Thursday, July 25, 2024

Pageant returns to campus

By Kiyanna Noel and Jeremy Binning

African Unity: The African Student Association is holding its 11th annual pageant April 15. The pageant focuses on allowing contestants to represent the cultures of four distinct African countries. 

The pageant is centered around the main event of the evening, the crowning of the King or Queen of Africa. 

Representing the four countries for this year are Kevinne Ngokana for Mr. Congo, Dayanara Martinez for Ms. Uganda, Medex Ebere for Mr. Gabon and Khouriya Deh for Ms. Mauritania. 

The pageant is a celebration of African cultures and will showcase the traditions of the countries involved through dance, clothes and music. 

Included in the event along with the performances is the fashion show. New York City-based designer OmoobaFashions will be showcasing his work on the runway. With his specialty in African-inspired garments, the show will consist of models wearing his latest releases. 

Aissatou Lo, the event planner of African Unity, is excited to work on the event. She acknowledges that although it is hard planning an event this big.

“The atmosphere is going to be amazing. We’re all excited to have a potential king of Africa for the first time since COVID ended,” Lo said.  

Abieyuwa Uzamere, president of African Unity, believes the event will be sold-out and as successful as Mystic Night that took place Feb. 18 where student groups held performances as well as different designers coming together to put on a fashion show. 

“This event will not only have a pageant as its main theme, but we have dances and a fashion show to keep guests entertained throughout the show,” Uzamere said. “It wouldn’t be an AU event without a few surprises.”

Aside from the fashion show intermission, there will be a dance performance from the African Unity dance group and a dance performance from the e-board.

Judging for the competition will be done by ‘18 alumna Osayame Uzamere and ‘22 alumna Liz Sesay as well as two surprise judges. 

Along with this, the current Queen of Africa Henrietta Clarke will be crowning the winner and training a contestant for a chance to hold the title of King or Queen of Africa. 

“Although it will be sad to see my title go, it’s nice to know that it will be left in good hands,” Clarke said.

This is more than just a pageant to African Unity, as many of its board members will be graduating at the end of this semester. This tradition making its way back post COVID is important for them to leave something behind in order to showcase the foundation of African Unity.

“The best part about this event is bringing it back to campus,” Lo said. “It’s huge for us because African Unity is a big part of campus and this event is a staple of what we represent.” 

For more information on tickets and attire, email Uzamere at auzam001@plattsburgh.edu or watch out for the club’s instagram @africanunitypsu. 

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