The Nguzo Saba of the Seven Days of Kwanzaa


Day 1

umoja (oo-MOH-ja)
Meaning: unity
Action: building a community that holds together

Day 2

kujichagulia (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-yah)
Meaning: self-determination
Action: speaking for yourself and making choices that benefit the community

 Day 3

ujima (oo-JEE-mah)
Meaning: collective work and responsibility
Action: helping others within the community

 Day 4

ujamaa (oo-JAH-ma)
Meaning: cooperative economics
Action: supporting businesses that care about the community

 Day 5

nia (nee-AH)
Meaning: a sense of purpose
Action: setting goals that benefit the community

 Day 6

kuumba (koo-OOM-bah)
Meaning: creativity
Action: making the community better and more beautiful

 Day 7

imani (ee-MAH-nee)
Meaning: faith
Action: believing that a better world can be created for communities now and in the future








As president of Memphis Kwanzaa International, Inc., Dr. Kaia Naantaanbuu follows in the steps of her mother, the late Adjua Abi Naantaanbuua; Founder of Memphis Kwanzaa International.

Dr. Kaia Naantaanbuu has created a sacred community space located at 1549 Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis, TN to represent our heritage and to offer various opportunities for education, growth, spirituality and unity within our communities.

Dr. Kaia, explains that Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, and it is not intended to replace the Christmas holiday.

The Kwanzaa Celebration was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, in 1966. Dr. Karenga desired to create an annual celebration that honors the values of our ancient African cultures and inspires us to continue working for progress.

The name Kwanzaa comes from the Kiswahili phrase that means “first fruits”. 

Kwanzaa permits for you to create and celebrate your own family traditions, which often include dances, songs African drumming, poetry, storytelling, and more.

There are seven nights during Kwanzaa where candles are lit  the Kinara. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa honors and supports a different principle. These principles are believed to have been instrumental in building strong, productive families and communities in the Motherland During Kwanzaa, celebrants greet each other with the Kiswahili words "Habari gani, translated into English as "What is the news of the day?

The seven principles are collectively called the Nguzo Saba. The Nguzo Saba are original values of our African heritage which reinforce community unity and cooperative economics for the betterment of our people. 






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 Day 1 - UMOJA
Libation to Our Ancestors
Slave Auction Block on A. W. Willis Avenue
10:00 am
Children's Program
Benjamin Hooks Library
3030 Popular Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111
12:00 Noon
Founder's Day Celebration
Memphis Kwanzaa International
1549 Elvis Presley, Memphis, TN 38106
Tickets: $35.00
RSVP: 901-210-1281 or 901-343-5837
The African Place
581 N. 3rd Street, Memphis, TN 38105
4:00 pm
Call: 901-524-0800
Day 3 - UJIMA
Memphis Kwanzaa International
1549 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38106
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Day 4 - UJAMAA
Memphis Kwanzaa International
1549 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38106
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Day 5 - NIA
Memphis Kwanzaa International
1549 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38106
Treasures of the Homeland Art Exhibit
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Day 6 - KUUMBA
West Tennessee State Prison
480 Green Chapel Rd, Henning, TN 38041
(Attendees Must Reserve 2 Weeks Before Event)
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Day 7- IMANI
Memphis Kwanzaa International
1549 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38106
Closing Ceremony
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm