The African Student Association’s annual spring showcase, Jambo Night: La Forêt Sacrée, was a dress to impress event that gave UMBC students a glance into the vast world of African life and culture.
Jambo Night was the ASA week finale. They held events throughout the week, like Sip and Paint, to educate others on the unique components of African culture while having fun at the same time. One of the first events was the fashion show, where the vibrant designs of Obioma Fashions were given the chance to shine.
Obioma Fashions is Maryland based clothing brand that focuses on the presence of African prints and colors in Western fashion trends. You can follow @myobioma on Instagram to see some of the pieces!
The Bumaye Dance Team also put on a great show. They travel to local schools and events to showcase their traditional cultural dances. Tryouts are held every semester for anyone who is interested.
Along with the dancing, musical performances by Ras Nebyu and Foggie Raw had the crowd partying in their seats. DJ Bugatti made sure the music was lit all night long. A mixture of Afrobeats and American Hip Hop and R&B played through the speakers all night long.
Hope Butler, a senior psychology major and social welfare minor, shared, “I enjoyed Jambo night because it really exposed me to African culture through the skits, dance performances, and food.”
“Although this was just a small glimpse into what African culture is, and each country has something that makes it unique,” she continued, “I think it’s important for the UMBC community to have an event like this so we are able to see diversity showcased in a variety of ways.”
Not only does ASA hold fantastic events around campus such as Jambo Night, they also give back to the local community. They discussed their recent visits to local Baltimore high schools to hold workshops for college application help, tutoring and educating the students on African culture and history that they might not get the chance to learn otherwise.
Along with annual events like this one, ASA also has general body meetings that are a casual safe space for people to discuss certain topics openly with their peers. The doors are always open for newcomers and for more information you can check out their Instagram @umbcasa.
Overall the event was a success, as to be expected. It was a great way to bring introduce people to a beautiful culture they may not have known so much about. It is always great to offer opportunities such as these to expand people’s horizons. It’s also another example of how UMBC is such a diverse campus.