SPIRIT OF KWANZAA – UMOJA
On sat 15th and sun 16th January marked the 1st annual Spirit of Kwanzaa event that took place at the Unity Centre in Harlesden. This free event was organised with members from BLBC, Alpha & Omega Radio and The Calabash Hub as well as help from family, friends and local community. Kwanzaa celebrations are held from December 26th – 1st January everyyear by Africans within the Diaspora for the last 44 years. The Spirit of Kwanzaa event was a mark of keeping the seven principals alive throughout the year. This years theme was Umoja – Unity.
It was a fantastic empowering 2 day event with guest speakers, spoken word, performances, storytelling, singing, inspirational testimonies, speeches and edutainment that enlightened the audience which was full of elders, family, men, women and children.
I have been aware of Kwanzaa for a few years but thought it was only celebrated in America, but after research I was astonished to find that so many people in the UK celebrate. I decided to mark my first Kwanzaa experience and share my journey at the event. In preparation I spoke to many Kwanzaa bro/sis, attended presentations, read information and searched the internet. At home I prepared a shrine, poured libation to give thanks and lite candles on each day. On the 1st Jan Imani I had a feast with friends.
The stalls made the hall come alive with vibrant colours and products made by entrepreneurs and services of community projects. Childrens activities took place through out the weekend where pictures and artwork were drawn to produce artwork work based around the 6th principal – Kuumba. The delicious food which was kindly cooked by Caribbean caterers and seasoned the taste of our guests.
So much positive feedback has been received about the event, that people are asking when is the next one. So if you didn’t get a chance to celebrate the Spirit of Kwanzaa in 2011, then don’t miss out for 2012.
KEEP THE PRINCIPALS OF KWANZAA ALIVE EVERYDAY FOR THE UPLIFTMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY
UMOJA KUJICHAGULIA UJIMA UJAMAA NIA KUUMBA IMANI