African Students Association hosts “Afropollo” talent show

Cathaleen Qiao Chen

Mimicking New York City’s Showtime at the Apollo, Northwestern’s African Students Association held its annual “Afropollo” Friday night. The talent show sponsored NU Sounds the Horn for East Africa, a campus-wide campaign to spread awareness about drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

With 13 contestant acts and performances from two featured dance groups, Fusion and Movement, the talent competition attracted an audience of about 400 in the Tech auditorium. Upon purchasing a ticket, each attendant was automatically entered in a raffle drawing. Prizes included gift cards and certificates from downtown businesses and restaurants such as American Apparel, Noodles & Company and Chipotle.

Unlike most talent shows, Afropollo gives the audience the power to decide whether each act deserves more than two minutes on stage with either cheers or jeers. Later, attendees vote for their favorite performer with applause.

This year’s winner, Communication sophomore Jacqueline “Jovi” Maize, received a prize of $300. The rest of the proceeds will go to NU Sounds the Horn, whose beneficiary charity is UNICEF.

Maize, who sang a medley of acoustic songs, was a first-time performer at Afropollo.

“I think it’s a great show, because it really brings back a bit of black history to campus,” she said. “So many great performers had performed at the Apollo, in Harlem, New York, and it’s inspiring to be part of this show.”

Sharing the stage with Maize, other performers demonstrated a variety of talents. Communication senior Shauntelle Brown and her ensemble paid homage to