Election a "Divine Sign" of Racial Healing: African Bishop

By Hilary White / October 7, 2009

Because he is black, the election of Barack Obama as president of the US, is a "divine sign" according to one African bishop attending the Synod currently meeting in the Vatican. Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, head of the archdiocese of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, called the election of Obama a "primordial event" in the history of salvation and God's answer to the historic injustice of the African slave trade.

During Monday's afternoon session of the Synod, Monsengwo presented his report on trends in the Church in Africa since the last Synod for Africa in 1994. Prefacing his remarks with the Biblical story of Joseph and the Egyptian captivity of the Israelites, telling the assembled African bishops that the story provides an interpretive "key" that can assist in understanding "the profound sense of the last five centuries of human history in general and of the Slave Trade in particular."

"The 430 years of slavery of the Jewish people ... could lead us to interpret developments in today's geopolitical situation," Monsengwo said.

Toward the end of his remarks, he called "the election of a Black as head of the United States of America ... a divine sign and a sign from the Holy Spirit for the reconciliation of races and ethnic groups, for peaceful human relations."

The Synod, he said, and "the universal Church would gain from not ignoring this primordial event of contemporary history, which is far from being a banal game of political alliances."

John Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the left-leaning American Catholic paper the National Catholic Reporter, has said that even "without showing up" Barack Obama is "a force" at the African bishops' Synod. Allen pointed to the mention by some bishops of Obama as a "potentially powerful new force for justice and good government across Africa" and a possible herald of further racial political victories such as the possible election of a black pope.

Allen commented that the positive tone of the African bishops on Obama's race makes a change from the emphasis on his policies among American Catholics, "where attention is usually focused on Obama's controversial stands on abortion and other life issues."

Pro-life Vatican observers, however, expressed their surprise at the archbishop's uncritical praise of the Obama victory.

Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said that despite the African bishops' concern for the "advancement of black people," they must remember to condemn Obama's virulently pro-abortion policies, that include the expansion of abortion and artificial contraception in Africa.

Ozimic said, "Black Catholic and Christian pro-life leaders in both America and Africa regard Mr. Obama's presidency as a disaster for black unborn children. Abortion is the deepest antithesis of reconciliation and peaceful human relations."

"If, instead of killing unborn children, Mr. Obama's policies killed, for example, Catholic priests, would Archbishop Monsengwo regard Mr Obama's election as a positive, divine sign? Are unborn children any less deserving of the right to life than Catholic priests?"

The African bishops' Synod opened on Sunday and continues through to October 24th.



Rites of Passage: Training, Healing and Meditation

Akoben: Symbol of vigilance and wariness. Akoben is a horn used to sound a battle cry.

Mashufaa Classes
Spirit of the Warrior

: 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
Time: 7-9:30pm
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

Time: 7-9:30pm
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

Time: 7:15-8:45pm
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 Media: Pan African


Pan African People's Phone In

When: Sunday
Time: 22:00 - Midnight
Where: Galaxy Radio 99.5 FM (

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

Where: Newsagents
When: Monthly

The worlds most authoritative, best selling Pan African magazine.

  Pambazuka News
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in AfricaYou can help Pambazuka News become independent. Become a supporting subscriber by taking out a paid subscription. Donate $30 a year


Shoot The Messenger

Where: Vox Africa
When: Every Sunday, 6-7PM

Current affairs on the Pan African TV channel with Henry Bonsu


Community Events

  African and South Asian Britain Seminars

Where: Room G32, Senate House, (Institute or Commonwealth Studies, University of London), Russell Square, London WC1
When: September to December 2009: 6 to 7.30 pm
Adm: Everyone is welcome. You do not have to pre-book/register.

4 November - H.E. Ross, Black People Don't Sail

Synopsis: ‘my presentation deals with the concept of the movement of information by African born/descent mariners who were able to experience the reality of the worlds outside the North American slave experience. They passed on information to inland mariners, coastal mariners, dock workers and plantation labourers who were unloading cargo.’

