Tuesday, December 6, 2016



Watoto Achievement Award

Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration of “first fruits”. Through the Nguzo Saba, the seven principles, we honor and celebrate the best of what we’ve been given by our Creator and the best of what we’ve created and cultivated.  Our children are always the best of what we’ve cultivated with what our Creator has given us.  They are direct reflections of us.  Children are integral to Kwanzaa.  Watoto is a Swahili word meaning children.  

Take the time to acknowledge an mtoto (singular child) or many watoto for a goal you are proud of them for achieving or for a goal they’ve set for themselves that they’ve reached.  This award is not limited to academic achievement; your mtoto may have just displayed a new level of responsibility and/or maturity in caring for siblings or helping to care for the home.  When we acknowledge the achievements of our watoto they are inclined to continue achieving and setting higher goals for themselves.  

Fill out and email the following by December 25th to kwanzaakollective@gmail.com  write “Watoto Achievement Award” in the subject heading:
We will recognize all youth at the Richmond Kwanzaa Kollective’s Afrikan Heritage Celebration on December 30th, 2016 at Trinity Family Life Center from 5p-10p
We look forward to celebrating our youth with you!

Happy Kwanzaa!
The Richmond Kwanzaa Kollective

Watoto Achievement Award
  1. Name of Mtoto/Watoto (Child or Children)
  2. Name the achievement (reason) to be recognized
  3. Character trait displayed by mtoto/watoto (for ex. wisdom, kindness, maturity)
  4. Age of Mtoto/Watoto
  5. Name of Parent, Guardian, Teacher or Elder submitting recognition
  6. What is your relation to mtoto/watoto?

  7. Email submission for your child(ren) to be recognized by the community to: kwanzaakollective@gmail.com by December 25th


Jazz vocalist and DC-native Akua Allrich has proven herself to be a musician of extraordinary talent and crowd-moving passion. With finesse and charisma, this vocalist, composer and teacher, has successfully etched out a place for her unique musical expression, electrifying audiences in and around the nation’s capital with sold-out performances.
With the launch of her independently produced albums, A Peace of Mine, in 2010, Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live!  in 2012, and her latest release Soul Singer, the young artist’s music and concerts created a significant buzz with critics and music-lovers alike. Said Franz Matzner of All About Jazz, “Akua Allrich’s music flows with a free, natural energy as engaging as her equally ingenuous personality.” Her appeal soon reached across US borders and attained international attention. In early 2011, Allrich signed a distribution deal with Japanese record label AGATE/Inpartmaint Inc. Her debut CD, A Peace of Mine, was released in Japan during their “Golden Week” of May 2011. Music lovers and tastemakers from around the world expressed their appreciation and excitement for this new music.

Allrich’s style is fluid and ever evolving. Her musical roots run deeply into blues, soul and rhythm and blues, with a clear grounding in jazz and pan-African music. She sings in many languages including Portuguese, French, Spanish, English, Xhosa, and Twi. Given her ability to capture the essence of a broad range of musical genres, Allrich is often likened to legendary artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone. She has developed popular tribute programs involving the latter two women and other great African American women of jazz.

Akua Allrich was educated at Howard University, where she obtained her BM in jazz vocals and a master’s degree in social work. She was taught, coached and mentored by talented musicians such as world-renowned singer Kehembe V. Eichelberger, singer/drummer Grady Tate, and pianist Charles Covington.
She is the child of a musical family (her father, Agyei Akoto, was a founding member of the jazz group, Nation, and recorded two albums during Allrich’s youth). Her home held a wealth of cherished recordings that she and her siblings were invited to explore. In fact, she did not buy any albums until her second year in college because her parents had such an amazing collection of jazz records. One of the first jazz albums she bought was John Coltrane’s Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes.
Allrich has already proven her abilities as a performer and bandleader by producing and performing many successful solo and group programs. In addition to focusing on her own engaging compositions, she keeps an ear to the rest of the world and to other eras and artists. Akua Allrich has inspired music lovers from all walks on an international scale, who enjoy her exceptional work and expect nothing short of brilliant artistry from each of her offerings.


Emcee, Producer (Boom Boom Bap Scientist), Photographer, and Graphic Artist are a few of the many titles Richmond, VA native Rocstagis answers to. Raised in a household where his Mother played Motown hits along with Hip-Hop classics in rotation, Rocstagis was able to develop an ear for good music at an early age. As he states "Hip-Hop is my passion...it's the way I give back to my community. I take my craft very seriously...from the beats to the rhymes, to the photography and cover art for each project...I do it all." 2016 has been a great year for Rocstagis between dropping his self-titled EP, to rocking stages with AZ, and also building with 9th Wonder. There is no doubt that we can expect great things from the self-proclaimed Ruler of the Cipher in 2017.