CMU hosts first annual African fashion show – The Morning Sun
As a part of Black History Month, the Central Michigan University African Student Association welcomed students and local residents to Finch Fieldhouse Friday night for the first annual Sankofa Pan-African Fashion Show.
Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen the bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. The event was designed to teach and celebrate African culture, according to Candy Boakyewaa, the group’s public relations representative.
Boakyewaa, who is originally from Ghana, also helped set up and run the event. Boakyewaa said the show took months of preparation and they were happy to finally show off their work.
“I am extremely excited. I just hope it goes well,” she said. “We’re celebrating Black History Month.
“We are celebrating people with African ancestors. We are basically celebrating everything that the African continent represents.”
The show started with a musical performance and selective African poem readings.
Then, the lights dimmed and the main event began.
Boakyewaa said each part of the show played an essential role in informing people of African culture.
“It is extremely important. We get a lot of questions from asking us different questions about the culture. Like, ‘what kind of clothes do you wear over there.’ And stuff like that,” she said. “This is important to showcase the things people have been asking. It’s better than telling them.”
Boakyewaa had her own clothing line in the fashion show, which was available for sale in the back of the fieldhouse.
“I am excited. Those pieces we put back together in Ghana,” she said. “The regular fashion that we have in Ghana. We use a lot of beads. It’s part of our culture and part of our religion.
Rashaud Walker, 22, a senior from Detroit, said the organization he is a part of on campus has strong ties to African culture and wanted to see the culture for himself.
“It’s really cool. I’ve been to the vendors to see the outfits that they have and they had a lot of the things I’ve never seen,” Walker said. “A lot of the thought that goes into the art is really beautiful.”
Jonah Branding, 19, a sophomore, said he wanted to learn more about African culture and was impressed with all of the performances.
“I saw posters all over campus and I’ve been meaning to learn more about African culture. It’s a very unrepresented continent. I think it’s amazing,” he said. “They have all these interesting outfits and dances and I like it a lot. I didn’t really know what to expect but it’s really cool.”
Approximately 300 students and residents were in attendance,
Boakyewaa said the group plans on having the event every year and hopes to make it bigger annually.
“We plan on coming back all the time, every year,” she said. “During the same period hopefully.”