African Students Association gives UK a ‘Taste of Africa’

Star Robertson

The African Students Association held its Taste of Africa in Memorial Hall over the weekend.

Throughout the year, the ASA puts on events to spread awareness of different issues that African students face and to spread their culture. Taste of Africa is the group’s biggest event and attendees were asked to dress up in formal clothes. Many chose to wear traditional African clothing.

Members of the ASA could all be spotted wearing the same blue traditional African print fabrics, which was incorporated into their outfits in different ways.

“The members of the African Students Association decided to wear similar outfits so that people attending the event could tell us apart from regular members of the crowd,” ASA board member Lionel Kayunga said. “We also decided to do it so we could be seen as a team, so people could see we worked as a team for the event.”

The purpose of this event is to bring African and African-American students together and to highlight their similarities in a positive way. The ASA has done a similar event earlier in the semester in partnership with the Zeta Psi Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. that addressed this same issue.

The group’s first event focused on facts, presentations and audience members’ opinions and experiences. Its second event focused on performances to celebrate both the African and African-American Culture and included traditional dancing, singing, a performance from members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., and a fashion show featuring clothes from a local African designer.

“We are in America where it is becoming more apparent black people are getting left out and we just want to make sure that we show that we share our heritage, which is the African heritage, and with black Americans we just want to make sure we bridge that gap and understand that we are from the same heritage and we share that,” Kayunga said.

The event also included a speech from keynote speaker Sonja Feist-Price, vice president for institutional diversity. During her speech, Feist-Price highlighted the large divide between the two communities, how they could be fixed, and the effects of the movies like “Black Panther” and how it represented a possible solution to our cultural divide and the issues black people face.