By Kiyanna Noel
African Unity: The African Student Association hosted a sold-out evening of cabaret in the Warren Ballrooms on Saturday, Feb. 18. It truly was an evening of endless surprises, runways and games.
Although the show was off to a late start, the host Yogi began by explaining how he survived SUNY Plattsburgh by remembering the four Ls: love, lust, laughs and lying.
The first performance of the night was African Unity Dance, which proved all rumors true of Mystic night containing various amounts of lingerie. The dance had students in black or pink silk robes and even fake money being thrown at lap dancers. Following this, Queen of Africa — a title she had been given at a previous event — Henrietta Clarke gave a speech about how African Unity is raising awareness for American Heart Disease month.
The first designer of the night was Michael Johnson of Malosi Apparel. Models from the club House of Divinity came out in shirts, shorts and sweaters all representing Johnson’s brand of healing through adversity and struggle.
To try to bring the energy of the crowd up, there was a game of heads, shoulders, knees, toes and cup. In this game, two people will stand opposite each other while the host says the commands ending with someone grabbing the paper cup the quickest. The person who gets to the cup first wins, and that was the first game in the fashion show where the audience was interactive.
After this was the second performance of the night by High Voltage, whose dancers wore white button-up shirts and boxers. The dancers got a strong reaction from the audience. From friends calling out to others to people singing the songs, High Voltage got one of the most interactive, expressive audiences before intermission.The second design was from the brand Save Yourself, which is about being in survival mode and overcoming challenges without hesitation. The models wore different-colored hoodies and shirts, with similar fonts on each piece of clothing.
Avant NYC, founded by Ibrahim Doukoure, showcased models in hoodies, sweatsuits and shorts.
“Avant in French means before it means the past, so I decided to create this brand centered around my aspirations of being a motivational speaker. A brand that I bring meaning to not just me but to everybody else’s story,” Dukoure said.
After thanking African Unity, Doukoure also took the time to announce the drop of his new clothing line this March, Cohérent.
Following the speech was a performance by Spicy Island Tings, wearing white button ups and fishnet stockings. The transitions between the performers and music looked well-rehearsed and there were no visible mistakes.
Abieyuwa Uzamere, African Unity’s president, then read the poem “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou surrounded by two young men and three young women in lingerie. The audience was filled with snapping and clapping as Uzamere read the piece with passion and a gentle tone.
Conscious NYC by PJ was the last designer for the night and his clothing brand showcased mostly sweat suits and hats in a broad range of colors. The last performance of the night was JEDI in red and black silk lingerie outfits. The dancers made eye contact with several people in the crowd and got the strongest reaction from the audience.
At the end of the show, Yogi introduced all members of the African Unity e-board and Uzamere gave a speech about why it’s important to love our bodies and how Mystic night was a representation of that for the ladies of African Unity while thanking everyone who showed up to perform, model and especially the audience for making this event a sold-out show.