Singing, dancing and dining took place in the Muenster University Center Ballroom Sunday night at the African Student Association’s (ASA) African Night.
African Night is an annual event held by ASA and was split into three parts — performances, dinner and more performances.
Former ASA President Prosper Zongo said solidarity was an important part of the event.
“Africa is made of about 55 countries. African students see themselves as one and what we are trying to create is that uniqueness,” Zongo said. “We want to create it here not only among African students but to also embrace American or International students.”
The night started with a Parade of Nations including 14 African countries represented by ASA members.
Iman Omar, a junior medical science lab major, said African Night means a lot to her.
“I am representing my flag of (Sudan) in the first part and it means a lot because not a lot of people know about the individual African countries, because they feel like Africa is just one,” Omar said. “But there are thousands of languages and I think it’s important to represent where you’re from.”
Dances and poetry readings followed the Parade of Nations before dinner was served.
The food was provided by Aramark and consisted of Tamarind Juice, Ginger Cocktail, Banana Beignet, Lamb/Goat pepper soup and more.
Before the second part of the performances, ASA showcased a video highlighting their book drive last semester.
Lamont Sellers, advisor for ASA and associate vice president for diversity, said he’s impressed by ASA’s accomplishments.
“I’m extremely proud of what (ASA) put together and they keep going above and beyond every year,” Sellers said. “Their decorations have taken it up a notch with the shield that they have and the backdrop that they have done for this year.”
The Titambe Dance Ensemble also performed. The Minneapolis group had guests on their feet dancing with them as they played their music.
Eric Coursen, a member of the group, said the experience was fun.
“The crowd was wonderful, people were very responsive and people accepted our invitation to learn a dance from Donna,” Coursen said. “We were graciously invited to be a part of the performances and it was a long drive. A lot of smooth farm land. It was a long haul and it was worth it.”
The night ended with Colors of Africa, a runway fashion show, and more dancing.
Zongo said African Night is important now and for later in the future to showcase diversity at USD.
“Coming far away from Africa and being here in the United States, being able to display African culture means a lot to me,” Zongo said.