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Today’s topic is on the 5th principle of Kwanzaa which is Nia (NEE-ah). But before we get into it, let’s briefly talk about Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a 7 day, non-religious Black American and Pan African holiday celebrated primarily in America.
It was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966. Karenga is a professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
From what I have gathered, Kwanzaa was inspired by African harvest celebrations that promote family, community, and culture.
In my immediate family we did not know a lot about Kwanzaa growing up. But over time I began to get educated on what Kwanzaa was about.
After learning more about Kwanzaa over the last few years, the principles of Kwanzaa line up with the principles that I live my own life by.
The 7 days of Kwanzaa are celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. In this short series, I’m going to go over the Nguzo Saba which is also known as the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.
The fifth principle of Kwanzaa is Nia which means Purpose.
The specific meaning of Nia is to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
For my first 29 years on this Earth, I did not know my purpose. I was like driftwood in the sea.
I had no idea of what I truly wanted to do. I had this deep passion for fitness, health, and athletic performance, but I did not believe that I could support myself financially as a personal trainer.
I worked at different jobs during and after college, but I found no enjoyment or sense of purpose at any of them. In hindsight even college itself, outside of athletics, was a waste of time for me.
The only other thing I was passionate about was becoming a barber. My wonderful mother used to cut our hair growing up, and she is 100 percent responsible for birthing my drive to want to cut hair and be a barber.
I got my barbers license in 2008 but even that passion to cut hair did not match the passion I had for the iron game.
Moment Of Truth
At age 29, I took a trip to Atlanta to hang with my boys. I had been a personal trainer and a hollow business owner for about 5 years at this point.
As I looked around the landscape I saw a ton of Black fitness businesses thriving in ATL.
Many of the folks who ran these gyms however were subpar personal trainers. I thought to myself, “How am I this highly regarded trainer, and I’m still working at a lame commercial gym making chump change?”
These folks may have been second-rate trainers, but they were open, in business, and making a profit. I was the lousy “businessman” on the outside looking in.
But this experience was the defining moment of my life because it put my purpose in clear view. It was at this point I committed my life to fitness and helping others live The Fit Life.
Without having a purpose, we are just drifting through life going nowhere fast.
Nia is necessary for anyone to live a fulfilled life. And a large part of that fulfillment is restoring the people to their greatness.
We have a lot of preventable health issues that are way too prevalent in the community. And I have to educate the community on the importance of proper training, diet, and recovery.
My specific role in helping my people unleash their inner greatness is to improve their physical and mental fitness.
When you are in great physical and mental shape you will feel as close to superhuman as you possibly can.
Let’s strive to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Your personal vocation might be different from mine, but the end goal remains the same: restore the people to their greatness.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer