African Students Association is an organization that focuses on educating the NJIT community about African culture by hosting informative and cultural activities and events throughout the semester. The club has general body meetings biweekly on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Central King Building. These usually focus more on the educational aspects of the club; the events it hosts are much more social, while still incorporating informative components!
The vice president of the club, Situ Amarvi, a third-year civil engineering major, explained that the association “pushes students to do things out of their comfort zone. It is always a learning experience with us and it’s great to expand one’s knowledge on different cultures.”
During events, the club allows attendees to meet African students as well as observe showcases of African culture. They also are times when students can destress and have fun with the activities presented!
One such occasion was a talent show hosted and sponsored by African Students Association, Black Student Union and Society of Musical Arts on Oct. 22. Various acts and audience members gathered in the Campus Center Atrium to showcase and support the talent found in the NJIT community.
Pedro Bandeira is a third-year civil engineering major and performed his latest song, “Americano,” at the show. It included singing, rapping and dancing with the Latino trap, Caribbean steelpan and Brazilian funk beats. This was his first official performance of the song and it incorporated a blend of the melody with his favorite Brazilian song.
“This act meant a lot to me because the performance allowed me to show a bit of Brazilian music and dance — a bit of my culture — in an ‘American fashion’: rapping in English while dancing the Brazilian way,” Bandeira, also artistically known as Pantta, said. “The most memorable part of the show for me was when the crowd went from silence to screaming ‘Pantta,’ especially when I started dancing.”
First year construction engineering technology major Rebekah Kargbo performed three dances on a dance team. “The act I performed was heavily influenced by West African culture and afrobeat,” she explained.
The show took place after many students finished taking midterm exams, as Kargbo did. She mentioned, “Being a part of the performance was a great way to relieve stress from exams and also show support for the NJIT community.”
Tobiloba Fashae is a first-year industrial design major. He did an act of freestyle yoyo while music played in the background. Being part of this event helped him regain the exhilarating feeling of performing his favorite hobby in front of a crowd.
Fashae said, “I wanted to do some extracurriculars on campus, as I haven’t been super involved in any clubs yet. I think this event stood out as well because it was being held by AFSA and BSU, which are some of the organizations I want to be more involved with in the future, as it is nice to meet people with the same cultural background as me.”
President of the club Linda Msinjili, a fourth-year biology major, expressed that “it was truly rewarding knowing that my team and I were able to create such an experience for all those people.”
She also added, “[The Eboard] knew that amongst the people surrounding us, there is a vast majority of artists wishing to showcase their talent at minimal cost, and this is why we gave them a platform.”
Some favorites of the show include the yoyo act, the NJIT African Dance Team, the intermission dance-off and the musical performance of Montclair State University’s Native African Student Organization.
The show was extremely well-received by its attendees. “Everyone was so respectful and supportive with all the presentations. This was the best event I have ever participated at NJIT, hands down. My African friends know how to put on a show without space for boredom!” Bandeira said.
More events will be coming daily during the week of Nov. 15, which is African Students Association Week. Msinjili emphasized that students should stay tuned for their exciting plans! Feel free to reach out to African Students Association for more information through their email, email@example.com!