African Night celebrates food, culture

Nicole Weible

Instead of plain walls and an empty stage, the Student Center Ballroom was bordered with flags from the countries of Africa and filled with ethnic fashion, music and culture last night.

The Kent African Student Association hosted its annual African Night, and students and faculty joined together to celebrate African culture. Netsihet Tessema, sophomore pre-pharmacy major and vice president of KASA, said the organization developed African Night to showcase its culture and tradition.

“Many students think that Africa is one country with only one culture,” she said. “We are representing the different countries and their cultures through music, food, dancing and fashion.”

Prints and paintings lined the walkway into the ballroom. The artist behind all the artwork was senior fine arts major Samrawit Yohannes.

“My country and people inspire my work,” Yohannes said. “I am from Eritrea in East Africa. It is a very small country, and many people don’t know about it. I want to make people aware of my country.”

Various student groups came to show their support for African culture. Members of the Spanish and Latino Student Association came to the event.

Members of the campus ministry Impact also attended African Night. Westley Gaddis, junior exercise science major and member of the Impact’s leadership team, said they attended the event for the experience. Gaddis said Impact is a religious minority group of mostly African-American students, but open to anybody.

“I am here to show off clothing my best friend from Ghana gave to me,” Gaddis said. “I am also going to wear clothing from Nigeria for the fashion show.”

Various types of food from different countries were served during the event. Jollof rice and plantain were a couple of the African traditional foods served at the celebration.

The rest of the night included poetry readings from Heru Ofori, ethnic dance performances and fashion shows displaying clothing from different countries in Africa.

Contact international affairs reporter Nicole Weible at [email protected]