April 2004 Happenings
MTU African Students' Organization presents “SANKOFA” Apr. 1-3
HOUGHTON -- The African Students' Organization (ASO) at Michigan Tech University will be holding their annual “African Nite” event -- dinner and entertainment -- from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 3, in the MTU Memorial Union (MUB) Ballroom.
This year African Nite will be preceded by new events -- an art exhibit and sale on Thursday, Apr. 1, and a cultural presentation and
an African film on Friday, Apr. 2.
The theme of this year's event, “Sankofa,” is a Ghanaian term for “Let’s go back to our
roots.” Sankofa means "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move
forward -- so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."
| African students present an energetic
traditional dance during the 2003 "African Nite" at
Houghton High School Auditorium. Sponsored again by Michigan Tech
University's African Students' Organization, this year's event
will be held on the MTU campus. (Photo © 2003 and courtesy
Laurie Curran. Reprinted with permission.)
The ASO "calls out to the entire community of Houghton and beyond to come join them to celebrate African diversity in all its
forms," said Moussa Sissoko of Mali, ASO member. "You all know that Africa is thousands of miles away from the
U. P. Being a foreign student in Houghton presents a double challenge for most international students. The first challenge is how to adapt to a whole
lifestyle, or culture; and the second one, perhaps the most serious one, is climatic: In most African countries, the only time you’ll see “white” on the ground is when someone spatters white powder in the air. The average temperatures are in the 90s or even 100s in some areas."
Moussa noted African Nite is dedicated to helping African students feel proud of their heritage and, at the same time, less homesick.
"In the meantime," he added, "the audience will be provided with an opportunity not only to enjoy the show, but also to experience the African lifestyle from the sand dunes of the Sahara to the rain forest of the tropical countries."
|Colorful outfits from several African countries
take the audience on a trip to warmer climes during the African
Nite fashion show. Here Moussa Sissoko, center, of Mali, joins
other members of MTU's African Students' Organization for the
curtain call of the 2003 fashion show. (Photo © 2003 and courtesy
Laurie Curran. Reprinted with permission.)
From Noon until 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, in the MUB's Alumni Lounge, visitors will have an opportunity to view exquisite artworks that students have brought with them from their countries. Members of the community can also purchase unique jewelry, statues, wallets and other handicrafts.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, April 2, Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong, ASO academic officer, will give a short presentation on life in Africa in EERC 100. This will be followed by a screening of
Sarafina, a movie that tells the story of the courage and spirit of the children of South Africa's townships in their resistance to apartheid.
Chin-chin, a traditional snack, will be served as refreshment.
The main event will begin with a dinner at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 3, in the MUB ballroom. The dinner, prepared by the MUB, consists of dishes taken from the major regions of the continent -- North, South, East and West -- for an all round taste of the differences and similarities in African cuisine.
| Larissa Kaze, left, of Burundi, serves an
African specialty to a guest during the 2003 African Nite banquet
at Houghton High School. (File photo © 2003 by Michele
The evening program will include various dances for which ASO members are well known, singing by Praise in Effect Choir, a step show by the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma, poetry (including some written by members of the
organization), a drama sketch and a colorful fashion show.
"'Sankofa' follows in the spirit of all the other cultural events to bring a flavor of our home to the Michigan Tech campus, while promoting
diversity and alternate entertainment and providing good food," said Adaobi Nnorukah of Nigeria, ASO public relations officer.
A raffle draw for a DVD player will contribute to the group's efforts to aid a member, Abass Abdullahi, with his medical bill for surgery he had last year.
Tickets are on sale everyday from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m., in the MUB Commons. The tickets -- only $10 for students and $15 for others -- are only required for Saturday's main event. Don’t delay getting your tickets, because they are selling very fast. This event is partially supported by the Student Activity Fee.
For further information please contact Magali Koyo at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Adaobi Nnorukah at email@example.com.
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