K for Kwansaba #NaPoWriMo2021


The Kwansaba is a form of praise poetry invented by Eugene B. Redmond. This form is based on the seven day holiday of Kwanzaa and the its seven principles – unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The poetry form celebrates and praises these seven principles in African- American communities. Some of its elements of praise are derived from South African traditions.

It is a seven line poem with seven words in each line. No word in the poem exceeds the letter count of seven. There are no rhyming constraints in this form.

Here’s my attempt at one. The muse of my example is the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou.

Born and raised in the Guinea Gulf
Forged in the fire of Central world
He sailed to cross the endless sea
and failed, failed till he made it
to the city of lights, under lights
The hands of steel left a mark
A golden crown rests on his waist.

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