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Kumi Ya Nne Kanuni Daraka (The Fourteen Principles of Responsibility)
by Kamau Tebogo Zulu Damali (Raynell D. Morgan),
Dec. 2, 2006

Kumi Ya Nne means "fourteen," Kanuni means "principles," and Daraka means "responsibility." The Fourteen Principles of Responsibility is the name of this treatise, which I've titled it in Swahili is to give it an African appeal. This treatise identifies the vital quality required for the bina damu taasisi (human institution) that aspires to be successful in every facet of life, particularly in one's own being. Success, for all intended purposes herein, is synonymous with true democracy and freedom as defined in a libertarian manner, restricted only by ones imagination and held in check by the laws of the creator.

Kumi Ya Nne Kanuni Daraka (hereafter "Kanuni Daraka") is designed to eradicate the futile doctrines of lassitude, irresponsibility and aloofness that has marked the Human family, the Alkebulanian (the African community in particular, not just in stages, but in degrees of inter-generational poverty, insolence, immorality and abnormal behavior traits that has amplified the inner city with rampant and perpetual crime). It is designed to remove the influence diagnosed as ignorance in the youth which encourages carbon copied behaviors
adulating criminality, self-abuse, substance addiction, unsafe sex, adultery and other social aberrations that have blemished facets of daily existence.

Kanuni Daraka is designed to insure that adults fulfil their role as teachers to all children and to ensure education that does not minimize culture, vision and the internal struggle within all of us to make our mark, to say something that is meaningful, important and critical. It is designed to recognize skill-doers in our society, walking and working with a humility that is focused on wellness. To take responsibility for that wellness of ourselves and community, and to free ourselves from sickening victimized relationships with self-destruction through denigration.

Kanuni Daraka is designed to annihilate the ill and unacceptable conduct that leads to laziness and lack of accountability, which is more often than not emulated by the child and instilled in their young heads as an acceptance for that which is oft becoming popular while that same young mind finds truly righteous things a distant abstract. It is designed to obliterate past habitual performances that once stood in the way of self-betterment; and which prompted stagnation and procrastination, leading to unthinkable and un-imaginable
tragedies that retard the progress of people and stalls their struggle for liberation.

Without further delay, here is the Kumi Ya Nne Kanuni Daraka:

1) Roho (spirituality): Spirituality is a powerful force that cannot be seen with human eyes, but must be felt and exemplified in human action. It is a force that supercedes the life of this world, and brings us closer to Allah (God), the Maker and Master of humanity and all living manner. It is imperative, therefore, to be in touch with our spirituality. Our spirituality will enable us to identify and agree with the spirits of others, despite our different skin complexions, ideologies and philosophies, in Allah (God) eyes we are the same. Allah (God) preordained a role for each and everyone of us to carry out and abide by. For without faith in the Creator and self, no goal that we set forth will be accomplished.

2) Bora Kundi (Collective Betterment): When a fellow brother, sister or human of the Jumuia (community) is in need, it's our responsibility (daraka) to aid that person in any way we can. For instance, if a member of the community loses his or her job, instead of allowing them to slip into depression and give up all hope, provide them with a place to stay, provisions to eat and so forth until they recover from that setback. This not only shows compassion for your fellow human, it also shows that we are each others keeper and in it (the struggle) together. The hunger, despair and homelessness of one brother or sister is also ours. We are many, we are one! The absence of this attitude is one of the reasons why so many communities, the Black community in particular, are dysfunctional, astray and split asunder. Teamwork and human cooperation is essential to ending poverty and making things better within the community.

3) Utatuzi (Solution): It is vital that we assess the situation in our communities with a historical and spiritual perspective. We have been a part of the problem for so long, that now it behooves us to passionately and diligently work hard to effect a solution, one that is conducive and supportive in the Shindano (struggle) to improve and eliminate the problems that handicap us.

4) Kujistahi (Self Respect): To respect the self is to respect others, and to respect others is to respect the self. It is absolutely pivotal that we instill in our children respect (heshima), which is one of the fundamental principles of life. We can only achieve this goal by example. It needs to be outlined why respecting other people's beliefs, views and ways of life is indispensable. We must treat others the way we would like to be treated. The reason respect is so important, is that it curtails unnecessary conflict and enables people from all
walks of life to work together for a common cause and purpose.

5) Mazao (Production): Develop programs to heave, cultivate, edify andeducate the broad masses of the human family, In addition, produce programs that encourage self-defense, military training, vocabulary & literacy enhancement training as well as diction studies, anti-sexism studies, book reading gathering etc., etc., etc.

6) Kujena Tena (Reconstruction): In most Black communities throughout Amerika, there are abandoned buildings, schools and emporiums that once housed, taught and employed the people of these communities. This concept (reconstruction) is significant to breathing life back into our communities. We need to rebuild and reshape our communities into what they once were. The most successful way to achieve this goal is through grants and loans
provided to person(s) who have a blue print or business plan detailing how they plan to use the structures. Forming a reconstruction committee is a great idea and crucial to the success of this process. This committee shall direct the mobilization of clean up drives, litter-free programs, etc. In addition to a physical reconstruction of the community, a psychological reconstruction deprogramming fixed corrupt thoughts, so that one can be able to see and think clearly, is necessary. An individual who is not free psychologically, will not be able to fully understand the significance of a safe environment free of poverty, excessive crime and other causes of destruction. Nor will he or she be able to comprehensively differentiate between what's good or bad for the community, which will only contribute to the mischief that has and continues to destroy the moral fiber of it.

