The Ligali organisation began its growth in early 2000 with the aim of challenging the negative representations of the African British community across all forms of media. It was founded by Toyin Agbetu and took firm shape after Emma Pierre-Joseph joined and for several years helped develop the organisation by becoming our head of media affairs.
Our original motivation was based on the fact that members of our community, spanning ages, occupations, gender and specific cultural backgrounds, regularly expressed profound and frustrated opinions about the detrimental and offensive way in which African people were represented in the media.
After a year in existence, Ligali became a magnet for more general community concerns. We soon realised the causes of some of the problems faced by the African community in Britain were often multi-faceted and the subsequent solutions also needed to be holistic if real and effective change for the better was to be achieved. As such, our work has extended beyond African misrepresentation in the media and focuses on independent cultural media production and holistic education.
Ligali works for the socio-political and spiritual empowerment of African people with heritage direct from Africa or indirectly via African diasporic communities, such as those in the Caribbean and South America.
We believe it is important for African people to be able to self determine and therefore independently repair the injustices within our own socio-political reality instead of demanding more rights from those outside it. We work according to a system of natural justice based upon traditional African principles (such as Maat) that seeks to fix hurt with healing and reparation as opposed to responding to injustice with harmful acts of reprisal and retribution to make things ‘even’.