BY HIEN NGUYEN
On Nov. 2, the Augustana Afri-Youth Club held One Night in Africa for the fourth time. Organized annually, One Night in Africa is a fundraising event for two charities: Operation Smile and the Edmonton African Centre.
Mr. Mursal, the Operation Smile Representative, began the event with a rousing speech. Founded in 1982 by Dr. William “Bill” P. Magee, Operation Smile has become an international medical charity that helps improve the living conditions of both children and young adults. They are bring smiles and hope to those who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities by providing more than 220,000 free surgical procedures in over 60 countries. Along with Operation Smile, the Edmonton African Centre is creating a welcoming environment where the African community can receive support in economic and cultural aspects to fully integrate into Canadian society.
Whenever you come to a new country, the very first things you experience are costume and food. This is what makes One Night in Africa worth attending . Not only do you got a chance to hear Oyiza Ayira- the President of the Afriyouth club- introduce African countries, but you also see their traditional clothing. Three, two, one, boom and the models appear with impressive outfits, representing different African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, and Morocco. One example being the “Kente cloth” , a traditional garment of Ghana, whose patterns have unique symbolic meaning. It is hard to take your eyes off those handsome and beautiful models!
Let’s take a glance and see if this menu can make your stomach growl: lamb steak, beef stew, and spiced chicken together with jollof rice. Delicious, isn’t it? Absolutely, because Africa is not only the land of gold but also the heaven of food. This event gave you a chance to taste different flavors in dishes from all around Africa. What made it even more amazing was eating while enjoying the Kekeli dancers and drummers. To the well-rounded, punchy bass sound of drums, the dancers moved vigorously. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that they heated the room up with their energy!
The night ended with a surprise dance tutorial where all attendees were taught how to dance in an African way. One night in Africa was not a very long event, but with great planning and preparation, it brought more value to the fund-raising. It gave everybody an unforgettable chance to come, see, and understand a part of African culture and society.
How do you feel about this event?
“I like the dancers and the decoration is really nice and it looks like they put a lot of effort into it”.
– Eni Okelana, student
“I am very excited with the success of this event. It involves a lot of planning, meeting people, and creating a relationship during the way to get things we needed. It landmarks about our culture and it is nice to see people in Camrose are interested and willing to learn from African, not just from the media or other social institution. It also insists on African student not to stay away, they can express their African heritage and not feel judged or that they are less than other non-African, or they are outcast in Canada. It’s nice to know that Augustana gives students an opportunity to express their culture and heritage without any bias, isolation, and judgment.
– Oyiza Ayira, student