Kwanzaa Songs for Kids

Fun Kwanzaa Songs for Kids to Understand Their Roots Better

The seven day Kwanzaa celebrations are just round the corner, when Africans all over the world can honor their roots during this cultural ceremony. But no celebrations are complete without music. Here are some Kwanzaa songs for kids which will help you to teach your young ones the 7 values of Kwanzaa and enable you to actively involve them in the celebrations, in keeping with the customs.
"For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place." ~ Maya Angelou.

The sentiments behind the ceremony of Kwanzaa exactly! Derived from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanzaa" which indicates the "first fruits" obtained from the first harvest, it is celebrated every year from 26th December to 1st January. The ceremony was initiated by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to, "give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history" and to reengage themselves with their roots, preserving the knowledge and contributions of their ancestors, to keep them together as a society. Presently, Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions of African-Americans, Pan-Africans, and Africans throughout the world.

Along with lighting the Mishumaa Saba, the seven candles in black, red and green placed on the kinara or candelabrum, placing the mazao crop yields on the mkeka, the mat with African motifs, representative of the African foundation on which everything is placed, Kwanzaa traditions also include offering the antecedents libation or tambiko from the wooden unity cup called kikombe cha umoja. However, the inclusion of children is wonted in Kwanzaa, as every adult African is supposed to be at least a social parent, if not biological one, to the community children, responsible for teaching them the importance of paying obeisance to their African predecessors. Since the observance of Kwanzaa includes singing on the beat of the drums, children can be taught some easy Kwanzaa songs, to impress upon them the values of Kwanzaa permanently. The following are some Kwanzaa songs for children which I am sure your kids will love to croon during this glorious festival of lights and culture.

Songs for Kwanzaa

It is always preferable to choose Kwanzaa songs for kids with catchy beats and rhythms pertaining to the African style of music, in keeping with the Kwanzaa principle of kujichagulia meaning 'self-determination', sticking to the culture of Africa.

Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Jacquie Godden, from Invocations for Kwanzaa: Seven Nights of Songs and Stories
This particular number stresses upon the association of the digit 7 with the festival of Kwanzaa. The song is replete with the Swahili terms commonly associated with the celebration of Kwanzaa and also narrates what each day stands for.

Seven Days to Celebrate Kwanzaa
Seven Days of the Ngoza Saba
Seven Candles on the Kinara
Seven Days to remember who we are

Umoja - for unity
Kujichagulia - we are self-determining
Ujima - work, responsibility
Ujamaa - we prosper our communities
Nia - for purpose
Kuumba - creativity
And Imani is our faith

African-Americans
Come together - Be as One
Everyday in Every way
Light the candles of our faith

Kukaribisha Kwanzaa (Welcome)
Kukumbuka Kwanzaa (Remembrance)
Kushangilia Kwanzaa (Rejoicing)
Come celebrate Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa - the harvest first fruits
It feeds the souls of our African Roots
Kwanzaa - calling us home
To embrace the past and to know our own

Kukumbuka Kwanzaa, Kukumbuka Kwanzaa
Kushangilia Kwanzaa, Kushangilia Kwanzaa
Kukaribisha Kwanzaa, Kukaribisha Kwanzaa
Come Celebrate Kwanzaa, Come Celebrate Kwanzaa.

African-Americans
Come together - Be as One
Everyday in Everyway
Light the candles of our faith

Kukaribisha Kwanzaa, Kukumbuka Kwanzaa
Kukumbuka Kwanzaa, Kushangilia Kwanzaa
Kushangilia Kwanzaa, Kukaribisha Kwanzaa
Come Celebrate Kwanzaa, Come Celebrate Kwanzaa.

Kukaribisha Kwanzaa (Welcome)
Kukumbuka Kwanzaa (Remembrance)
Kushangilia Kwanzaa (Rejoicing)
Come celebrate Kwanzaa.


Celebrating Kwanzaa by Marla Lewis
This song talks about the traditions and values attached to Kwanzaa as well.

