Photos: ‘A Night in Africa’ celebrates African culture through fashion

Story by Katrina Johnson / Contributing Writer

Photos by Maro Isong / Contributing Writer

Saturday night MTSU’s African Student Organization held an event they called “A Night in Africa,” and as guests approached the Tom Jackson Building they were greeted by the first African looks of the night as the organization’s members sported white-based dashikis with bold pops of color.

As guests ventured further inside, colors of red and green illuminated the room, while African tunes paired perfectly with the aroma of sweet treats and savory dishes. Already the mood was set for all to enjoy a night celebrating African culture.

The show kicked off with an African tale — accompanied by an solo interpretive dance — told by sociology and anthropology professor Foster Amey. As soon as the story concluded is when the fashion show began. Models strutted the runway in traditional and ethnic ensembles from Africa, Sudan, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Bahamas and Ethiopia. These pieces consisted of bold patterns, bright colors and intricate detailing in the sleeves, hem and neckline.

“The pieces that you see that aren’t worn by an African, were given to them by Africans,” said Yvana McDonald, co-host of “A Night In Africa,” as she explained the show’s collections.

Although this was recognized as a fashion show, the night provided much more than fashion alone. In fact, between runway styles fashion would take a backseat to dance as elaborate performances were given by Kenyan, West African and Nigerian dance groups. Additionally, vocal performances and spoken word were present, too.

Joseph Sasraku, co-host of “A Night In Africa,” said African Student Organization attempts to bring together all of MTSU’s campus, and this event definitely proved that: The crowd was so large there weren’t even enough seats to accommodate everyone in attendance.

Amey explained why this event was so important for African students to participate in.

“I think that it is a very good idea that the African students want to showcase their origins,” Amey said. “So what you see is not necessarily what we see in the news, that there is another part of Africa that needs to be exposed.”

African Student Organization’s production of “A Night in Africa” was entirely one of those “you had to be there” moments, whether it was for the fashion or just for the atmosphere. For more information on African Student Organization, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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