Monday, October 30, 2006

photos by Freida L. Wheaton/2006
Yari Yari writers excel in zawadi creations at
S~NLG Kwanzaa Family Workshop

Kwanzaa Pillows (the zawadi project conducted by Mrs. Darlene Buckner, Yari Yari parent) and Kwanzaa Vessels (created under the direction of Ms. Freida L. Wheaton, S~N writer) were two of several art stations set up for the S~N Kwanzaa Family Workshop.

Young writers joined S~NLG members for a zawadi workshop in preparation for Kwanzaa. Zawadi is the Kiswahili word for gift/s. During Kwanzaa zawadi are primarily given to children for keeping commitments and living up to their responsibilities throughout the year. Zawadi should be from the heart and, therefore, are often handmade. Other recommended zawadi are books, Black dolls, and symbols of our heritage. Children usually create zawadi for parents, other family members, and friends. Adults often exchange zawadi.

Yari Yari is a literary group for young writers of Afrikan descent. The Nguzo Saba serves as leadership guidelines for Yari Yari. In the language of the Kurango people (Sierra Leone, West Africa) "yari yari" means "the future." The group meets on Saturdays from 2 pm to 4pm in classroom #3 on the lower level of Prince Hall (Newstead at Carter) in St. Louis, Missouri. Yari Yari writers are from ages 6 to 18.