Kent African Student Association showcases all sides of Africa

Comedian Dami Olatunde hosted the “54 Shades of Africa,” on Friday night, representing Africa and its culture. Kent African Student Association presented the night at the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

Erica Carter

On a Friday night, music, laughter and drums sounded from the Student Center Ballroom as people entered with flags of all the African countries in celebration of the 24th annual African Night.

The Kent African Student Association orchestrated the event, which Nigerian comedian Dami Olatunde, also known as AphricanApe, hosted.

The theme of the night, “54 Shades of Afrika,” symbolized all countries in Africa and the diversity within each one.

Olatunde reminded the audience of how proud he is to be an African man from Nigeria.

“Today, Africa is winning,” Olatunde said. “The same clothes that we were laughed at for wearing, guys approach me like, ‘Ooh that’s fresh, where can I get that?’”

Afia Boachie, a junior psychology major and vice president of KASA, took pride in how African Night has grown over the years.

“This event is to showcase African Culture,” Boachie said. “There’s a lot of stereotypes surrounding my culture, so sometimes people don’t get to see the beauty in it. So this is why we have this night. Come see the food, the music, the clothes and get a taste of who we really are.”

Boachie said planning the event was a lot of fun but the turnout was worth it.

“Look at all the people that came out, all the different cultures,” Boachie said. “People of all different races came to see and learn. That warms my heart, that people wanna learn about my culture.”

Pan-African Studies professor Mwatabu Okantah receited a self-written poem about how Africans were brought to America and kept their culture regardless of oppression and followed it by encouraging words.

“The hope of Africa is in this room,” Okantah said. “To my Africans visiting America, do not let Babylonian America make you crazy. Don’t take this back to Africa with you. To my Africans already here, we need to heal ourselves of the sickness of being in America, in the spirit of George Clinton, free your mind and your ass will follow.”

Okantah was the inspiration for junior psychology major Aliyah Moyé attending African Night.

“Being in his class just made me want to learn more about my history and where I come from, and being here tonight opened my eyes to so much more than I ever thought I could know about myself,” Moyé said.

Erica Carter is the diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].