A new event to emerge on campus known as African Week, Oct. 22-26, is a week filled with planned activities to introduce and educate the USD and Vermillion community about African culture.
Usually, the African Student Association (ASA) has had an African Night in the Spring every year. This year, ASA decided to introduce African Week in the fall to get a taste of what the spring event will be like.
Saeed Dabbour, senior marketing major and member of ASA, said he was excited about starting something new for students.
“We, the executive members of ASA, want to carve some new events, so the newer students in the incoming years would have something more to look forward to except the one night in the year,” he said.
African Week will kick off with presentations of explaining the main purpose of the week; there will also be a member of ASA tabling to sell her handmade African pieces and a group cake cutting.
The next days will consist of a speakers series, African trivia and cultural night. Educated faculty and students are prepared to speak and share their knowledge of African culture with the USD community.
Temi Bolaji-Oyenekan, president of ASA, said they will try to educate students before trivia night during the speakers series on Tuesday.
“The plan is to go around campus to ask students questions about Africa and African culture,” Bolaji-Oyeneka said. “We decided to have the speakers series a day before trivia because then students are educated for the questions we will ask.”
Cultural night, Thursday is basically a mini African Night and will encompass all things within Africa itself.
“Cultural night is truly a taste of Africa,” Dabbour said.
It will be full of “food, fashion, and fun,” and every dish served will be made by USD students.
Dabbour said this year ASA is trying to make dishes more accommodating to the dietary restrictions of vegans and vegetarians.
“We try our best to make a variety of food; we are trying to do a vegan option of rice without the eggs,” he said.
They even plan to create cards with the food ingredients to make it safer for participants with allergies.
Cultural night will also consist of skits and dances to showcase African practices. The main goal is to promote and showcase African culture to students who are unaware of it.
As a close to the week, ASA will present the movie “Sarafiona.”
Bolaji-Oyenekan said the movie portrays African culture in a less somber light.
“One reason I love the movie is that it won’t be all serious and sad, but it’s kind of a musical, so it eases the tension of the entire movie,” she said.
As an organization, ASA has been expanding and they are excited to premiere African week to the community.
“We are glad we are starting such a huge event and how big ASA has been growing over the past years,” Dabbour said.