Some years back when I wanted to choose a name for my creative outfit I didn't waste time in coming up with one-Kente and Kwanzaa Productions.I was particularly thrilled by the sound of the later:Kwanzaa.It gave me pride.
I wanted an identity that very well and proudly connects and expresses Pan-African, African American and other diasporic values.
Kwanzaa,derived from the Swahili language,is a cultural holiday in the United states,created in 1966 by Dr Mualana Karenga in an effort to ''rescue and reconstruct'' the affirmation of the eccentric values that originaly defined Africa.Kwanzaa's celebration is organised around 7 principle: Unity (Umoja);self determination (kujichangulia);collective work and responsibility (ujima);cooperative economy (ujamaa);purpose(Nia);creativity(kumba) and faith(imani).
If Africa can get to apply a little bit of the Kwanzaa principles,this will bring about a stronger communal bond amongst her people,common identity and purposefulness,for a continent that has been badly battered by leadership and followership crisis.(I think the closest we got to this was when the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere did the Ujamaa thing in Tanzania.Thomas Sankara came quite close with his brand of socialism.)
As we stand on the treshold of 2008/9,there is no denying the fact that Africa needs to re-invent itself.Kwanzaa is it.Now is the time!