African Food, Dance and Drama Make for a Cultural Night at SIUE
Some of the food, attire and customs from African countries were transported Saturday, Feb. 20 to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The SIUE African Student Association (ASA) hosted Africa Night in the Morris University Center as approximately 130 people enjoyed music, food, dance and drama.
“I loved the food,” said Leslie Boudouris, a teaching assistant in the Department of English Language and Literature. “All of the activities were authentic. I also loved the spoken word portion. It was wonderfully done.”
Africa Night concluded Africa Week at SIUE, which was sponsored by ASA in conjunction with SIUE Student Government. The theme for the week was Kadima, which is a South African word that means “Together we move forward.”
“The broad range of diversity on the African continent, and how it was captured during the night was impressive,” said Prince Wells, faculty advisor for ASA, director of the SIUE Black Studies Program and associate professor in the Department of Music.
“My expectations were to inform, entertain, as well as enlighten people about Africa's rich cultural heritage,” said Uzezi Oduaran, president of ASA and teaching assistant in the Department of Geography. “Every performance was lovely. I expected people to leave the ballroom with a different perspective about Africa.”
“Africa Night was informative and fun,” said Cecile Dames, another attendee who works with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at SIUE. “The dramas were my favorite part. I saw so much variety in the countries of Africa. My expectations were met – great food and a fun night with friends.”
“Even as a member of the organization, I learned a lot from Africa Night,” said Ololade Mustafa, vice president of ASA. The collaboration between Africans and people of African descent during the night was also great.”
Some of the performances were presented by the professional dance company Afriky Lolo, Washington University Yori Yori Dancers and the SIUE ASA Dancers.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 14,000.
Performing for the Afriky Lolo are Caph Guei, drummer; and Diadie Bathily, dancer.
L-R: Ololade Mustafa, vice president of the SIUE African Student Association (ASA); and attendee Olajumoke Abass.
L-R Tomi Oyinloye, a senior mechanical engineering major; and Nwadiuto “Alison” Okeke, junior electrical engineering major.
One of the events of the night was the Parade of Flags.
L-R: Enjoying the evening were Prince Wells, director of the SIUE Black Studies Program and associate professor in the Department of Music; and Uzezi Oduaran, president of ASA and teaching assistant in the Department of Geography.
Entertaining the crowd as a storyteller was Ekemini Akpan, a senior bio medical sciences major.