ASA End of Year Gala brings the fall semester to a close

The African Student Association held a black-tie End of Year Gala Nov. 18. 

The gala provided dinner and a show to guests. This inspiration for this event came from the Met Gala according to ASA President, junior Evelin Boniface.

“Last year for ASA, they did a gala to end the year, and this year we wanted to continue that. We didn’t really have a theme, but we were trying to go off of the Met Gala because just like celebrities, people like to dress up and like they do over-the-top outfits,” said Boniface.

This year ASA invited Raby Dieng, a foreign exchange student working towards her master’s degree in second language teaching, to read a poem she found to be very inspirational.

“I was surfing the internet and I found this poem. I found it so powerful and inspiring that I felt I should share it with my fellow African students,” said Dieng.

The poem urged listeners to not give up in their hardest moments and continue moving forward.

Several music artists volunteered their time to perform, like Doubra Etale, Ovo Noiir and Ochuko Noiir. All three wrote music from a young age, but for Etale, this was his first performance.

“I started writing music at 12, then I stopped for a while but I started getting somewhere this past summer,” said Etale. “For me, what inspires me is the love of music, I would say is it moves me. I’m a different person when I hear a beat. So that’s what motivates me to display my talents to people.”

For Ovo Noiir, he wanted to continue his support of ASA by performing at the gala and support Etale as well.

“I performed at the last ASA Gala and African night, so I just tried to keep doing this and I also just wanted to support him with his first show,” said Ovo Noiir.

Ochuko Noiir has previously performed for ASA events in an effort to continue his support. He sees events like the gala as a great way to increase the exposure of African artists like himself.

“I’ve been doing this for two years now for ASA,” said Ochuko Noiir. “It has been a very good help to artists in Mankato, especially African artists, helping us push our music out there. When they need support, we’re going to show support.”

An interactive fashion show also took place which gave the audience a chance to show off their outfits to other attendants. “Best Dressed” awards were given to two participants, Sophia Bose and Christopher Okpara.

Bose attended with her friends, who try to attend as many campus events as possible together. For her, the highlight of her night was seeing the performances. 

“I really like seeing all the performances, it’s easy to forget, there’s so many talented people around you,” Bose said.

As a member of ASA, Okpara encourages people to participate in events such as the gala as a way to get to know others and relax.

“Come out and meet new people, make friends, have a good time. We work all the time going to classes. Come socialize and take stress off. This was a fun event. I had fun,” said Okpara.

Students interested in attending future AASA events can visit their Instagram, @asa_mankato.

Header photo: The African Student Association hosted an end of the year gala where students read inspirational poems and musicians played songs. An interactive fashion show took place with the title “Best Dressed” at stake. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Andrea Schoenecker at

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