2 December, Cliff Pereira, Black and Asian Community Voice and Local History. – the Bexley Example.


The Past Speaks

The Past Speaks

When: Every Saturday (1PM - 3PM)
Where: CLR James Library, 24/30 Dalston Lane E8
(3rd - 24 Oct)
Hackney Central Library,1 Reading Lane, E8 (7th - 28 Nov 2009)
Homerton Library, Homerton High Street, E9 (9-30 Jan 2010)

The Past speaks is a free interactive series of 3 history workshops cumulating with an exhibition of participants work at three libraries in Hackney starting at CLR James Library at 1pm on 3rd Oct 2009.   The workshops explore the social and political experience of Black Britons over a period of 3 centuries through focusing on three leading authors of their times: Mary Seacole (19c), Peter Abrahams (20c) and Onyeka.


Halala Women of Fancy Stitch Halala: Contemporary Indigenous Tapestries

When: 9th October – 12th December 2009, Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 17.00
Where: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Not to be missed this October is the showcasing of African embroidered art works from Fancy Stitch, a non profit job creation organisation in Southern Africa. The brain child of Maryna Heese an artist living in Ingwavuma, the job creation organisation gives employment to over 400 women in the area; this will be the third international showcasing of their work. The works of art tell the stories of these women, which are stories of survival in the face of adversity, stories of strength and perseverance and stories of hope, all told through the imagery and kaleidoscope of colours and stitches.

Ingwavuma is a remote and rural place in Northern Zululand, high in the mountains bordering both Swaziland and Mozambique. It is plagued by the scourge of HIV/AIDS and high unemployment. Yet amongst all that, Fancy Stitch is a beacon of hope in this community. Many of these women have had their lives devastated by the reality of living in a community that has been ravished by HIV/AIDS, where a conservative statistic shows that one in three people are infected by the disease and subsistence living is a daily reality.

These women have had their lives changed by the trade of their hands and their stories and the hope that they hold on to will all be on display at this, their biggest ever international exhibition, featuring a collection of seven years worth of individuals work and their story told through interviews and film.

This will be the first exhibition by the group in the U.K. showing the scope and range of works they produce and a number of these will be available to purchase.

More details of the group and their work can be found at

Fancy Stitch


An open debate on the Black Arts:
“There is a thin line between love and the BLACK ARTS”

When: Thursday 15th October 2009, 7 – 9PM
Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, Crouch End, London N8 9JA
Adm: Free

Artists and creative people from the community are invited to an event presenting solutions to the issues that are facing young and up-and-coming artists who choose a career in the fine arts.
The evening will include a presentation of selective artwork.

  Screening: The John Akii-Bua Story: An African Tragedy

When: Thurs 15 October 2009, 7.30pm
Where: Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA (Screen 3)
Adm: £8 / £6 concs

Dir: Dan Gordon 2008 / UK / 90mins

At the Munich Olympics of 1972, John Akii-Bua became the first African to win gold in an event under 800 metres. This is the story about that amazing triumph - and what happened next. John Akii Bua returned to Uganda carving the name of its military ‘President’ Idi Amin into genocidal notoriety.

For more information visit

For tickets, please call the Rich Mix Box Office on 020 7613 7498

or visit


The Fela Kuti Birthday Celebration 2009

Where: The Happy Peoples Bar & Restaurant, 160 Page Green Terrace, High Road Tottenham N15 4NU
When: Friday October 16th 2009 -Libation: 8pm / Felabration: 9pm - 2am
Adm: £10

Ancient future present by spiritual demand the Fela Kuti birthday celebration.

Come join us in celebrating the birthday f the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti. This will be a night of  good vibes and inspiration where we eat, drink and Felabrate. With a discography of over 45 recordings the night will fuse the classic music of Fela, the father of Afrobeat, complemented by the music he was inspired by, and by those who he inspired,

Featuring music selected by:
DJ Shola B
DJ Afro Groove

Contact: 07506 481 509

The Phoenix by Onyeka

The Phoenix Book Signing with Onyeka

When: Saturday 17th October 2009, 4.30-7.00pm
Where: Pempamsie - 102 Brixton Hill, Brixton SW2 (nr Brixton tube stn)
Adm: Free

Onyeka is a leading Black British author who will be speaking exclusively at Pempamsie to discuss his latest novel The Phoenix and speak about the real issues affecting the Black community from race pride, to black on black crime and the rise of the BNP.

