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The Ligali Ethos

The principles that guide how we work.

The Ethos that guides the Organisation are:


Human Rights, Natural Justice

Natural justice incorporates fundamental values about equality, non-discrimination, impartiality and procedural fairness for securing outcomes based on Ancestral wisdoms.


Pan Africanism

We work to unify all African-centred people across the world. The core cultural base of Pan Africanism is based on Natural Justice but also incorporates a land and animal based ecological conservation approach, married to a progressive spiritual-political dynamic served by a fair and non-capitalist based social agenda.


Self-Determination

Self determination is a basic and fundamental principle of human rights and relates to the ability to control and sustain culturally empowering aspirations and destinies. Self determination is also the positive affirmation of freedom and equality within the sphere of community.


We believe that the key to African progression is African people creating and evolving solutions for and by themselves. While we feel there is a need for many non-African institutions to acknowledge their exploitation and degrading practices towards African people with a view to rectifying their moral wrongs, we believe it is even more essential that African people construct their own destiny. This essentially means that African people need to be enterprising and establish their own businesses, organisations, educational institutions and material, media, artistic outlets and ultimately an African centered approach to working with and for African people.


Identity reclamation and self definition

Identifying and reclaiming our original identity, culture and history is an integral part of promoting the emotional, spiritual, economic and mental progression of the African community in Western society and the great Continent of Africa. We strongly believe that each and every person has the right to self-define themselves according to their principles, social values and culture. As such, we assert and embrace our African identity and heritage as something positive and essential to our individual, communal and political progression. We reject the label ‘black’ as a branded and imposed concept originating from the minds of a culture that historically and presently oppresses and exploits African people and Africaness. ‘Black’ disconnects African people from Africa and forces them to become a homogenous, nondescript mass.


In addition the term ‘black’ is not just used to refer to African people in the UK but any individual who is not ‘white’. To describe ourselves as something which another is not is absurd, demeaning and counterproductive. Just as other communities self-define as native American (Amerindian) or Chinese rather than ‘red’ or ‘yellow’ people, we reject ‘black’ (i.e. non-white) as our poker branded label in favour a name that connects us with our cultural, spiritual, physical and historical place of origin; Africa.


Click here to read our terminology guidelines


Community cohesion and unity

We believe that community cohesion is an essential tool to success. To that end, we endeavour to support other Africentric organisations and subsequently encourage positive collaboration, relations and cohesion between various organisations, groups and individuals. It is also essential for all African people to embrace our wide-ranging, rich and important cultural diversities by working together and supporting each other regardless of cultural differences.


Free and open access to information

The suppression of information in Western democracy has played an integral role in maintaining the deceit of elite groups of european cultural imperialists including governments and media institutions. As such, we aim to expose the contradictions and information that is hidden from the public, particularly in regard to that which has a detrimental effect on African people.


We also aim to publish the letters, emails and documents that are sent to us in our every day dealings with various organisations, companies, public service bodies and government.


Freedom of speech and expression with moral responsibility

We believe in the freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their personal, political or cultural bias. We encourage honest, thought provoking and controversial expression. However, this freedom of speech must be accompanied by a moral responsibility that prevents the promotion of specifically contrived misinformation and lies, personal attacks unless they are related specifically to the issue at hand and with due consideration for the opinions, culture and belief of others.


Equality

Every individual must be treated equally and afforded equal opportunity to self determination, justice, expression, respect and dignity.


We do not believe that the empowerment of African people is the limited and sole responsibility of African men. Women are and always will be an integral part of the Ligali organisation. The value of committed individuals should not be undermined or marginalized because of their gender. To this end, we have women involved in the organisation beyond the tokenistic roles of administrators and kitchen staff. They are in fact involved at all levels of the organisation. Beyond the organisation, we endeavour to promote the voice of the African women at an equal level to that of African men. Whilst we are aware that men and women are different, both should be treated equally and afforded equal opportunity to self determination, justice, expression, respect and dignity.


The importance of equality also extends beyond the conflict that can arise due to gender differences. We believe in the equality of youth and elders and the validity of their contribution to the progression of African people. No African society can function without its future - the youth - or the wisdom of experience through our elders


We also believe in embodying the notion of equality in our work and interactions with the community.


Transparency and accountability

It is important that any organisation that deals with the African community operate under a principle of transparency and accountability. To this end, we aim to publish all relevant information into the public domain via our website. We also endeavour to be accountable to community by having a very visual and prominent presence within the community. We will also be held directly accountable for any acts by individual members of staff and the organisation in its entirety if it emerges that we have acted in contradiction with our set ethos. When necessary, we will publicly acknowledge any such act and make strides to rectify any negative repercussions our actions may have had.


Africa by and for Africans

Often the story of Africa is told through the eyes of non-African’s. This in itself is not a problem. The real problem lies in the perspective of these ‘storytellers’ and compilers of our history, and current day realities. In the vast majority of cases, whether we are dealing with historians and so-called anthropologists or media networks and voluntary organisations, the tainted perspective and motivations of these groups have contributed to the mass ignorance and corruption of the African experience.


As such, we promote and aim to embody the notion of Africa by and for Africans. This essentially means that we create our own means of telling our experiences from our own perspective. To this end, we support those who are also actively engaged with this means of self determination such as African scholars, writers, grass roots organisations and africentric media such as television and radio networks.


History and Education

African history is the most suppressed history in the world. Of the history that we do have access to, much has been mutilated and manipulated to fit in with a western perception of Africa that continues to view Africa and African people as sub-human. Academics have created a mythical Africa that has filtered through the psyche of Africans and non-Africans alike, forcing us to subscribe to a racist and imperialist view of our own culture, history and people. To this end, history and education are critical tools for the progression of African children and the re-education of African adults who have often been force fed a falsity that contributes to the repression of our true self. As well as educating and reeducating African and non-African people about the richness, diversity and societal intellect of Africa and her history, it is important that we learn from our history about the ways in which we can aid the positive development and progression of the great Continent of Africa and her people throughout the world.


Education from an Africentric perspective is one of our most valuable currencies to attain physical wealth and spiritual health.


Last updated 14 November 2008

Authors: Emma Pierre-Joseph / Toyin Agbetu

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