The African Student Association put on its second Taste of Africa event, where students and staff could come to buy homemade dishes from all over Africa for lunch. Rice, different meats, fish and desserts made up the spread in Skutt Ballroom.
With ten dishes to pick and choose from representing several countries, lots of flavors were on the menu.
“We really wanted something that could share our culture; within African culture, food is such a main part, so we were thinking, what is something that could give recognition to our organization and educate the public,” said President of AFSA Anna Owusu-Teng, and College of Arts and Sciences senior. “What better to do that than have a food fundraiser?”
Owusu-Teng went into further detail about the fundraising aspect of this event, saying that the money raised from this would go towards AFSA meetings and bigger spring semester events. “Afrogala” is the primary event she hopes they can host in the spring.
Meron Demeke, the Vice President of AFSA and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, was excited about the turnout for Taste of Africa. “Honestly, the turnout has been all kinds of students,” Demeke said.
“That can be a fear that you have when hold- ing something like this for all of campus; it’s like, ‘is everybody going to be accepting of what we’re doing?’ Is everyone going to like it, but as soon as we opened the doors, we saw a line of people of all different backgrounds, faculty members; it was a really good sight to see,” she said.
Soya, a meat dish that has variations in many African countries, and Basta, a South Sudanese dessert, were among Owusu-Teng’s and Demeke’s favorites last Thursday.
Thalia Lawson-Betum, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “I loved that I was able to see and eat food on campus that’s been in my household for all my life. It was amazing to see it embraced and enjoyed. My favorite dish would have to be the yellow rice with spicy beef and ablo.”
AFSA is just becoming a more active club on campus again after COVID-19, a sentiment that Demeke shared when she said that, “we are trying to become more established and make a name for ourselves for the other African kids on this campus, so they know they have a community of their own.”
Both Demeke and Owusu-Tang expressed how important this space was for them, especially attending a predominantly white insti- tution. Both of them emphasized the spread of culture and community as the main goal for Taste of Africa, and they plan to hold the event again.