Contact Details:
Tanya - 07949 850 205 / Afua - 07956 337 391 or email


ADAP: DVD Showcase Series II

When: Sunday 18th October 2009, 2pm - 6:30pm
Where: 280 St Anns Road, Tottenham, London N15 5BN

Greetings All,

After the completion of a successful 1st series; the ADAP DVD FILM SHOWCASE has returned for a 2nd instalment of the Afri-centred empowerment they won’t teach you in school.

This DVD Showcase Series will open by seeking to dispel the myth of Africans’ liberation by the hands of Europeans with the supposed Abolishment Act, as we take a closer look at our story in ‘Maafa – Truth 2007’, by film maker and community activist Toyin Agbetu.

For more info contact: 07846026165 /

This will be followed with;

2)  1 November 2009 - To build on this we then take an in depth analysis on how our black countries have been destabilised focusing on Jamaica, in ‘Life & Debt’. An extremely insightful account on how the ‘Western’ countries purposefully create economic problems in the Caribbean & Africa.

3)  15 November 2009 - In this age of health consciousness, African Americans are 3 times more likely to die due to the consumption of processed foods.  Don’t miss this film! A nutritional war is taking place-don’t become a victim of collateral damage.

4)  29 Nivember 2009 - We finish the series with a heart warming tale of what BLACK Love can be. In this positive example of two young lovers, dispelling the myth that all African-Caribbean relationships are dysfunctional.

This film series has once again been specifically selected to address current issues within our communities, coupled with constructive discussion and analysis of the topics; this series seeks to empower us by tackling these issues ‘Head On’.

So everyone please come-unity with us again, to create another successful educating, entertaining, friendly and interactive series. This event is brought to you by the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION FOR PROGRESS (ADAP)


Unity & Remembrance Drumming Ceremony

When: Sunday 18th October, Noon – 6pm
Leicester Square, London

 Is “black history month” doing anything to create unity among all the black organisations so that collectively all the black cultural & community organisations, churches, etc, have a voice based on numbers, “people power” that politicians and the media have to start listening to, that can create the changes we need in our community?

Calling all people of African descent to bring their drums and souls
Calling all cultural organisations to step forward and perform libation and prayers of remembrance

Let us congregate in peace, wisdom & harmony and re-discover what is missing from “black history month”.

We (your ancestors) invite you all, descendents of the continent of Africa, the people and continent who have their human rights abused the most, to re-create the village.


African History Month Event: In Search Of Achievers Closer To Home

When: Monday 19th October, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Refreshments from 6.15pm to 6.30pm
Where: Council Chamber, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, HA1 2UL

Free audio-visual event featuring achievers of African descent, based on a) the NARM Naming And Role Models) Project, which highlights African British male role models and b) What They Said I Should Be: The Story Of African British Female Movers & Shakers, some conscious poetry and rap; plus fundraiser for Harrow Mayor Cllr Eric Silver's chosen charity Easyriders Wheelchairs

For more information: / 020 8450 5987

  Black British Perspectives: Music

When: Tuesday 20 October
Time: 2-4pm
Venue: The Venue, Leeds College of Music, 3 Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PD
Tel:0113 222 3400
Music and arts critic Kevin Le Gendre asks guests, singer Sheila Chandra and music manager, Kwame Kwaten (formely of D'Influence), how hard have black and other multi-ethnic British artists had to struggle to be recognised over the years, in order to break through in the mainstream on their own terms? Are there still enough Black powerbrokers in the music industry and media to ensure that original Black voices are given a platform to do what they feel is progressive without pandering to expectations from 'inside' and outside their own community?

Rsvp by 16 Oct

  Electric Africa

When: 23rd October 2009, 5.30pm
Where: Ernst & Young, 1 More London Place, SE1 2AF

I am writing to invite member organisations of THE NETWORK to the Association for Black Engineer's (AFBE-UK) annual seminar 'Electric Africa' hosted by The Ernst & Young Black Network (EYBN) at Ernst & Young, 1 More London Place, SE1 2AF on 23rd October 2009 at 5.30pm

This seminar is to discuss sustainable development in Africa in relation to energy supply. It will ask questions about the differences in Energy supply in the West and Africa and why Africa appears to be unable to benefit from natural sources available to them.

