The Charger Blog

‘Taste of Africa’ Leaves University Community Hungry to Learn More about African Culture

The African Graduate Students Association’s first major event on campus was a celebration of African culture, diversity, and history that brought the University community together to share food, fashion, and fun.

January 3, 2020

By Olufisayo Oshoro ’20 MPA

Image of AGSA members.
"A Taste of Africa" enabled members of the University community to share their rich African culture. Photo by Idelis Pizarro ’22

The Alumni Lounge boomed with rhythms of African traditional and contemporary music as the African Graduate Students Association (AGSA) recently hosted its first major event, "A Taste of Africa," on campus. The electrifying performances thrilled the diverse audience that witnessed a showcase of culture, diversity, and history through dance, music, and fashion that comes from Africa.

The audience included students, faculty, and staff members, as well as friends from different parts of Connecticut. There were so many exciting and enjoyable moments as models dressed in colorful African prints strode across the room.

Image of AGSA members.
The event featured colorful prints and fashions from Africa. Photo by Idelis Pizarro ’22

Additionally, AGSA members gave presentations about different countries in Africa, a huge continent richly diverse in culture, with more than 1,500 languages spoken across 54 countries.

No single event would be enough to reveal all the beautiful things the continent of Africa offers. However, some of the continent’s most unique qualities were showcased in the music and dance performances, presentations, and fashion exhibition. The theme "Taste of Africa" was appropriate, as a taste is never fully satisfying but leaves you wanting more. The good news is that there will be future events to help quench the enthusiasm and curiosity that this event created.

"There were so many exciting and enjoyable moments."Olufisayo Oshoro ’20 MPA

Nsikak Obong ’20 M.S., the AGSA president, said, "Without a doubt, the continent as a whole has suffered from a lot of bad publicity, which has formed a rather negative image in the mind of outsiders and those who have never actually visited Africa. I believe the time is right to change the narrative, to tell the African story as it should be told, to project the beautiful rich African culture, its amazing and hardworking people, its tourist centers, and so on."

Image of AGSA members.
“A Taste of Africa” was the African Graduate Students Association’s first major event on campus. Photo by Idelis Pizarro ’22

"A more diverse and inclusive environment, which we all play a role in fostering at the University, can be achieved if we engage in conversations to learn and appreciate the roots and cultural backgrounds of every member of the University community," continued Obong. "I sincerely hope this event will spark more of these conversations."

We are grateful to our sponsors the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Graduate Student Council.