The Brandeis African Students Organization (BASO) hosted its annual Night for Africa on Saturday, Oct. 28. The three hour long show featured performances, competitions, a fashion show and delicious food.
According to BASO’s flier, “Night for Africa is a cultural celebration highlighting the different countries within the African continent. This event is organized to showcase the beauty of Africa through food, fashion, and music. This event exposes the Brandeis community to the many rich cultures on this diverse campus. Showcasing the diversity in Africa is also very important to our mission as a club as it reflects the work we are continuing to do with regard to diversifying the way Afro Diasporic identities are perceived.”
As stated, the show featured delicious African-inspired food from the Boston area. Anokye Krom is an African American restaurant in Worcester, MA serving traditional African dishes. Karibu is an East African restaurant in Waltham, MA. Finally, Cesaria is an African-inspired restaurant located in Dorchester, MA that focuses on the Cape Verdean diet.
Night for Africa also featured DJ Royal, a multi-genre DJ based in the Massachusetts area.
As far as the performers, BASO brought in talents from Brandeis and the greater Boston area. Platinum Step Team is a dance group at Brandeis that provides an opportunity for students who are interested in stepping at Brandeis to perform in various shows throughout the year. Rebelle, according to their Instagram, is an Afro-Caribbean dance team that uses the universal languages of music and dance which share the flavors of many cultures.
Furthermore, BASO also brought in both Fafali and Afro Diamonds. Fafali is a group within Brandeis’ music department that features the Ghanaian drum and a dance ensemble. According to their blurb on Brandeis’ website, “the group studies and performs the music, song and dance of Ghana, and has performed at Brandeis for BASO’s Night for Africa, MusicUnitesUs’ Taste of Ghana festival, Culture X and even for the President of Ghana! Historically a highly international ensemble, Fafali has included members from Ghana, Togo, Jamaica, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Cape Verde, Haiti, Dominican Republic, China, the United States and other countries from around the world.”
Afro Diamonds is a dance and music group within the organization of Africano Waltham. According to their website, they “train youth in drumming and dancing routines all throughout the year and on to that these performances are shared with the community that comes at the center as well as when the youth go out on stage.”
BASO also brought in student performers like Melora Hutcheson, Iyegbekosa Ohanmu and Thabang Matona. Hutcheson performed a song entitled “No Women No Cry” by Tems, Ohanmu performed an original song, and Matona performed an original stand up piece to the crowd. Finally, BASO also included artist Herby Saintil. Saintil performed a few of his original spoken word pieces that highlighted African American culture. BASO rounded out the night with a fashion show that included notable African and African American brands such as Billionaire Boys Club, Supervsn Studios, D’iyanu and Ofuure.