The debate aims to identify the current challenges as well as the potential opportunities for development of the power industry in Africa. The focal point will be to discuss economic viable solutions affordable to the African society.

Our Keynote speakers for the evening are Patrick Clarke, Director of Connections at EDF energy, Dr Peter Mason, Technical Director for international dams and hydro power and Mark Tomlinson, senior Fellow at the World Economic Forum?s Energy Poverty Action.

The debate will be followed by a drinks/networking Reception. It will be a good
opportunity to network with other professionals!!

I would also like to request for the assistance of member organisations of THE NETWORK in promoting this event by forwarding the attached flyer to members of their respective networks. RSVP by clicking on the link below;

Many Thanks and Regards,

Nike Folayan
(Chair-For Association for Black Engineers, UK)
Email address:

Encouraging and inspiring people of Black/African Origin in Engineering.
Displaying relevance through business and community action



When: Sat 24 Oct 2009, 4pm
Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA (Screen 3)
£8 / £6 concs 

Rich Mix welcomes Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations as he presents two seminal documentaries that focus on an aspect of contemporary black history. Followed by a Q&A led by Colin Prescod on issues raised in the film.

A Town Under Siege (NC)
Dir: Colin Prescod
2008 / UK / 38 mins

From You Were Black, You Were Out
Dir: Colin Prescod
2008 / UK / 38 mins

More Information:


Word Power: International Black Literature Festival & Book Fair
Voices of the Diaspora

When: 24th - 25th October 2009
Time: 3-6pm
Where: Ocean, 270 Mare Street, Hackney London E8
Adm: Free

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


Law Society: BHM Quiz Night

When: Thursday 29 October 2009, 6.00pm - 9.00pm
Where: The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2
Adm: £15 per team of six or £3 per person

The Law Society is celebrating Black History Month for the first time this October 2009. Join us for an opportunity to network with others in the legal profession and raise money for the Sickle Cell Society

To register your attendance for any of the event please

Reparations Awareness Symposium

When: Saturday 31st October 10am - 5pm (prompt start)
Where: Queen Mother Moore Saturday School Hall, The Methodist Church, Nelson’s Row, Clapham Common, SW4 7SR (Tube: Northern Line to Clapham Common / Buses: 35, 37, 45, 155, 137)
Adm: Entry is free, donations welcomed (towards cost)

On sale will be refreshments, books/DVDs and other stalls

Come and hear powerful speakers such as such as Bro Cecil Gutzmore, Sis Nzingha Assata and speakers from GACuk and help plan what must be done to achieve justice for yourself and your ancestors in the form of reparations

DEMAND REPARATIONS NOW: Reparation comes from the word ‘repair’. It seeks to identify and redress those wrongs against Afrikan people so that those who suffered will enjoy justice and full freedom to assist their development on more equal terms. For further information contact Nzingha on 07908 203 533

Sponsored by: GAC UK, Alliance of Afrikan Women & CACFO (Croydon)


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


The African Market Day

When: Saturday, November 7, 2009, 11:00am - 5:00pm
Where: Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street , SE18 6PW

Come and experience a taste of Africa and the Caribbean

The African Market Day events began in 2008 and was established to create a positive exchange of business, culture and enterprise within and outside the African and Caribbean Diaspora. The events always play host to a wide selection of exhibitors, performances, music and of course food. To get involved as stall holder or a performer please contact us: / 07908 144 311



When: Sunday 8 November 2009
Were: Seebo’s Banquetting Suite, 761-763 High Road, Leytonstone, London E11 4QS
DOORS: 7:00PM  Cabaret Show: 9:30PM Dancing Til 3:00AM
Adm: Free

The G MaG 10th Year Anniversary Gala Dance is now scheduled to be held on Sunday 8 November 2009. This Celebrity Gala will host a variety of artists from the differnet types of Black music (Reggae, Soca, R&B, Gospel, Hip-hop, Jazz, African) who will perform a song or two in celebration of the magazine’s ten years. There will also be Poets, Comedians & Dancers and we’re expecting over 30 performers for the night.

