Students showcased various aspects of African culture through dance, fashion, acting and food at African Heritage Organization's annual Safari Thru Africa Thursday night.
AHO held the event in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom where they served food, performed a skit, danced a routine and had a fashion show.
Ashley Ototo, president of the AHO, said the event was more about showing the richness of African culture rather than focusing on the negative sides of it.
“The purpose of Safari Thru Africa is basically to demonstrate the good things that go on in Africa,” Ototo said. “A lot of times Africa gets a negative stereotype with a lot of poverty and a lot of people being famished.”
A video about positive things happening in Africa was shown during the event and audience members had the opportunity to win prizes by answering questions about the video or competing in a dance contest against other members of the audience.
Senior political science major Meheret Woldeyohannes said that she went to the event to support some of her closest friends. She also said she enjoyed the dances, food and audience participation aspects of the event.
“Whenever they [a lot of people] hear of Africa, they consider it to be just one super country, and you have these negative connotations. But Africa is a continent of 50 plus countries, and there’s so much diversity. And I think it’s really cool that we get to see portions of it represented today,” Woldeyohannes said. “It’s pretty cool that you see the beautiful parts of culture and traditions represented at our school.”
The fashion show was split into two parts showing traditional and contemporary clothing, and Ototo said members of the organization often donate the clothes for the fashion show.
Ototo said the purpose of AHO is to spread awareness of African culture to different ethnicities on campus.
Esther Chitsinde, an AHO member from Zimbabwe, said AHO brings African students together for a common goal, which is to showcase what Africa is about and that the organization is open to students who are interested in learning about the African culture.
AHO does charity work, cookouts and movie nights featuring African films. For more information about AHO, contact Ototo by emailing her at [email protected]