Archive for 25. December 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa

Saturday, 25. December 2010

SAFM talk radio did feature at least an hour on Kwanzaa, having Baba Buntu from Ebukhosini Solutions in the studio, who organises the KWANZAA ceremony for the ninth year in Gauteng with growing success. Being pretty much unknown in Europe a little bit of background might be of interest. KWANZAA is not a religious festivity, but an attempt to gather on Pan-African values, especially in the diaspora.
Kwanzaa History
Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration mainly held in the US honoring universal African-American heritage  and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.  It was created by Maulana Karenga, Professor of Africana Studies California State University–Long Beach, and was first celebrated in 1966 – 1967. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture.

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.