ENTRY to this event will be FREE for ALL who want to attend... Special invitation will be sent to prominent figures in the Music, Entertainment, Sports and Business fields under (email and text) RSVP invitation. 

We're expecting that the artisans performing will do so as a special contribution to the magazine for the continuous promotion it has given the industry over the years. FREE Refreshments will be provided for Perfomers.

Marcia Griffiths will be a ‘special guest of honour’ at this event. She will open the show andsay a few words - meet and greet some of the artists and fans alike. She will also be presented with an AWARD from the G MaG Crew for her outstanding services to Reggae music.

PLUS a MEDIA WEEK in London is being planned for most of the artists attending the Gala where they will get the unique opportunity to promote their new albums, tours and whatever else they are doing. Three Days of Media for PRINT, RADIO & TV - local and national newspapers and magazines - BBC & Community Radio - BBC, ITV, Sky Networks and Internet Television channels... to give maximum exposure to the artists, the magazine and to Reggae music.

Below is a list of the Artists/Performers who have already confirmed their attendance....

*More to be confirmed later....

Lascelles James - Reggae/Jazz Saxophonist (UK), Dennis Alcapone - Rocksteady Toaster (JA), Winston Reedy -  Reggae Singer (UK), Sylvia Tella - Reggae Singer (UK), Blackstones - Reggae Group, Backing Band - Ruff Cutt (UK), *D’Angel - Bashment Deejay (JA), *Romain Virgo - Reggae Singer (JA), Isiah Mentor - Roots Singer (USA), Stevie Face - Reggae Singer (JA), MBC (Make Boys Cry) - Reggae Group (JA) , Fresh P - Bashment Deejay (UK), Gappy Ranks - Reggae Sing-jay (UK), Kele Le Roc - R&B Singer (UK), *Sharon St. Louis - Gospel Singer (UK), Scrappy - Soca Singer (UK), *African Simba - Roots Sing-jay, *Tenastelin - Roots Singer (UK), Aaron Kedar - Roots Sing-jay (UK), Clinark - Reggae Singer (Bermuda/UK), Black Slate - Reggae Band (UK), Bryan Bailey - Poet (UK), *Jacinth Francis - Poet (UK)

DJs / Selectors:
LA CJ, Prezedent, LG Brown, DJ Cowboy, TC Fords

Because of the uniqueness of the events, this will greatly enhance and give very good promotion to any future show in the UK for the artists involved.

More details including Sponsors, Hosts and MCs will follow shortly.

G MaG… The Ultimate Magazine for BLACK ENTERTAINMENT… Music... Culture… Lifestyle and MORE… [Formerly GARGAMEL MAGAZINE]

  Black British Perspectives: Style

Date: Thursday 12  November
Time: 2-4pm
Location: Impressions Gallery. Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD
T:08450 515 882

Carol Tulloch, Reader in Dress and the African Diaspora at the University of the Arts, London will be in conversation with design consultant Avis Charles, and artist Susan Stockwell, to consider the issue of style and 'blackness'. Is 'Black Style' a term that retains cultural currency? Are the dress styles presented on the black body associated with black culture incorporated into contemporary art?

Rsvp by 9 Nov


ADAP: African Development Awareness Day

Peckham Cosmetics: Fined for selling skin poisions to customers

When:14th November 2009, 3pm - 8pm
Where: The West Green Learning Centre, Langham Road, London N15 3RB

ADAP will be staging its first African Development Awareness Day to educate and inform members of the African/Caribbean Diaspora community living in the United Kingdom, about ADAP's developmental programmes taking place on the African continent.

We hope to spread awareness and shed 'light' through various guest speakers, workshops and presentations, including informing you on the many investment opportunities currently taking place in Africa, and how you could become a part of growing team of dedicated individuals helping to bring about positive change within our communities.

Entertainment on the day will be provided by the renowned comedian; Prophet Kwaku Bonsu, music by Segge Dan of Black Britanyaa, and a host of performers.

TELL a friend to TELL a friend and SPREAD the word.


