On Friday November 19, 2021, Colby-Sawyer’s African Student Association (ASA) Club held their annual Taste of Africa event in Wheeler Hall. The event features a fashion show with members displaying their unique streetstyle and formal wear, along with traditional foods originating across the diverse continent. The event provides an opportunity to learn more about the cultures existing in Africa and support students. According to current junior and ASA member Khaira Bagley, the event is a favorite one since it gives them the time to connect with other people of color, as well as being able to connect with the campus as a whole.
The audience cheered on each model as they walked the runway to handpicked songs and eagerly awaited to see the next friend turn the corner of the stage. In between the streetwear and formal attire runways, the audience was treated to a performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Dr. Feel Good” by campus Area Coordinator, Michael Brown. Toward the end of the formal section, models of the club paired up to show off one another, at the end of the show all of the models returned to the stage for one last time. After the fashion show ended, the feast began. This year the menu included vegetable samosas, plantains, cornbread, rice and the club favorite, Haitian Mac and Cheese. According to the club’s President Ameesah Cotten and Vice President Ange Kalambay, the dish is a go to meal for the event since it is so well liked.
Although it is a one-night event, Ameesah and Ange agree that it is quite the undertaking to put on between all of the planning and the work that goes into it, getting a month head start proved to be beneficial as it allowed them to work out all of the potential issues before show night. Despite all the logistical aspects of the event that can cause stress, there are a lot of bright spots along the way. For Ameesah it is the dress rehearsal, where everyone’s personalities come out and shine, for Ange seeing all of the different fashions on display is the highpoint. The two club officers hope that those who attend takeaway the diversity of the show, from the food to the fashion to the music and to the students and to just learn more about the culture itself. For upcoming events, ASA has the Beauty Expo planned in the spring semester and are looking forward to being more active during Black History Month, so stay tuned!