The meaning of the word Ubuntu: “I am because you are” was demonstrated through the showcase of African culture on Saturday, April 9. The African Students Union (ASU) has held Ubuntu annually; however, with COVID putting a pause on their live performance, they were excited to showcase many aspects of African culture back in-person for all members of campus this year. Attendees included people who come from a variety of cultural and economic backgrounds, providing a space for all students to learn about and appreciate cultures other than their own. Through comedy, dance, skit and song, African culture took the stage and was appreciated by all in attendance. ASU describes the event as, “a night of fashion, poetry, music and dance that showcases the diversity and pride of the continent of Africa.”
Munesu Kuzanga ’24 described the event as “a show that focused on how the pandemic has affected one’s identity, expression of love and meaning of belonging through the African student perspective at Wooster, a predominantly white institution.” She was highly involved in the months of planning that goes into Ubuntu, and starred in the event.
The theme of this year’s show was entitled “A love like no other,” and followed a skit that explored the concept of navigating the homesickness and heartbreak that many international students on campus face. Kuzanga performed as a lead in this skit and reflected back on how she has been impacted by the African Student Union and this event in general. She reflects, “through relating their skits to a series of afro-mix and traditional dances and praise and worship songs, the students delivered a heartwarming and meaningful show filled with joy and chills. The African community helped me a lot when I first came to college in 2020. So, I wanted to write a script that basically thanked the friends that I have now for helping me become the person that I am today.”
Another performer and member of ASU also reflected on the event. Malachi Mungoshi ’24 says, “I have always been in love with performance…both on the stage and off. And having the opportunity to perform for people in the way Ubuntu granted me was nothing less than magic. It’s a special feeling, to be an international student and find ‘your people’. But it’s even more special when you are able to let them into your world and the world that makes you different.”
It is crucial to reflect on the love of those around you and the importance of others in your own life, emphasized once again through this incredible event. Ubuntu: a term that represents the fact that it is impossible to go through life alone. The people around us are constantly shaping us, and we are constantly shaping them as well. The campus community thanks ASU for reiterating this idea seamlessly intertwined with African culture, reminding students that none of us are ever alone.
The African Students Union welcomes all to their weekly meetings held in the Babcock formal lounge every Friday from 8-9 p.m. The meetings discuss issues concerning Africa in general, as well as touching on important topics and issues regarding Wooster students from Africa. Also, check them out on instagram @asuwooster.