Culture in fashion show

J’Mari HughesReporter

The African Student Association hosted its annual fashion show in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom on April 24. The show featured not only models wearing African clothing, but also singing and dance performances from the African dance team. Performers also wore traditional African clothing and hairstyles such as Afros, braids and Bantu knots.

“We put on this fashion show every year just to bring the African culture to Southern,” said senior and ASA President Adaobi Okoro. “[It’s] just to give the student body a look into how we do things and the fashion that comes with our culture.”

The show began with the hostess and Southern alumna Sally Spio, inviting students to “one night in Africa” and asking members of the crowd who was there representing the African continent.

They wore African face paints and cultural clothing according to biochemistry major Shyra Fisher, a freshman, who said were pieces of fabric tied into outfits. Her outfit, she said, had a jungle vibe to it. She also said it is important for students to come to cultural events because it allows them to be woke and open-minded and learn more than one story.

Clothing on display during the show was designed by multiple students from all over, some of which attend Southern. Participants modeled streetwear, like colorful t-shirts, shorts and high heels, or formal dresses and pantsuits, some teal, some pink, others sparkly gold, all of which were created from African designers.

“When it all comes together after all the practicing and after all the hours, just seeing it put together and done [is my favorite part],” Okoro said. “I feel like it’s important for people to know about other cultures that are not their own.”

Evans Akinola, a senior and graphic design major, as well as the public relations of ASA, and  said they had been striving for a fashion show since the club began. He said thanks to the support from other organizations, ASA was finally able to get the funds to do so. During their meets, he said, one thing they like to do is update each other one what is going on back in Africa, as well as share facts about what happened in Africa on the respective day. He, and other members wanted to put on the event to showcase dance, food and fashion through the eyes of African people.

“That’s our background so I think it’s important to show our roots and where we came from,” he said.

Kyle Augustine, a senior and secondary education and history major, is the former president of the Caribbean Student Association and said he attends the fashion show every year to support ASA, who is like a sister organization to them.

“I think it’s important for us to have these shows to celebrate the many diverse cultures we have at Southern,” he said. “It’s good to be educated from a culture that’s not your own and it’s very important to raise your cultural confidence.”

The ASA fashion show gave students a glimpse into African customs and provided them with free entertainment, and gave as well as giving SCSU fashion designers an opportunity to show off their designs.

“It is something worth seeing definitely worth the time and a lot of time and effort was put into it,” said Okoro. “If I wasn’t in it I would still come.”

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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