(Photo courtesy of Julie Sage) “People enjoying Afrowrld.”
On Friday, Sept. 15, music blasted and lights flashed across the Campus Recreational Center (CRC) Turf for hours. Students walking by could see many people lined up in front of the Rec Center and others scattered across the turf, dancing or playing lawn games. This event was Afrowrld by ASAO, the Association of Students of African Origin. Afrowrld is a back-to-school cookout that the ASAO runs every year to welcome back all the students to campus, and it is a place for everyone to join together, vibe, have fun and have good African food.
The night started off with a beautiful sunset and people playing lawn games. Games were set up like cornhole, passing back and forth a football, frisbee golf and spikeball. The DJs (@ekwamzz and @djd3mi on Instagram) also started setting up their station in preparation for the party later. There
weren’t many people at the start, but it definitely picked up when Nana-Osei Brempong, the vice president of the ASAO, mentioned that food would be coming out soon. Brempong encouraged people to text their friends to show up at the event and said, “Even text that one girl in your Calc class, you may not have really talked before, but you can now!”
Once the food was ready, the number of people at least quadrupled, and there was a long line at the food table. Some of the free food offered was fried rice, fried plantains, chicken and jollof. Jollof is a West African rice dish that originated in Senegal, and it has been adapted by other West African countries as their own jollof. For a while, plates flowed, and people sat together and talked in large groups. That was until it was time for the DJs to blast the music even louder to start the dance competition.
Everyone flooded onto the turf in front of the DJ station to dance and have a good time. Very quickly, the crowd parted and formed two lines on either side of the station, almost all the way across the turf. It was then that some very talented dancers walked into the middle and showed just what they could do. Everyone was hyping each other up and cheering for their incredibly impressive moves. After that was the dance competition, where the winner would be awarded $50. Six people stepped forward, and they each had time to shine in the color-changing spotlights. From there, two contestants were chosen for a final showdown by the massive crowd screaming for the people they rooted for. The final showdown was astounding, and the winner was finally chosen by the ASAO e-board, which was probably a good thing because it was clear that the crowd was almost perfectly split between the two students. To end the night, everyone grouped into a massive swarm, enjoyed the good music and had fun together.
Many students expressed how much they loved this event by the ASAO and that it really was a great event. Many expressed that they wanted to come to this event next year as it was a fun experience for everyone. The club is open to anyone who wants to learn about African culture, art and music. As the ASAO President Jackie Asare said, “We just want to be a home away from home for all students because I know we have students come from all over the place. So, it’s a nice place to come and see your people.”