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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA celebrates African culture

Up against Spring Fling, the Eighth Annual African Cultural Showcase still drew a crowd of more than 100 community members, all present to celebrate the beauty and pride of Africa.

Headed by the African Student Association, the two-hour showcase focused on African pride and diversity within the African Diaspora. Presentations on important figures and places, the first soccer World Cup to be held in South Africa and a tribute to Haiti were all new features to expand the educational aspect of the event, according to Sophia Tekle, treasurer for African Student Association.

“”Our mission statement in ASA (African Student Association) is to spread African culture,”” Tekle said. “”We want people to see all our hard work.””

The showcase received co-sponsorship from the Residence Hall Association, and all the proceeds were donated to two children from Niger and Senegal.

Tekle noted her excitement about spreading the culture and knowledge of the African Diaspora to the greater UA community.

Before the event, lines formed with people fired up for the event.

“”I’m excited for the performances,”” said Nathanaelle Michel, a pre-physiology sophomore.

Being in the club last year, Michel liked the breadth of knowledge the club presents and the type of community it forms.

“”I like ASA (African Student Association) because it touches base with every single issue,”” she said. “”You just learn different things from everybody.””

During the show, singers, dancers, rappers and poets expressed a connection with Africa.

Dances from Nigeria and songs from South Africa were included in the night’s festivities.

Performers included UA students along with other community members from Pima Community College and local high schools like Catalina Foothills.

Members of the group shared testimonials as to what the African Student Association has done for them as Africans in America. Members of the audience also shared their own experiences.

“”With the beauty and wonder that Africa holds, how can you blame us for celebrating?”” asked Melissa Kiguwa, president of the African Student Association and master of ceremonies for the event.

All these features led to the main event of the night, the fashion show, representing more than a dozen African countries with over 30 UA students modeling clothes. Some fashions were purchased and some were designed by members of the African Student Association.

After the event, Kiguwa said she was happy with the way it turned out.

“”It was the exact size we expected,”” she said. “”We do this every year, and, as you can see, Africa is very visible. We want people to know that.””

Throughout the showcase, Kiguwa’s words echoed the theme of the event.

“”Mankind, humankind, everyone, we all started in Africa,”” Kiguwa said. “”Africa, the legacy is so deep rooted, it runs through everybody. I tell everyone. They’ll say ‘I’m German,’ or ‘I’m Polish,’ and I’m like, ‘You’re African. Everyone is African. All of us, regardless of your melanin. It brings us all together and makes us have a common heritage even when we try to say we don’t have one.””

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