“Kwanzaa Is Just Black Christmas. Right?”….Wrong!
Arriving at Hulme Centre on Tuesday 26th December, the room was beautifully decorated with a Kwanzaa Altar. The vibe was cool, friendly and familiar. Everyone took time to appreciate and support the fabulous stalls, sharing smiles and hugs until they reached a seat.
People make way for the arrival of the caterers Levi and Chantelle who treated us to some delicious vegan delights. Whilst waiting for proceedings to start an impromptu drumming lesson breaks out led by our brother Ikem Nzeribe at the front of the room with some children Who, I may add were naturals at picking up the rhythm, they accepted their applause like true professionals.
Murmurings of what may be discussed start to fill the atmosphere as T.A.P Project Director Luke Kelly starts to introduce his presentation. If there was any doubt before about the similarities to Christmas, Luke Kelly made it plain that this was not the case.
The presentation explored the origins of Kwanzaa, its creator Mulana Karenga, what its principles and symbols are and introduced us to the 3 questions of Kwaida. Luke discussed with the audience how we can reaffirm some of the principles of Kwanzaa and the significance of restoring African culture and ritual in our current lives.
What I heard repeated in many conversations I had on the day, was the realisation that Kwanzaa was not just a 7 day long celebration but in fact a way of life. Practising the principles of Kwanzaa are the seeds sown to be harvested at the end the year as you reflect on your successes, bringing a close to the outgoing year and setting intentions for the new year to come.
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community and culture. It is a gathering of people, a time to strengthen bonds between us and a time of special reverence of our creator. It is a time of personal and collective reflection and a recommitment to our highest African ideals. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and cannot wait for next year’s event.
If your interested in attending, Look out for T.A.P Projects Kwanzaa Celebration details for 2018 on our social media platforms.