MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — This week is Africa Week at West Virginia University, an event the Africa Student Association sponsors to promote the African continent and its many diverse cultures.
“We have designed it in such a way that we’re able to fit the culture, the food, the entertainment, all into one piece where we can still, basically, break down all of the different varieties from the different countries that make up the entire continent,” said Samuel Asante, president of WVU’s Africa Student Association.
Asante is a sophomore at WVU majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering. He was born in Ghana, came to the United States in 1999 and now lives in Virginia while studying at WVU.
The family roots for the organization’s vice president, Angela Mbamba, are in Kenya and Namibia. She is a senior at WVU with a double major in international studies and social work. “I’ve lived in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa,” she said. She now lives in Morgantown while her family is in Sweden.
Mbamba said Africa is a complex continent.
“There is so much more and there’s so much richness to Africa than the two minute preview they show you on some of the advertisements of children that don’t have any water or children that don’t have any shelter, but there’s so much more to Africa than just that,” she said.
In addition to the Africa Student Association, the other sponsors for the week include WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Black Culture and Research, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of International Students and Scholars, the Student Government Association and the African Studies Program.
“We have a lot of events throughout the year to highlight the different culture groups that we have and this week coming up is, probably, one of the most exciting weeks at the university,” said David Fryson, WVU’s chief diversity officer, on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Africa Week events at WVU include the following:
March 25th – Tuesday (6-8pm) “Meet the Africans” Rhododendron Room – Mountainlair
A display of artifacts from various African countries will be represented as well as poster presentations.
March 26th– Wednesday, (6-8 pm) – “ Beats of the Motherland” Gluck Theatre, Mountainlair
This event will be a variety show depicting the continent of Africa in an inspiring way with a various talents by African students. Music, dance and poetry will be featured. The WVU African Dance Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Michael Vercelli, in the Division of World Music, are featured guests.
March 27th– Thursday, (6-8 pm) Mountaineer Room, Mountainlair
Come and see the Africa you do not know through various video clips and here discussion about common misconceptions and myths of the African continents.
March 29 – Friday (6-9 pm) Blue and Gold Room –Towers
A sampling of the African cuisine will be on display during this time. ASA invites Students, Faculty and Staff to join them to break bread on the Evansdale campus at Towers.
March 30, Sunday (6-9:00 pm) Africa Night Ballrooms – Mountainlair
African Night is the highlight celebration of Africa week. Special keynote is Ms. Alice Ayamfi, currently Miss Ghana USA and reigning Miss Africa USA (first princess). Special guest performance will be Zuzu African Acrobats that performed on “American’s Got Talent”. A fashion show with clothing designers from Bernan and Blessed Collection will be showcased.
Tickets are $20. For general admissions.