Students can take a peek into the traditions of Africa during an event put on by the University of Toledo’s African Peoples’ Association on April 2 in the Student Union Auditorium.
Nnenna Kalu, second-year biology major and APA event coordinator, says that this event serves as an education resource for students who are interested in learning more about African cultures.
“African Peoples’ Association is an organization designed to serve a community for African students from walks of life (whether they are native or not to the US),” Kalu wrote in an email interview. “As an organization, we make an effort to make sure that everyone African or not feel accepted and also leave with an understand of the our culture.”
During the event, guests will see performances from dance groups, singing and poetry from UT students and a fashion show. Traditional African foods will be also be served.
Grace Tieko, a fourth-year majoring in biology and co-president of APA, says that APA started hosting Africa Night because they wanted to let the community truly see African culture and show people “there is more to African descent than just an accent.”
“I like to share my traditions with UT students because a lot of them are interested in learning more about the African descent and their culture but they don’t know where to begin,” Tieko said. “So by having this event, I believe that it gives people the chance to come out and try new foods that they eat on a regular basis, visualize our cultural fashion appeal and also share a few laugh when it comes to making parodies about the typical African household.”
In addition to African Night, APA also hosts the annual AIDS Gala, which aims to educate the UT community about AIDS and HIV. Instead of opting for a lecture to communicate the message, the event consisted of poem readings, live music and dinner for those in attendance.
“Within the organization, we have small events that occur during our meetings where we discuss things ranging from influential African people to scary stories that parents use to tell us,” Kalu wrote.
Kalu wrote that it’s important for her to share her traditions with other UT students. She wants to help others understand her culture and “also make them feel as though they’re a part of the culture.”
“I believe that best way to learn about culture is to experience for yourself,” Kalu wrote. “This event gives UT students, who are interested in learning from multicultural students, an opportunity to experience what makes us who we are as African students.”
According to APA, the event is expected to sell around 400 tickets.
Tickets can be purchased at Ask Rocky for $10 and are also available for purchase at the door for $15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.