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Today’s topic is on the 4th principle of Kwanzaa which is Ujamaa (oo-JEE-mah). 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 fourth principle of Kwanzaa is Ujamaa which means Cooperative Economics.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
The specific meaning of Ujamaa is to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and businesses and to profit from them together.
Ujamaa is an extremely important concept. Nothing in life feels as satisfying as building something from the ground up.
A lot of times in life we are always waiting for someone else to do or create something. But why wait around for someone else to do it when you could create and do it yourself?
I trained in commercial gyms from 2002-2016.
Commercial gyms are a decent place to train, and you can get good results there. But they are not ideal for real training.
I’m old school. I believe in hard work, high intensity, and no excuses when it comes to training.
In many commercial gyms, hard work is scarce, the intensity is way down, and the lame excuses are way up. Training hard is seen as intimidating for the uninitiated.
Commercial gyms are trying to appeal to everybody and basic things like using chalk are typically banned from the gym.
In my younger days I would complain about the gym rules, but then still pay my membership and go back to train. That is insane.
Eventually I got to the point where enough was enough, and I started the process of building my own gym. We spent the second half of 2016 building The Center from the ground up.
Since then, we have continued to grow and prosper in our community. We are absolutely a destination for people who want to live The Fit Life.
I know that my journey can inspire other people to start their own journey towards starting their businesses.
I myself was inspired by the earlier/prime version (2007-2014 version) of Elliot Hulse.
Long before The Center was a real concept, he laid a blueprint for what I needed to do in order to open a gym. Seeing him do it at high level made me believe that it was possible.
You have to see it (in real life or in a dream) in order to believe that you can do it. If you never see it get done, you may not believe it can be done.
I love showing young entrepreneurs how to start their own business.
I love explaining to them the process and helping them avoid the mistakes that I made.
And I love letting young black brothers and sisters see that they can build a profitable business if they put their mind to it.
That is the essence of Ujamaa because there is more than enough money to go around to make our businesses successful.
Let’s strive to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and businesses and to profit from them together.
The feeling of opening a business that serves the community is a phenomenal feeling.
Don’t rely on someone to get the job done. Rely on yourself.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer