North Texas Daily

UNT ASO to hold second annual Uplift Africa event

UNT ASO to hold second annual Uplift Africa event

UNT ASO to hold second annual Uplift Africa event
November 08
08:35 2013

Javier Navarro / Staff Writer

The UNT African Students Organization is hosting its second annual Uplift Africa event next at 7 p.m. Friday Nov. 15 at the Auditorium Building and will showcase the talents of African culture in many forms.

Ike Esedebe, accounting junior and president of the ASO, said students should come out to this event to be exposed to the African culture and experience something new.

“You’re just being exposed to something that’s fun. It’s loud, and it’s a good show,” Esedebe said. “You get to learn what African music really sounds like and what African culture really looks like.”

Radio, television and film senior and vice president of ASO Michelle Hemeng said the events will feature African dance routines, stepping and drama acts.

“We’ll also have singers and poets,” Hemeng said. “We’ll have Voices of Praise, which will be praying [through music], and then we’ll have a fashion show.”

Hemeng also said the event will hold a cypher, which is where people will showcase their freestyle rapping skills.

Hemeng said the difference this year from last will be the party being held right after the event from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Gateway Center.

The event will cost $10 upon entry for those who plan to attend the Uplift Africa event and the after party. For those who plan on attending one of the events only have to pay $5.

Esedebe said the event started as an idea from one of the former presidents of the ASO. Esedebe said the goal of the event is to bring awareness of a different culture to UNT and to show that some of the stereotypes about the African culture are not true.

“People kind of have a different view of what Africa is,” Esedebe said. “Maybe when you think of Africa, you think poverty and things like that, but Africa has a rich culture and we just wanted to showcase that culture and that other side of Africa to UNT.”

Esedebe said this is his fourth semester with ASO and he said the group is a social and political organization. The meetings the group holds every other Wednesday are mostly educational and discussion based, he said.

“We’ll educate [members] first on maybe a particular topic, like maybe something that’s happening back in Africa that relates to us,” he said. “After we have given the information, we kind of open up the floor and we just bounce around ideas.”

He also said the group holds other events like a fashion show during the spring and also travels to other universities in Texas to meet other ASO groups.

Psychology junior Uzochi Duru has been a part of the group since second semester of her freshman year. She said she likes being part of the group because of the people she has met.

“They really open their arms, and I know I can call any of them and be like, ‘Hey I need help with something,’ and you can always count on the people of the ASO,” Duru said.

Esedebe said over 200 people have showed up in the previous Uplift Africa event, and he hopes more people will show up this year.

He also said that anyone who wants to join the ASO can do so by attending their meetings, which are usually held in at 7 p.m. in room 311 at Matthews Hall. The next meeting will be Nov. 13.

Feature photo: Development and family studies senior Stacey Akabue prepares for a performance back stage during the Uplift Africa event in Nov. 2012. Photo courtesy of UNT African Student’s Organization Facebook page.  

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