The Horizon Venture: Giant steps; one jazz warrior’s deep space exploration

Date: Thursday 12th November 2009
Venue: The Place,  Robin Howard Theatre 17 Duke’s Road, London,WC1H 9PY
Time:  8pm
Adm: £10, £8 and limited £5* / Box Office: 020 7121 1000

There are tickets available at £5 for the next 15 people to register at

As a prelude to The London Jazz Festival, and an epilogue to  African history month , Darren Vidal Montgomery Taylor ( jazzreloaded, Jazz Warriors AfroPeans, The Mighty Jeddo, The Courtney Pine Band, The Omar Puente Band ) brings his debut sci-fi novel

THE HORIZON VENTURE to life with  a multimedia jazz operetta of visuals, spoken word and dance theatre, all set to his own compositions and arrangements and performed live.

Featuring : Chris Jerome – Keyboards Daniel Crosby -Drums  Donald Gamble - Percussion Nanar Vorperian –Vocals  Samy Bishai – Violin



African Odysseys Screenings: A Charmed Life

When: Sat 14 November 2009, 14:00
Where: BFI Southbank, SE1, NFT 3

Adm: Matinee tickets £5

Inspiring films from the hip-hop youth of Dakar to the cinematic infuence of Spike Lee

A Charmed Life: UK 2008. Dir Ros Gihan Williams and Patrick Vernon. 64min

A warm and inspiring documentary that examines the life of London resident eddie Martin noble.

Tickets 020 7928 3232 /

  Workshop: Education 4 Liberation

Where: Taking place in London UK
Saturday 14th November 2009, 10.00am – 6.00pm

Arts Practitioner, Tony Cealy has developed a series of popular education techniques for exploring experiences of Oppression. This intensive hands-on one-day workshop uses complementary approaches based on concepts of the organizing practices of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (TOO).

 This workshop will be of particular relevance for educationalists, therapists and arts practitioners.

We will actively explore how to use Augusto Boal’s techniques to empower ourselves or others who are marginalised in society.

The workshop costs £40.00 Spaces are limited.

For course guide & to book go to or contact + 44 (0) 7956 877358  

  Black British Perspectives: Stage

Date: Monday 30 November
Time: 2-4pm
Venue: North Light Gallery, Brooke's Mill, Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, HD4 7NR 
T:01484 340003

"The past should not just form the basis of conversations and discussions but serve as the foundation for future artistic works and as the crust of work that organisations use to communicate theatre to schools and further education." (Michael McMillan).
Michael McMillan, stage writer, artist and scholar, along with invited guests, actor and Artistic Director of Tiata Fahodzi, Femi Elufowoju jr. and choreographer and Artistic Director of Jonzi D. Productions, Jonzi D, discuss this, and other issues, such as the need to find new creative approaches to looking back into history and the lack of a suitable discourse on black stage performance and how the matter can be tackled.

Rsvp by 27 Nov

Black British Perspectives: Literature and Publishing

Date: Monday 7 December
Time: 2-4pm
Location: City Inn, Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach, Leeds, LS1 4BR
T:0113 241 1000

Nii Parkes, author and publisher, along with invited guests, writer and publisher, Margaret Busby and author, Diran Adebayo will discuss the dual needs of writers and publishers to retain an independent voice, and discuss the best means to express that voice.

Rsvp by 16 Oct


Screening: The Hunger Season

When: Thurs 10 December 2004, 7.30pm
Where: Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA (Screen 3)
Adm: £8 / £6 concs

Dir: Beadie Finzi 2008 / UK / 74mins

A new documentary on the food crisis gripping the planet. A young teacher and his pupils struggle to survive the worst drought ever in Swaziland, southern Africa. The film connects their fate to the Swazi government, the UN agencies and ultimately Western governments, whose actions will determine the future of one small community.

For more information visit

For tickets, please call the Rich Mix Box Office on 020 7613 7498

or visit


African Odysseys Screenings: The End of Poverty?

When: Sat 12 December 2009, 14:00
Where: BFI Southbank, SE1, NFT 1

Adm: Matinee tickets £5

Inspiring films from the hip-hop youth of Dakar to the cinematic infuence of Spike Lee

The End of Poverty?: USA 2008. Dir Philippe Diaz. 104min. EST

Tracing colonial history, this flm challenges a system in which one person’s comfort depends on another’s misery

Tickets 020 7928 3232 /

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

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