Thursday, May 30, 2024

African Unity hosts second Afro-Fest

By Kiyanna Noel

With different business and a new e-board, African Unity: The African Student Association hosted its second annual Afro-Fest Sept. 23 at the Angell College Center courtyard from 2 to 5 p.m.  

This event was created for student businesses to promote themselves and potentially get new clients. There were three hair businesses and one handbag business such as Hair by Jakira, Ebony Locs, Rosay Beauty Bar and K.Minitotes. Each business was set up at tables on the side with QR codes, their logos and some even demonstrating their skills by braiding hair in real time or displaying their business cards. 

Newly-elected President of African Unity Hafsah Abdourahmane expressed how this event means a lot to her club, but it came with more stress than she anticipated. 

“This is my first semester as president. I’ve been on African Unity since I was a sophomore, so I’ve been on it for three years,” Abdourahmane said. “The pressure was on me because this is only our second time hosting Afro-Fest so the first time was just an experiment. I feel like the second time has to be perfect, so it was a lot of weight on my shoulders. We have a great turnout so far even though it’s just starting up and we haven’t even had people perform yet.”

Before the performances took place, students were welcome to play a few games such as musical chairs, balance an egg on a spoon or use the inflatable jousting area as well as get popcorn or cotton candy. Each game gave students a chance to win a few select prizes from items to their dorms to gift cards and cash prizes. 

The first performance was by African Unity Dance (AuSaaaa). This performance was high-energy and generated a strong crowd reaction with students screaming for their friends and taking videos. 

Student Samantha Ortega came out to show support for her friend and roommate Angelina Briggs, who danced for two of the three groups. 

“Everyone is super friendly and super welcoming. It seems like a good place to meet new people and make friends., and of course, show up for my friend and support her performances,” Ortega said.

The second group to perform was High Voltage Dance Factory. While in previous performances HVDF hadn’t had a big crowd reaction, this time was significantly different. This performance created a big reaction for the dance group with students screaming “Mikey,” referring to the student who created HVDF five years ago as he danced alongside them. 

The final group to perform was Spicy Island Tings. Although other groups had a good reaction, it was almost nonexistent compared to theirs. The crowd was visibly more interactive for this dance group than the other two with students even getting closer to the performers and screaming for their friends. The performers also fed off this energy as they began dancing with more enthusiasm and character. 

Also in a new position as adviser, former president of African Unity, Abieyuwa Uzamere is excited to see what this new change will do for African Unity this semester. 

“It feels good to be back as an adviser. It feels really good to know that the board that I made as president is doing well, looking good. The crowd is really really good and I’m really proud of Hafsah and Jojo, so kudos to them,” Uzamere said. “I cannot wait for the rest of the semester to see what they have in store.”


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