The African Student Associate, also known as ASA, hosted their first African Royale on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the Innovation Center.
A rainbow of colors were on display as people arrived dressed in their best formal / African attire.
“This event is to celebrate the African culture and to educate others on it as well, “co-PR chair Sarah Owusu said.
The ASA’s goal was to share the African culture with people who might not have experienced the culture and for the ones who are already knowledgeable about the culture it was a celebration
African culture was shared through the flavorful food and music from some of the biggest African artists.
Songs by Mr. Eazi, a Nigerian artist blasted through the speakers and on occasion, some dancehall songs (a style of music that comes from Jamaica but pulls influence from African music) played as well.
The Royale was not only about food and music, but it also had some wonderful performances for entertainment.
A performer who goes by the name of “Snow” delivered a deep eye-opening poem that took on some stereotypes and issues that lie within the black community which he followed up with some lyrical solutions.
Within his spoken words, Snow also encouraged young men and women to unlock their real potential and lead their generations into success.
Other performances followed with a traditional African dance that was performed by Andrew Onyebuchi Ud, a rap and a song played on the piano.
The ASA members also delivered a captivating performance of dance. Excitement filled the room as everyone clapped and cheered them on.
“My favorite was the dancing. It looked like everyone was having so much fun dancing and I had fun,” said sophomore, Nia Harris.
The ASA e-board didn’t let the night slip before thanking some people who helped make the night possible.
ASA president, Charlotte Aye-Danquah thanked a few people but among the two she specifically thanked two ESU faculty members, Dr. T Storm Heter, associate professor in philosophy and religion and Juanita Jenkins, director of multicultural affairs.
“I am the advisor of the African Student Association and the students as they were planning this,” said Dr. Heter who was thanked during the event.
“My role is to support the students and the e-board, who I talk a lot with to support their mission and goals for the organization,” Heter said.
It was a memorable night for the ASA members as the night was a clear success which was reflected in the sold-out tickets for a seat in the event and the smiles and laughs shared among the people in attendance.
“Tonight, was really fun,” said sophomore Rachel Faussette, “the food was so good, and I enjoyed the performances.”
“The event was very put together and organized, you could tell they put a lot of work into it and it turned out really well,” Nia Harris commented.
The ASA will continue to host events which they have African week that starts Nov. 27 to the 29.
First, on Tues. African Game night will be held, then on Wed. is a discussion on the topic of mental health in Africa and lastly, on Thur. dance night where the ASA dance captains will teach student choreography to a dance.
The ASA wants students who are African, from African descent or just want to know about the culture to know that they are more than welcome to go to the ASA meetings.
“Being African is to be strong and take pride in your roots and not forget where you come from no matter the cost, “co-PR chair, Sarah Owusu said.
“It also means having the beauty, power, and worth of Africa.”
According to Dr. Heter, the ASA is there to “provide a space where students can come and have the resources for celebration and have hard discussions about being African or of African descent.”
“We’ve had a lot of other organizations for multicultural students, but not specifically for African students or students interested in African culture,” he said.
“We have a lot of diversity within campus and a lot of diversity within the black community and I think it is important that at ESU “black” doesn’t mean just one thing…it means a bunch of different things and these (ASA) students are trying to encourage students to have and be a voice.”
Heter continued, “the organization has worked toward the goals of being a place of support and somewhere people can come and feel at home when maybe the Poconos doesn’t feel like a welcoming place.”
Students should feel free to be curious and drop in on an ASA meeting which are every Thursday in Sci-Tech 135 from 2-3 p.m. to see what the ASA is about and join in on the discussions.
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