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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Celebrating African Diaspora Month in ASA’s Royal Ball, Wazobia

Celebrating African Diaspora Month in ASA’s Royal Ball, Wazobia

The African Student Association hosted its annual event, Wazobia, to celebrate African Diaspora month. Students had the opportunity to dance, eat, and test their knowledge of Africa through an evening of fun and entertainment.  

Wazobia, which means ‘’to come,” is made up of three words that have origins in Nigerian linguistics. The word Wa is used in Yoruba, Zo in Hausa, and Bia in Igbo. As part of Wazobia, ASA wishes to promote diversity while educating students about African culture.

Justine Amedson ‘24, the president of the African Student Association, said having an African cultural event on campus is essential to educate the Loyola community about Africa. 

“Since the school is predominantly white, this event actually gives the opportunity to come to experience the African culture, the music, the food, the dancers, and how fun the African culture is. The main component of this event is to be an educational piece for the semester and is also a fun way to introduce that educational component,” Amedson said. 

Amedson, originally from Ghana, explained how the lack of knowledge that some students have of Africa motivated her to join ASA. 

“From my interaction with friends and people, I noticed that they had very little knowledge of Africa. Some people thought it was a country, which got me involved in ASA in the first place, as I wanted to be involved in something that introduces my culture to the Loyola community,” Amedson said.

On the night of the event, students gathered in front of McGuire Hall wearing multicolored Kente semi-formal outfits to match this year’s Wazobia theme: an African Royal Ball. Students were welcome to bring dates to participate in ASA’s dressing competition, “Mr. and Mrs. Wazobia.” 

At the event, Zainab Oladejo ’24 enjoyed seeing people in African clothing.

I am having a wonderful time at Wazobia; it’s great seeing people wearing beautiful African attire. It’s a great celebration of African culture at Loyola,” Oladejo said.

Throughout the event, various activities were provided for students to learn more about African culture, including Kahoot quizzes to test their knowledge of Africa, a photo booth to capture memories, along with traditional dance performances. 

The event drew approximately 89 students, some from other universities, including neighboring Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

Tylia Jenkins, a student at Notre Dame of Maryland University, said she wanted to attend Wazobia to learn more about the culture. 

“I wanted to attend the event to learn about the culture and meet more students on campus. The event was very fun. I loved the music, and the photo booth was my favorite part,” Jenkins said. 

Wazobia was open to anyone, and attending gave students a different perspective on Africa than what is portrayed in the media.

“The media usually shows the villages in Africa, where life is very bleak, while there is a different aspect of Africa that we don’t see, such as the richness in culture and infrastructures,” Amedson said. “It was great to have everyone come to learn about the culture and experience a different side of Africa.”

She said that the main impact ASA wants to achieve through Wazobia is for students to have long-term memories of its meaning. 

“We don’t want it to be a passing memory. We work hard for students to remember this event as not just a one-time event, as we want them to remember the impact of Wazobia and what they learned.” 

Featured Image Courtesy of Kiliane Gateau.

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Celebrating African Diaspora Month in ASA’s Royal Ball, Wazobia