Kwanzaa: Imani

Habari Gani?


"To believe with all our hearts in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle."

Imani is defined as faith, which in turn is defined as a belief in and an unwavering trust and loyalty to a person, object or deity. Kwanzaa understands faith as believing wholeheartedly in your people, leaders, parents, teachers and the ultimate virtue of the fight for justice. Many celebrators during Kwanzaa take the seventh day, Imani, to reflect on their own individual faiths and spirituality.

For me Faith and Trust go hand in hand. In order to have faith one must believe and trust whole-heartedly in something, anything. I was raised and confirmed a Christian and as such my faith has been deeply rooted in the belief system associated with Christianity. I also attended a Catholic high school and while I was never actively faithful there was some investment into that aspect of religion as well. As I further grew and explored my own relationship with the world and the Universe I have since developed a wider and deeper understanding of faith.

For such a long time I was made to believe that to have faith within one religion was to negate the belief in anything else. This of course never sat well with me. I was always in search of a connection. A better explanation of my life, it's purpose, our purpose here on earth. I had doubts. Doubts in blind and unwavering faith. There were, and still are, too many unanswered questions.

However the Universe has an uncanny way of revealing itself to you at the most appropriate times. Especially in the past few years I feel as though I have grown stronger and wiser within my spirituality. I no longer rely on one religion for answers because the Universe has shown me that faith, true faith, is an appreciation, understanding and acceptance of all aspects of spirituality.

And so I endeavor to treat each and every belief system, be it stringently religious or liberally spiritual, with due levels of respect. Because as far as I am concerned it doesn't matter what avenue/ mode we use to connect to our heavenly Creator. What is of utmost importance is that we make that connection and maintain it. Connecting to the Creator means connecting to our ancestors, connecting with Mother Earth, connecting to the base elements of our existence; that inner light that shines through each and every one of us.

Through Faith in the Divine we can all find Enlightenment. Whether it be through Jah, Allah, Yaweh, Jehovah, Jesus, Vishnu, Krishna, Yeshua, Zen, Kami-sama or any other name. It does not matter what name you use because they all describe the ONE true Creator within us all.

The I in I.

Living in Faith.

Nadya Dee

Kwanzaa Yenu iwe na Heri!

Happy Kwanzaa!