African Student Association holds first ever African Ball

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Thea Showalter/the Daily Northwestern

Northwestern students dance at Northwestern’s first African ball. The African Student Association said it hopes the event becomes a “staple” among NU’s other annual formals.

Thea Showalter, Reporter

The African Students Association hosted Northwestern’s first ever African Ball Friday night in Norris, an event aiming to “get people together, dressed up and feeling good about themselves,” said former ASA vice president Seyi Adedoyin.

“A lot of schools in the U.S. and U.K. have African balls and formals, and [the ball] was inspired by that,” Adedoyin said, adding that the ball was intended to be a space where people could express themselves and their cultures freely.

ASA began planning the event about a year ago, according to former president Linda Nwumeh. Nwumeh said the outgoing executive board, which included herself and Adedoyin, had assisted with planning the ball.

Nwumeh, who is a junior majoring in linguistics, said celebrations can take many different forms, and while many different cultures are represented at Northwestern, the campus hasn’t seen the same diverse representation for formals.

“We wanted to do a formal with African themes,” Nwumeh said. “It seems like other schools do a similar thing, and it’s always a great turnout, and a great opportunity for people to learn.”

Nwumeh said the ASA is hoping to apply for student activities funding for future years to make the African Ball a staple among NU formals.

Nwumeh added that the turnout of the event and the positivity that people brought leaves her hopeful for further inclusive opportunities at Northwestern.

“There’s a lot to say about what this could do,” Nwumeh said. “The fact that a lot of people that weren’t African came says a lot about the willingness of NU’s community to learn and understand different people and different backgrounds, and that bodes well for our school.”

Arudi Masinjila, a Medill sophomore, said for her it was good to see the African Ball finally come to life, especially since she knew how much effort people put into making it happen.

Masinjila said she liked the ball because it was a different kind of event that attracted people and brought them together, and since it was a social event with music and dancing it did that in a way other events might not be able to.

“It was just a fun night, surrounded by people I know and like, with good food and good music,” Masinjila said. “I went knowing I’d enjoy my time there, just because of the mix of people who would be there and the music.”

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