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Entertainment, food, fashion at AfriCari 2016: ACSA to host cultural showcase

From left to right: Rohan Willis, Chiderah Onyeukwu, Heri Mumma (ACSE president), La portia Perkins,, Ashley Mbella, Temah Yarsiah, Megan Tamakloe, Isiah Hamilton and Tehya James.
Photo contributed by Sherman Jones

From left to right: Rohan Willis, Chiderah Onyeukwu, Heri Mumma (ACSE president), La’ portia Perkins,, Ashley Mbella, Temah Yarsiah, Megan Tamakloe, Isiah Hamilton and Tehya James.

AfriCari 2016 is a free admission showcase of African and Caribbean culture on Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Tillman Auditorium. The African and Caribbean Student Association (ACSA) will host the event.

“We had a vision last year…to have a large African and Caribbean night cultural showcase where we can display different aspects of those cultures,” ACSA President Heri Mumma said. 

The event will feature food, dancing, music, comedy, acting and spoken word performances. Food will be served for a fee at 6 p.m. All proceeds from food sales will go to the Children of the Caribbean Foundation. The show will then start at 7 p.m

According to, the charity partners with other organizations to address problems faced by Caribbean children in education, healthcare and social development.

Host Femi Lawson, a Nigerian YouTube personality and entertainer, will represent African culture. ThatDudeMcfly, a Jamaican YouTube personality and artist, will represent Caribbean culture.

“ACSA is an organization for people of African and Caribbean heritage or anyone interested in learning about those cultures,” said Mumma. 

Mumma, a senior environmental engineering major, said that the purpose of the club is to let African and Caribbean students “feel like they have a home and allow other people to experience what we experience.”

Mumma was born in Atlanta, but her parents are from Kenya, Africa. 

“I go to Kenya almost every year just to stay in touch with my family and my mom who moved back there about five years ago,” Mumma said. 

“Kenya actually feels more like home than the U.S.”

ACSA meets every other Thursday in Brackett 120 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The meetings involve socializing, planning events and discussing special topics. A recent topic was Republican presidential hopeful and businessman Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“A lot of our parents are immigrants, and some of our members are immigrants or may be on student visas,” Mumma said. 

The club also makes sure to be laid back and have fun by having movie and game nights.

Megan Tamakloe, a freshman in veterinarian science, is a member of the ACSA executive board. “I joined ACSA so I could meet more people of my background,” said Tamakloe, who is of Ghanaian descent. “I want to share the truth and untruths about Pan African and Caribbean cultures.”

Taryn Poole, a senior biological sciences major, is the treasurer of ACSA. Her role is to assist President Mumma in handling the finances and any financial transactions between ACSA and other organizations.

“I think ACSA is important because when you’re at a place like Clemson where you don’t find a lot of people who like you or share the same views…you feel out of place,” Poole said. “ACSA is a camaraderie.”

Dr. Abel Bartley, the director of Clemson’s Pan African Studies Program and ACSA advisor, said that the club is a good way to understand other cultures in a safe environment. 

“Every year they put on several programs where they pick a topic like hair, skin color or cultural expectations and they discuss,” he said. 

Bartley also noted the importance of the club to African-Americans. “You’ll be amazed at how little African-American students know about African students and how little Caribbean students know about African-American students,” he said. “Sharing experiences helps them understand each other better.”

Fashion is one experience that ACSA hopes will bring people together at AfriCari. A fashion show will feature items from Nigerian native Babatunde Sanusi, CEO of BabaAfrik Outfits. Sanusi, who attends Claflin University on a full academic scholarship, founded BabaAfrik Outfits in 2013.

“I founded the clothing line because I was inspired by the people around me,” Sanusi said. “Family, parents and people interested in buying African prints and people who wanted to be connected to their roots.”

Sanusi began making clothes in his freshman year at Claflin. 

“Every Friday … I used to wear at least one African attire outfit,” Sanusi said. When students noticed, he started selling his own clothes.

“The main reason I do this is that most people who want to wear African prints look at them like a costume,” Sanusi said. “I wanted to incorporate African prints in every kind of way.”

Mumma is excited about the fashion show and AfriCari.

“There are a lot more Africans and Caribbean on this campus than we realize,” said Mumma. “We want to bring the Clemson community together to see both cultures at once.”

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