Students to host Afro-Diasporic Culture Show and Pageant

The African Students Organization (ASO), Caribbean Students Organization (CSO) and Cape Verde Students Association (CVSA) will host Mr. and Ms. Disapora: An Afro-Diasporic Culture Show and Pageant on April 4 in Cohen Auditorium.

There are several components to the show, including trivia, a fashion show and student performances, according to ASO President Nanayaa Owusuaa-Prempeh.

“We’re hoping through the performances [attendees] can get a glimpse of our cultures, and [with] the trivia we’re trying to stick in some educational facts about the places that will allow people to open their minds to each place distinctively,” Owusuaa-Prempeh said. “And the fashion show is basically an exhibit of how the culture is shown through clothes or how people express their cultures through clothes.”

The acts will include dance and spoken word, as well as a performance from Blackout, according to CSO President Aby Tresalus.

According to Rebekah Abioye, ASO’s event programmer and a member of the group’s e-board, the main goal of the Mr. and Ms. Diaspora event is to express African and Caribbean culture by infusing the culture show with a pageant.

“We have contestants for the pageant representing various countries in the Caribbean and in Africa. What we wanted was for people on this campus to demonstrate what they love about their own cultures to their peers on campus,” Abioye, a sophomore, told the Daily in an email.

The pageant will be judged by Tufts alumni, two of whom are former CSO presidents and one of whom is former president of the CVSA, according to Tresalus.

“I think, overall, what will determine who wins will be how they display the country they’re representing,” Tresalus said. “You can tell when someone is passionate, you can tell when that’s who they are and hopefully … they’ll be able to display that to the crowd and to the judges.”

Owusuaa-Prempeh explained that the elimination rounds and judges will make the pageant competition intense, but at the same time the event will remain light-hearted and fun.

According to Tresalus, the fashion show will exhibit how fashion is expressed by the individual, but also how it has transformed through the years.

“We’re trying to get traditional African wear and traditional Caribbean wear, but the designers that we use … do put a modern twist to it, so you can see how that develops over time,” she said.

The event will kick off at 6:00 p.m. in Remis Sculpture Court, where African and Caribbean food will be served, Owusuaa-Prempeh said.

Tresalus said several restaurants in Somerville, Boston and Dorchester will be providing the Caribbean food, while most of the African cuisine will be cooked by a woman who lives in the area.

The show will wrap up with an after-party from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at Hotung cafe, Abioye said. Tickets are free, and students can get them online at tuftstickets.com or at the Information Booth at the  Mayer Campus Center, she said.

According to Abioye, Mr. and Ms. Diaspora is an excellent way for students to discover the cultures of their classmates.

“Tufts claims to be such a diverse place, however it does sometimes feel as if students on this campus do not open themselves up to learning about some of the people or the cultures that bring diversity to campus,” Abioye told the Daily in an email. “This event is a chance for people to do this, and maybe try things that they never thought they would — isn’t that what college is about?”


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