send Email  copyright 2013


copyright 2001 by Gripper Products.

If you will be performing this without payment to actors or director, and without charging admission, you may use this play for free. For all other uses, contact the author at


Doin’ It

(a Kwanzaa Play)

by Grippy and Cormo



Kosey, grandson, 12 years old



Granny is in her rocking chair, knitting a sweater in red, green and black yarns. Grandson, Kosey, comes into livingroom bobbing a yoyo.



Kosey: Yo! Granny! Whatcha know about Kwanzaa? I gotta write an essay.

Granny: Kwanzaa was after my time. All I know is it's some African-American pride festival.

Kosey: I really need some ideas to get started. Maybe you can tell me what you think of when I tell you the principles. Okay?

Granny: You help me untangle this yarn, and we can talk. 

(Granny tosses a tangle of yarn to Kosey, who looks at it as if it might bite.)

Kosey: What will my buds say if they come by and see me doing girly stuff with your yarn?

Granny: You can handle them.

(Kosey puts down yoyo, picks up yarn, sits on floor at Granny's feet. They untangle the yarn throughout the rest of this piece.)

Kosey: The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja. That's Unity. What do you think of when you hear the word Unity?

Granny: My sweater.

Kosey: Huh? What has your sweater got to do with Unity?

Granny: It's got the three colors of our people all in one sweater.

Kosey: I don't think that's what they want. Let's try the next principle. Kujichagulia. That's self-determination. What does self-determination make you think of?

Granny: My sweater.

Kosey: Are you teasing me? How can a sweater be self-determination?

Granny: Only a person who is dedicated to African-American pride could wear this sweater.

Kosey: That's better. But it still doesn't sound like a winning essay. How about Ujima? That's collective work and responsibility. What does that make you think of?

Granny: My sweater.

Kosey: Oh no! You can't mean it this time!

Granny: Look at the two of us, untangling the yarn together so I can make this sweater to sell at the Christmas bazaar. If that's not collective work and responsibility, I don't know what is.

Kosey: What you say sounds true, but it's not going to win me any prizes. How about Ujamaa? Cooperative economics?

Granny: My sweater.

Kosey: Can't you think of anything else?

Granny: I bought the yarn at your cousin's shop, and I'm going to sell the sweater at the Christmas Bazaar. That keeps the business in our community. Sounds like cooperative economics to me.

Kosey: What about Nia? Purpose?

Granny: My sweater.

Kosey: Granny, purpose is something big, like buying land. Not knitting a sweater. Try harder, please!

Granny: My purpose is keeping my family fed and warm. When I make and sell a sweater, I earn money to feed and clothe my family and keep a roof over their heads.

Kosey: What about Kuumba? Creativity? What does that make you think of?

Granny? My sweater.

Kosey: There's more to Kwanzaa than your sweater. Can you tell me something interesting about creativity? Something I could write an essay about? An essay that would win me a bike?

Granny: This sweater is my own design. I created it with the work of my hands. This sweater embodies all the principles you've been talking about. I thought Kwanzaa was going to be something new. But it's all in my sweater.

Kosey: The last principle is faith. Surely faith reminds you of something other than your sweater. 
Granny: Yes. Faith reminds me of my faith in you – faith that you can do anything you want to do. And faith in my community – faith that we can all pull together and help each other. Faith means that every person has worth and every person's dream has value – not just for himself, but for his community. And faith means that I have faith that this sweater that you are helping me make is part of that. We'll sell this sweater. It will keep a member of our community warm this winter. And we'll take the money to our community stores to buy food for our family. And the families that own those stores will turn it around and spend the money at other community stores. So, I have faith that this sweater will fulfill all the principles of Kwanzaa.

Kosey: Here, Granny. Here's your yarn. I think I'd better go ask somebody else about Kwanzaa.