From our roots deep in Africa
Springs the greatness of who we are
Habari gani - now what's the news?
There's a celebration!
Seven Principles, seven days
We light kinaras and sing in praise
Teach traditions and ancient ways
Hailed for generations (foundation)

Kwanzaa - we're celebrating Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa - celebrating Kwanzaa

First, Umoja means unity
Family and community
Second Kujichagulia
Self determination
Third, Ujima, collectively
We solve our problems responsibly
Fourth, Ujamaa, prosperity
Through cooperation

Kwanzaa - we're celebrating Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa - celebrating Kwanzaa

Next is Nia, so purposeful
We feel the power within us all
Kuumba means creativity
And anticipation
Last, Imani means faith and trust
In our leaders and each of us
Seven Principles, wise and just
Give us inspiration

Kwanzaa - we're celebrating Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa - celebrating Kwanzaa

Umoja, Kujichaguli, Ujima, Ujamaa,
Nia, Kuumba, Imani
(REPEAT)


Kwanzaa by Nancy Stewart, from A Season For Singing
This short and sweet song can be easily memorized by kids and also teach them the importance of thinking innovatively for the development of their race and society at large.

Seven days of Kwanzaa, seven days to celebrate
Seven ways of Kwanzaa, seven reasons to celebrate
Celebrate your history celebrate your family
Honor creativity and celebrate with me
Seven days of Kwanzaa, seven days to celebrate
Seven ways of Kwanzaa, seven reasons to celebrate
Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa.


Kwanzaa is Here by Greta Pedersen
This song will teach your child the meaning of the traditional Kwanzaa greeting of habari gani meaning "what's the news?". It also does have a nice beat to it to actually aid the child to enjoy the rhythm.

Chorus:
Habari gani,
Habari gani?
What's new, what's happening?
Kwanzaa is here!
Habari gani,
Habari gani?
What's new, what's happening?
Kwanzaa is here!

From festivals of long ago,
Habari gani?
Comes this celebration.
Kwanzaa is here!
Families come together
Habari gani?
Talk about nguzo saba.
Kwanzaa is here!

Repeat chorus

Each night, light a candle,
Habari gani?
On the kinara.
Kwanzaa is here!
When we work together,
Habari gani?
We can make our dreams come true.
Kwanzaa is here!

Repeat chorus.


Fun Kwanzaa Songs for Kids

Nursery rhymes are something children are taught at home and in school from a very young age and he/she never forgets the tune of it. I mean even as adults, we can still hum the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" without a glitch. So, instead of teaching your child a whole new tune and lyrics, you can always teach them just the lyrics in keeping with the music of well-known rhymes and limericks. Below are some examples.

Sing A Song of Kwanzaa by Jean Warren
Embed the following lyrics on the tune of "Sing A Song of Six Pence" and enjoy.

Sing a song of Kwanzaa
For seven nights long.
Light a Kwanzaa candle
As each night comes along.
Celebrate first harvest
And for unity.
That's the way to celebrate
With friends and family!


Kwanzaa Candle Song by Gayle Bittinger
This can be sung along the tune of "The Farmer In The Dell".

The red candles shine.
The red candles shine,
When it's time for Kwanzaa
The red candles shine.

The green candles shine.
The green candles shine,
When it's time for Kwanzaa
The green candles shine.

The black candle shines.
The black candle shines,
When it's time for Kwanzaa
The black candle shines.


Creative Kwanzaa Songs for Kids

Let's face it, children today know the title tracks of their favorite television programs better than their alphabets. So, use this as a weapon. It will not only teach African kids to learn more about Kwanzaa but will make the other kids pay attention and give them a chance to learn more about their African brother, building a society based on mutual appreciation.

Kwanzaa-Man by Rashidi
The following song was coined by Rashidi, a primary school teacher for her first standard students and has to be crooned along the tune of, hold your breath, Spiderman!!!

Kwanzaa-Man! Kwanzaa-Man!
Coming straight out of Africa Land
Mishumaa Saba! I put those in my Kinara.
Jambo!
Here comes Kwanzaa Maaaaaaan!

Corn and mats! Corn and mats!
Kwanzaa uses corn and mats!
Habari gani? Today's the day of Imani!
Mkeka, Muhindi, and Zawadi!

Kikombe cha Umoja, filled up with fruit ambrosia.
Dr. Maulauna Karenga. Creator of the Kwanzaa.
Jambo!
Here comes the Kwanzaa-Man!

On "Jumapili", I'll have a Kwanzaa party.
Sunday night, don't be late! You need not be black to celebrate!
Twende! 'Cause I bought way too much corn.


Fun, isn't it? Exactly! And how subtly does it spread the word of universal brotherhood among all? So, there you go. Use these Kwanzaa songs for kids to enrich the knowledge of your children and help them to grow up as strong individuals, well aware of their culture and communal and societal duties, as Kwanzaa is not a religious but a cultural celebration!
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