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Join the Mafanikio Kwanzaa Celebration on Dec. 17

The West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Office of African American Student Achievement (OAASA) is proud to announce that its Mafanikio Academic Coaching Programs will host its first virtual Kwanzaa Celebration on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. on December 17, 2020.

Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture, which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people and Africans throughout the world.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanzaa”, which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, and celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols, which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.

All seven Mafanikio school sites (Grant Elementary, Hercules Middle, King Elementary, Mira Vista K-8, Nystrom Elementary, Olinda Elementary and Sheldon Elementary) will participate. Students and staff will light the Kinara candles and share the principles and symbols of Kwanzaa. The Council of Elders will acknowledge our ancestors with a libation ceremony and selective student performances will be shared.

This celebration promises to be informative and entertaining.