The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are known as the Nguzo Saba. These principles exemplify the very best of African cultures and traditions throughout the Diaspora. Kwanzaa is celebrated to help people of African descent affirm the grandeur and beauty of their ancestral home and translate that beauty into their everyday lives. The holiday, a Swahili word which translated means “first fruits of the harvest,” was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. While Kwanzaa is typically commemorated annually from December 26th through January 1st, these are wise axioms to live by 365 days a year. Here I’ve written a Haiku for each of the principles. Read them over carefully. They are meant to stimulate thought and promote positive action. Harambee!
Habari Gani? Umoja! What’s the news? Unity.
Our Ancestors smile
Upon the unity we
Promote through Kwanzaa.
Habari Gani? Kujichagulia! What’s the news? Self-Determination.
When we define our
Own greatness, we project Self-
Habari Gani? Ujima! What’s the news? Collective work and responsibility.
Don’t be so trifling
and lazy! Pull your own weight!
Habari Gani? Ujamaa! What’s the news? Cooperative Economics.
Ominous clouds taunt
when Blacks refuse to support
Habari Gani? Nia! What’s the news? Purpose.
If you plan to get
ahead, then make sure you live
your life on purpose.
Habari Gani? Kuumba! What’s the news? Creativity.
Nourishes the life-blood of
Habari Gani? Imani! What’s the news? Faith.
In no small way, Faith
Sustains us, Heals us and gives
Hope for the future.