African Student Affairs brings back Africa Night to MSU

After a two year hiatus, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s African Student Affairs has announced the return of Africa Night, taking place April 9. This year’s theme, Africa Night: Taste of Africa, is something to look forward to.  

Ogheneochuko Regha, president of African American Affairs explained how the event brings people together.

“[It’s about] Africans coming together and showcasing their culture and things that we love to do as Africans. It’s a night that we use to celebrate ourselves as Africans,” said Regha.

Since the pandemic hit, the ASA has not been able to host this event due to safety concerns. With the event coming back to campus, Regha expects a lot of hype and a big turnout this year. 

“On campus, there are not many things that are made specifically for African students. There are not many considerations taken into helping the African student community feel like they’re home, so this event is the one thing that African students on campus always look forward to,” shared Regha. “This is the one event that Africans on campus always look forward to because it’s like a family for them.”

Vice President of African Affairs Deborah Bamigbade explained some of the planned events that will showcase African culture.  

“We’re going be having singing, we’re going to have dances from different parts of Africa. We’re also going to have food to give everyone a taste of Africa,” said Bamigbade.

Performers for the night include MSU students Udo Ovraiti, Michael Kriss and Gency Lynch, along with various other dancers. 

Bamigbade has felt the impact of Africa Night from previously attending as it allows her to show her culture and how important it is for students to understand African culture. 

“I learned that a lot of people have the wrong perception of Africa and I believe Africa is so beautiful with its cultures. Being able to bring that out there to show the world that we have unique cultures is very important,” shared Bamigbade.

Regha and Bamigbade have received help from the campus community to set up the night. 

“We have students that want to be part of the event by participating and helping out in decorating for the events and help us on stage that day,” said Regha. “We [also] have students helping us with the performances. [Some] are going to dance and there are [some] students who are going to add musical performances.” 

For anyone interested in coming to the event, Bamigbade encourages students to attend not only to have fun, but to learn something new.“It is a time to just be a part of something, be a part of the African community,” said Bamigbade. “Africa is a very big continent with so many languages, so many foods, so many tribes. It will be great for you to come and be a part of us and stand with us.”

Header Photo: African Student Affairs is bringing back their annual Africa Night after a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Write to: Lilly Schmidt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

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