This Valentine’s Day Alternative Is Rooted In Sacred African Traditions

Today many people celebrate Valentine’s Day, but did you know there is an alternative that celebrates our history and unity across the globe? It’s called Akoma Day and it invites us to return to loving each other.

This Valentine’s Day Alternative Is Rooted In Sacred African Traditions
Via Pexels

Akoma Day is based on an Adinkra symbol created by the Gyaman people of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Akoma is the heart Adrinka symbol. It means patience, tolerance, endurance, and faithfulness. 

Akoma Day was originally known as Black Love Day and was founded in 1993 by Ayo Handy-Kendy, affectionately known in her community as Mama Ayo. She created the day to be celebrated February 13. In 2001, Montsho and Nwasha Edu added an African spirituality component and spread the day across the globe. 

Akoma Day is more than a day. It’s a week based on seven virtues that support seven principles: flexibility, patience, consistency, endurance, fondness and goodwill, faithfulness and forgiveness. The principles are unified purpose, unified work, unified transformation, unified fruit, unified mind, unified body, and unified soul.

The collective work of Handy-Kendy and the Edus transformed February 14th into a day that celebrates intimacy and how our intimacy with one another creates strong families, communities, neighborhoods, and even nations. How do we start our celebration?

By greeting one another with Nye Akoma, which translates to get a heart, be patient, return to love. As we work toward loving ourselves, our history, and each other, we must never forget that our truest form of love is how we manifest the power of our Black unity. 

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