Taste of Africa, a showcase of African culture sponsored by the Organization of African Students, drew nearly 175 people Friday night in the Marvin Center.
The purpose of the event was to showcase all of Africa, said Abena Akomeah, the president of the OAS. “In the past, we’ve focused on West Africa, but we wanted to highlight all of Africa (in this event).”
The show featured four drummers performing African beats, fashion models showing off traditional clothing, singing, skits and dancing.
The drummers were joined by a dancer who pulled senior Adaorah Ikwueme out of the crowd to dance.
“It was spontaneous,” Ikwueme said. “I wasn’t nervous, but it was kind of unexpected.”
Ugo Nduaguba came to Taste of Africa because he was curious and wanted to support his fellow Africans. “I was invited by a friend, and I just wanted to check it out,” said the freshman from Nigeria.
Jihad Saleh, 32, moved Washington five weeks ago and is a diversity coordinator at Amnesty International. He came to support African students at GW. “I saw the group here and I wanted to come out and support them.”
SA President Lamar Thorpe, a member of the organization since his freshman year, also attended the event.
“As African-Americans, I think there’s a responsibility to know where our roots come from,” he said.
Besides creating awareness for Africa on GW’s campus, the group also fundraises for African charities around the world. “In the past, we’ve given money to Books for Africa, but this year, we’re focusing on AIDS funding,” said Akomeah, a junior.
OAS will raise the money from a fundraising event in November and from its members, who pay $10 annual dues, to contribute to organizations fighting AIDS.