KASA celebrates annual African Night

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Catering staff serve attendees during KASA’s African Night held in the Student Center Ballroom on Friday, March 11, 2016.

Itzel Leon International Reporter

While lively music rang out, drums echoed and bounced off the walls of the Kent State ballroom at the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble presented by KASA’s (Kent African Student Association) annual African Night: Taste of Africa event.

The performance included a 2-year-old drummer boy, who stole the audience’s heart by being the youngest drummer on stage.

KASA showcased African pride through various performances and traditional African cuisine Friday night in the Student Center.

When the young drummer boy played, the audience erupted in cheers. Throughout the ballroom, those in attendance said, “he’s so cute.” 

“I liked the drumming section with all the dancers and little kids.; that was really cool,” said Lerato Modiselle, a junior nursing major. “The little kids were super talented and had so much energy.”

When the dancers performed, the females were incredibly fast, with the movement of their legs and arms hypnotic to the audience. The male dancers took the stage by front flipping to the center. They flipped over each other gathering applause from the audience.

The drummers engaged the audience into the performance with a call-and-response technique.

A masked dancer on stilts wowed the audience with his dance on only one of the stilts he came out to the stage balanced on.

Other performances included a fashion show, an audience dance off, trivia of Africa and spoken word performances.

One of the acts that got the audience’s attention was the spoken word poetry performed by senior fashion design major Yayra Tamakloe and Lynda Mwakisha, a graduate communication studies student.

“I abandoned my mother to find my promised land, a land that was to have more. A land that supposedly had it all.”

The two poets’ voices hit home to many people in the audience who came from different parts of the world.

“I had to remind myself constantly, that the color of my skin made me a minority.”

More than half of the people in attendance were considered to be “minorities” in the U.S.

“The sneering faces, piercing gazes and loss of the sense of community. It made me feel so lonely, it made me feel like a motherless child,” the poets’ said. “My comfort lied in the fact that there were others like me. Different shades of black and brown, these are my sisters and these are my brothers.”

Unity was a large focus of the event. The love of the country of Africa and their roots was proudly shown throughout the whole event. Those who came and supported their friends and family at the event showed united the African community at Kent State is.

Senior biology major Tanaka Mupinga performed a song he wrote called “Romantic Telepathy.”

After Mupinga’s performance, Barefeet Dance Tribe was ready to perform.

The dancers performed to numerous songs, all fast paced.

As the event continued, the ballroom kept filling up and the hosts had to stop what they were doing at the time and ask everyone to raise their hands if they had an open seat by them.

Caught up in each of the performances, audience members hadn’t realized just how packed the ballroom had become.

Traditional African cuisine was served at the event, including jollof rice, falafels, cornmeal, and greens. The line for the food wrapped around tables, with people eager to taste the cuisine.

Itzel Leon is an international reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]