The word KWANZAA (K-wahn-zah) “is derived from the Swahili word KWANZA and is part of the phrase Matunda Ya Kwanza (first fruits).”  It is a time to celebrate the Afrikan in you, the good in you, the good you have done in your life, your thoughts, words and actions on behalf of your Afrikan humanity. KWANZAA is an Afrikan American holdiay that is full of Nia/Purpose. It is a week long celebration, from December 26th to January 1st, of the new Gregorian year. KWANZAA is not a Black Christmas!!!  KWANZAA  is about looking at your achievements (retrospection) and improving on what you have already accomplished (introspection), while celebrating your Afrikan ancestors, Afrikan people and Afrikan contributions to the human story.

  In 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga’s Nia/Purpose was to create an “indigenous non-heroic Black holiday in the United States,” KWANZAA.  It is a holiday for Afrikan people of all locations, backgrounds and beliefs.  The roots of KWANZAA are continental Afrikan, but the branches and fruit are distinctly Afrikan American.  As the founder, Dr. Karenga sought to connect Afrikan people everywhere to our ancestral beginnings, it is this connection that makes KWANZAA a holiday of the first fruits.  Based on a direct transfer of knowledge coming out of the traditions of agricultural peoples of Afrika, who celebrated and gave thanks for harvests at designated times during the year, your present day Nia/Purpose is to continue this legacy by celebrating and giving thanks for what you have achieved at this point in your life.

The heart of KWANZAA is the NGUZO SABA (In-goo-zoh Sah-bah) or the Seven Principles. The seven principles can be practiced daily, since there are seven days in a week you can apply each principle to a day of the week and continue doing this throughout the year. This is a guaranteed strategy to keep you grounded and focused on your planned life goals or your  Nia/Purpose. Which principle would you practice today to reinforce your life’s Nia/Purpose? You can also, combine principles for one day, but there should never be a day that you go without acknowledging a personal effort to practice a principle of KWANZAA!

NGUZO SABA (7 Principles)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1)Umoja (Oo-moh-jah) – Unity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2)Kujichagulia (Koo-gee-cha-goo-lee-ah)-Self-Determination                                                                                                                                                                                3)Ujima (Oo-gee-mah)-Collective Work & Responsibility                                                                                                                                                                                    4)Ujamaa (Oo-jah-mah) – Cooperative Economics                                                                                                                                                                                                              5)Nia (Nee-ah) -Purpose                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6)Kuumba (Koo-oom-bah) – Creativity                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7)Imani (Ee-mah-nee) – Faith

 Sources                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Kwanzaa: a Celebration of Family, Community and Culture/ Maulana Karenga                                                                                                                                             Kwanzaa: A Progressive and Uplifting African American Holiday/ Haki R. Madhubuti


                                                                                                        Iya Adjua, PhD  –  17 Ka Her Ka 6251 (12/17/2011)