African culture takes the stage in ASA pageant

Jay Mafela

This past week was full of love and heart with a plethora of Valentine’s Day events. However, one group of students decided to show others the heart of African culture.

On Saturday, the African Students Association held the 4th annual ASA Pageant, a live display of African culture and heritage to see who would be crowned Mr. and Miss ASA.

“The pageant is usually the biggest event for any African Student Association nationwide,” said freshman Dee Parker, ASA Volunteer Coordinator. “Our executive board put in a lot of time into it and tried to follow the style of others while doing our own thing.”

The event began with each contestant introducing themselves, along with their country. Each pageant contestant represented a different African country. Many contestants chose their country because of their heritage or a person they look up to, while others picked theirs because of interest in the country.

But the culture wasn’t just shown by the contestants. The pageant was paired with authentic West African cuisine, including rice and chicken. During an intermission for dinner, popular African music played.

After introductions, the contestants were asked trivia questions about African countries. Afterwards was the talent portion. Contestants were given time to display several different talents, from freestyle rap to piano to dance routines.

Finally, there was the formal portion. The contestants would then re-enter the stage in formal attire and answer questions about their country.

Afterwards, the judges tallied up all the points each contestant earned. It was later announced that sophomore Akeem McKenzie of Morocco and freshman Kaliah Ragland of Sierra Leone were the male and female winners, respectively. Freshman Tajuden Spencer of Nigeria and freshman Janaya Allen of Kenya were the runner-up winners.

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