Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

African-style feast concludes Kwanzaa

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Tolu Oladele lights the last candle during the Kwanzaa celebration Sunday at the Caribbean Community Cultural Centre.

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Tolu Oladele lights the last candle during the Kwanzaa celebration Sunday at the Caribbean Community Cultural Centre. Photo Store

Dozens of Winnipeggers of African and Caribbean descent celebrated with fellowship and food at the conclusion of the local Kwanzaa festivities Sunday.

Kwanzaa, a weeklong celebration normally held between Christmas and New Year's Day, was created in 1966 by American professor Maulana Karenga as the first African-American holiday.

It was celebrated early in Winnipeg at an event organized by the Congress of Black Women of Manitoba at the Caribbean Community Cultural Centre, 1100 Fife Ave.

"It's beautiful," said Kenny Daodu, chairwoman of the event, as she looked at a room full of adults and children. "It's cold outside, but there's a lot of warmth in here."

The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means "first fruits of the harvest."

At the event, speakers lit a candle after reading out the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Daodu said the seventh day of Kwanzaa includes food, so participants would be eating African-style food, including plantain, fritters, rice and bean cakes.

Antoinette Zloty, president of the CBWM, said the organization decided to move the local celebrations of Kwanzaa to this past week.

"Christmas to New Year's is a busy time for our members during the holidays," Zloty said.

"Kwanzaa is more recognized in the United States than here, but I think the pride in our African roots is a good reason to celebrate it."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 16, 2013 B3

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