The 4th day of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa or cooperative economics
Today, December 29th, we come to the fourth of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah-ah) which means cooperative economics. Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah-ah) calls upon the collective spirit of togetherness to build and maintain our own stores, shops and businesses, with the goal of profiting from these endeavors as a community.
The fourth candle in the Kinara (kee-NAH-rah) is lit, followed by a discussion of the principle. Dr. Maulana Karenga, founder of Kwanzaa, sums up the principle of Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah-ah) as “sharing wealth and work through a shared concern, care and responsibility for a new, more human and fulfilling future.”
Today, we focus on the Mkeka (em-KEH-kah) the straw mat on which the Kinara (kee-NAH-rah) centerpiece is arranged. The Mkeka (em-KEH-kah) represents the foundation for self-actualization or fulfillment of our talents and potentialities. Items placed on the Mkeka (em-KEH-kah) include Mazao (mah-ZAH-o) the crops which represent African harvest, bowls of fruits and vegetables, Muhindi (moo-HEEN-dee) or corn which represents children and the future, the Unity cup, and Zawadi (zah-WAH-dee), the gifts that represent commitments made and kept.
WXXI celebrates Kwanzaa and the principles that reflect and recommit to the collective achievement of a better life for our families, community and our people.