7) Ujenzi (Construction): We musts build jobs, i.e., restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, educational institutions and other likewise structures that produce employment and promote education in the community. This plan can be realized through the establishment of a committee/panel governed by individuals proficient in this line of work, and in raising funds to finance these building projects.

8) Wezesha Wekevu (Economical Empowerment): The Black community in Amerika, as a collective, is an economically disempowered community, not so much because we don't have money, but more because we don't manage our money properly nor recycle it back into the community sufficiently. So, it is very important that we educate ourselves more about business development, enterprise and how to invest and manage our resources. Unity is also a vital instrument to becoming a economically empowered people collectively. We need to pool our resources together, view/see each other as a people and support each other in business and enterprise. I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't economically interact with other communities and enterprises. What I'm suggesting and encouraging is that we spend at 1east 80% to 90% of our monies locally. We need, as mentioned earlier, to recycle our monies back into the community. The Korean and Chinese Americans support each other and recycle and invest in their respective communities. So let us also buy/purchase some of the land in the community and take advantage of the ample opportunities that exist in this society/country.

9) Ulama (Academics): Not only is it important and instrumental to excel and succeed in school (both grammar and college), but to continue this process by coming back to the community and sharing what you've learned, whether it be law, business, medicine, agriculture, history, etc. It is important and necessary that we establish study groups that consist of, but are not limited to readingbooks, writing literature, poems, discussing politics, life matters and so forth. This could take place at a local community center, at home, the city park, a local church - anywhere! Never hesitate to converge with a fellow
brother/sister or human being on grounds of education. Education is essential to
unlocking the mental chains of slavery and rendering stability and guidance in a
person's life. In addition to the ideas mentioned herein, start a library program, which will consist of taking the youth/children to the library once a week. And discuss the topics of
the books that the children read and having spelling bee competitions. It's time that we use education as an excuse to be more involved in childrens' lives.

10) Uongozi (Leadership): When I speak of leadership, I'm talking about a leadership that devotes its time to the youth and teaches the people how to be responsible leaders for themselves. A true leadership is free of hypocrisy and practices what it preaches. A true leadership leads by example and solves problems. A great leadership is a leadership that listens to the people and works with the people to make things better (or if things are already better to keep them better). The reason that an effective leadership is indispensable is that without guidance or direction the community will remain unstructured and will thus continue to feed the prison system.

11) Kujilinda (Self-Defense): Preservation of self and community is essential, therefore, it is the responsibility of every human to defend themselves and protect those who are unable to fend for themselves (e.g., the elderly, sick, children, etc.). In addition, exercising the body and mind is necessary, not only to be in good shape/health, but to protect one self and to ease unnecessary stress.

12) Lawama Nafisi (Self Blame): We must always admit when we are wrong, recognize our faults, and work hard to avoid a replay of our wrongs. Self-blame is a basic step to responsibility. It illustrates an attitude that does not tolerate subterfuge and escapism. Indeed, all wrongs must be out lined and blame must land where its due, but it is unhealthy to exempt ourselves from embracing/accepting culpability as we have in the past and present. When we exempt ourselves from blame that's due, we cheat/rob ourselves of the wisdom embedded in that experience and set a bad precedent for our children.

13) Wajibu (Obligation): It is incumbent of us all to be committed fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friend and comrades to our fellow men, women and children. It is a moral responsibility to be faithful (i.e., honest, upfront, etc.) to our spouses or spouses-to-be. It is also incumbent of us to be faithful to our commitments. Thereto, we're responsible for each other and the configuration of our community.

14) Maadilisho (Edification): Before we can edify others, we must first edify ourselves. Once we edify ourselves, it will be easier to assist in the edification of others, mainly our youth and community. Without education, edification and responsibility, a downtrodden people will remain downtrodden.

Hitimisho (Conclusion): It is the responsibility of every conscious man and woman to reach the youth and help them realize their power, worth and potential. The youth are our future, and what they learn from us is what will dictate its outcome. Therefore, we must lead by example, practice what we preach and live the way we want our children to live: responsible, positive and constructive. On that note, I will leave with kila moja (each one) fundisha moja (teach one).

Positive Education Always Corrects Error.

Your in continued struggle,

Raynell D. Morgan (aka Kamau Tebogo Zulu Damali)
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility
1101 Morrison Drive
PO Box 9900
Boscobel, WI 53805

Kamau Tebogo Zulu Damali is housed in Wisconsin's sole supermax, the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility. He describes himself as a self-educated man who has been learning Swahili and dreams of receiving a college degree if ever released. He recently completed a book entitled, Prison Letters, and is working on a second, called Poetic Revolution. Kamau T. Z. Damali is helping his wife-to-be plan the founding of a nonprofit organization for under-privileged children in Washington, D.C. Most of his writings "revolve around the Black experience and the importance of breaking chains and taking back our communities
- to give our youth and future generations a hopeful future [...] It's incumbent upon us to participate in the uplifting of our people, and since at the moment our only tool is the pen, we've used this to reach the people and to get out the truth."

[You may contact Kamau T. Z. Damali directly by writing to him at the address listed above. The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners:


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