African Students Union Prepares Presentation of Culture, Heritage

TESSA BECK | THE SPECTRUM (From right to left: Senior communications management major Peace Kpegeol and senior biology major Damilola Famati) The executive team for the African Students Union have dedicated months in preparation for Pan-Africa Night.
TESSA BECK | THE SPECTRUM
(From right to left: Senior communications management major Peace Kpegeol and senior biology major Damilola Famati) The executive team for the African Students Union have dedicated months in preparation for Pan-Africa Night.

The African Students Union have spent the entirety of 2015 preparing to give campus a “small taste of Africa,” Damilola Famati said.

Pan-Africa Night is set to celebrate the culture and traditions of the continent from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Great Plains Ballroom in the Memorial Union.

Famati and Peace Kpegeol, president and vice president respectively, along with other members of the union’s executive staff, have worked to prepare educational presentations, dances, poetry, folklore, skits and a fashion show with a variety of looks highlighting different regions.

“This year we’re doing something a little different – the presentation of the different regions in Africa,” Kpegeol said. “So hopefully if you do attend, you see the visual, but you also see the text form as well – the food, the culture everything that you may not have known before.”

The ASU boasts nearly 80 members, many of which have put in personal time researching and practicing for their portion of the Pan-Africa Night presentation. Members from Minnesota State University and a comedian from the University of Minnesota will also be present.

Pan-African Night is a family-friendly event, and, as Famati described, people who have an “open mind to learning something new, and enjoy people expressing themselves” will enjoy it as well.

The event is meant to function dually as both educational and entertainment. Showcasing elements of specific cultures can eliminate preconceived notions, so long as the participant is receptive.

“I think they’ll take away that they’ve heard or known something for awhile, and they will now compare it or see it in a different light,” Kpegeol said.

The sixth annual event is open to the public.

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