Kwanzaa – Our Tool to Push Away the Looming Darkness

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Kwanzaa – Our Tool to Push Away the Looming Darkness
Ndidi Uwechue
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24th December 2019

When explorers, missionaries and historians described Africa as the “Dark Continent” we condemned them as being antinubianists (Antinubianism is racism specifically against Black people). However, now in the 21st century many concerned voices, from Africa, from Europe and from Asia are talking about the looming threat of darkness hanging over Sub-Saharan Africa. Some say we have already entered the darkness. Others say we are on the very verge of it. What seems to be agreed upon is that this darkness WILL BE PERMANENT IF INTERVENTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN UP.

Let us first define this darkness. Reports, analyses and statistics abound pointing to a resources-rich Continent yet with an inability to govern its people well, or feed its people well, or generally cater for even the most basic of human needs of its people. To compare Africa with the rest of the world is to see that darkness which comes from a gross lack of productivity, of technological capacity, of educational rigour, and of sound economic management. In short it is a darkness of severe backwardness in every area of life. The darkness portends to be calamitous when we factor in the exploding populations, then also increasing desertification with water shortage, drought, diseases and extreme heat of global warming.

The reason for this darkness is simple: it is a darkness induced and brought upon Africa’s people by bad governance. This darkness has been manufactured for Africans by their leaders, sometimes aided by foreign interference. The looting of public funds by civil servants, politicians and their cronies has created instant multi-billionaires in this class, as it has created abject poverty, preventable illnesses, and terrible deprivations for the masses of Africans.

This darkness is seen also in the way that Sub-Saharan Africa is excluded, and has excluded herself from being RELEVANT in most of the technological global conferences, scientific symposia, economic leaders’ gatherings, etc. Sub-Saharan Africa is overlooked as a source of globally respected knowledge, and our leaders are held in international distrust when it comes to matters of sincerity, integrity and honesty – evidenced by phrases such as “if there is the political will” or “lacks the political will”.

Unfortunately, the unpatriotic, greedy and corrupt behaviour of leaders has rubbed off onto the people too, creating dysfunctional societies that have a low regard for fellow Africans evidenced in lack of trust among the people, lack of unity of purpose, and easily manipulated by leaders using religion and ethnicity.

The cumulative effect of gross criminal looting of Africa’s funds and resources by those in leadership positions who should have cared for African citizens’ humanity, has ensured such a technological backwardness in every area one chooses to consider, that it is often considered doubtful whether Africa can ever recover. Time will tell. If we apply the needed interventions then there is hope; but if we do not, then the darkness of hopelessness can be our lot.

Often the simplest of interventions are the most effective. Interventions that tackle unpatriotic, greedy, selfish and antinubianist behaviour are needed if we are to have a sustainable population of pro-people and pro-Africa citizens out of which a better and more intelligent class of leaders can arise. We actually already have such an interventionist tool! It is obtainable by reading about it on the internet, then applying it, and spreading the word about it. This tool is KWANZAA.

Kwanzaa is a fun festival but it has within it seriousness through its Seven Principles that will transform Africa for good. Kwanzaa is NOT religious but social and community-building so every African can take part, and it covers the seven days of 26th December to 1st January. Kwanzaa benefits Black people in several ways because 1) It gets us to focus on our community worldwide; 2) It gets us to appreciate our common ancestry as Black people; 3) It gets us to keep our money circulating within the Black community; 4) It is ours: created for us, by us, and its Seven Principles are acceptable to the diversity found within the global Black world.

From the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa (listed below) which are covered one on each day, it becomes obvious that it is a tool that we need to push away the darkness:

Day 1. Unity

To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and Race.

Day 2. Self-Determination:

To define ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Day 3. Collective Work and Responsibility

To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together.

Day 4. Cooperative Economics

To build and maintain our own stores, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Day 5. Purpose

To make our collective desire the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people their dignity.

Day 6. 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.

Day 7. Imani: Faith

To believe with all our heart in our people, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. Presents are given out to children and guests.

There are many ways to celebrate Kwanzaa available on the internet. Kwanzaa is not the only intervention needed to stamp out the darkness, but it is one good tool that we already have. Kwanzaa leads us to have unity within our diversity, and gives us a common sense of purpose and direction. Its Seven Principles should become our principles to live by at all times.

Africans are not as helpless as we tell ourselves we are. We have tools such as Kwanzaa created to better our living experiences. All we need do is choose to use this tool. Africa’s rescue will not come from spirits or from foreigners. It is Africans ourselves who have the responsibility and the task to push away the darkness.

This post was written by Ndidi Uwechue.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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