Culture, fashion show honors African heritage

Another step will be taken toward dispelling African stereotypes today at the African culture show.

The African Students Association is coordinating the show, which will exhibit different forms of culture through clothing, a slideshow, a skit and other forms at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

African poetry, African dances and how Africans celebrate everyday events will be presented.

Skits depicting how the culture has changed from ancient to modern times, especially with the roles of women, will be presented, as well as a slideshow about what Africa is like and what people do there.

Mutinta Suuya, a member of the ASA, hopes the slideshow gets rid of people’s stereotypes about African countries.

“The culture is changing all the time,” Suuya said.

A fashion show will also take place at the event, presenting the differences between

formal, casual and traditional outfits.

Suuya said formal clothing is something worn at an event, such as a wedding, while casual clothing is what young men and women wear on weekends and traditional outfits are what Africans wore in the past and are considered unique to the culture.

After they attend the event, Suuya wants people to be more educated about the African lifestyle and the various countries and cultures that are unique to Africa.

An entry fee of $3 will be taken at the door and donated to the Flame of Ambition Children’s Movement, and students can donate more if they please.

“People have this idea of Africa as primitive, but it really is a beautiful place,” said Willie Morris, president of the ASA. “Our idea is (not only) to share something different, but do something good at the same time, by linking it with the charity.”

The Jolie Dance Troupe will perform at the event, presenting different dance and art forms.

The ASA also reached out the African Students Associations at Northern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University, as well as the African Cultural Association at the University of Illinois in Champaign, to help plan the event.

Michael Loudon, faculty adviser for the ASA and an English professor, said the event was planned because the campus is not usually exposed to various African cultures.

Morris said different incarnations of the ASA have done similar events to this one in the past.

“It’s our hope to give our membership a chance to share our cultures and countries with Eastern,” Morris said. “You don’t see this very often.”

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]


Charity organization

The Flame of Ambition charity promotes education for children in the developing world, also known as “third-world” countries. The charity is a non-governmental organization that serves in Africa and other parts of the developing world.