ASO gives students a taste of Africa


Clara Ukwitegyetse

Chioma Onyekere, biology senior serving ASO member and computer science masters student, Tanaka Madyara.

Chloe Phillips, Co-Editor

The African Student Organization (ASO) hosted “Taste of Africa” on Oct. 19, 2018 at the Sikes Lake Center to fundraise and give members and non-members an opportunity to learn about different African cultures by trying their food. Taste of Africa is one of the main events ASO has during the school year.

“We have 54 different countries in Africa so, this is an opportunity for even us as Africans, because we do not know each other that well. So, we ask people from different countries, members of the organization, to cook their country’s delicacy, bring it out and share it out with the rest of the school and with the rest of the members.” Sunya Rogers, vice president of ASO and business management senior, said. “It’s a fundraiser for the organization, it helps bring an income to the organization so it’s more about food, culture and learning everybody’s culture, their food and how to eat it.”

Rogers also stated she was satisfied with the turnout and that people were willing to trying meals such as egusi, pondu and coconut fried rice, which melted her heart. Rogers, who is Sierra Leonean, also explained how there are several foods some African countries share.

“We share a couple foods within countries… We had egusi, it’s a food both Sierra Leoneans, Nigerians all have [in common with] Ghanaians. Those are [balls of fufu], we call those swallow. Then for our rice, we had coconut fried rice and two different types of chicken: lemon pepper chicken and vegetable chicken as well and moi moi (bean pudding), Ghanaian salad… and [for] dessert is puff puff (fried dough) that’s the African dessert,” Rogers said.

Suwadu Conteh, pre-med senior and event coordinator said this event is usually held in the Clark Student Center in Comanche and that ASO was expecting more attendance, but are grateful for the turn out. 

“We planned for 50 and almost got that size but we’re grateful for what we had, comparing [this] to last year. We could not get Comanche because it was just booked for like the next six or seven weeks so that’s why we did it here. Last year we actually did it in Comanche so, the turn out was amazing. We just did not just get all Africans you know, [there were] people of different races so that’s what taste of Africa is about that’s why we make it so people can get a taste of Africa because a lot of people have the wrong opinion about Africa some people think it’s just a country, we have over 50 countries on the continent of Africa and over  2,000 languages so yeah we’re hoping next year… we get much more turnout,” Conteh said.

Dolly Mombeyarara, clinical laboratory science junior, who heard about the event from a friend and wanted to support said this was her first time attending an ASO event.

“I’m from Zimbabwe [in] southern Africa, it’s my first time attending an ASO event and so far I like it. The food was my favorite that’s why I came because I love eating, well I am in the ASO GroupMe and so one of my friends is like in the committee so she told me about it and I bought a ticket so I came to support my continent,” Mombeyara said.

Rogers said ASO is opened to all types of students and welcomes anyone who is willing to join.

“We actually reach out, I know it’s an African student organization, but we’re open to people who are not African as long as you’re willing to be a part of our culture basically our organization, this organization is a way of people knowing, learning African culture and [there are] a lot of perceptions out there that are wrong so this is the best platform for everybody to come in and actually know us as Africans and know our values and what we stand for as Africans,” Rogers said.