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ASA Brought a Taste of African Culture to Mizzou’s Campus In November of 2009 The African Students Association, (ASA) made history as they hosted the first ever Mid-Missouri Miss Africa Pageant. Pageant coordinator Patricia Vewenda felt that it was time to showcase Africans in a different light to the rest of the community. “This was something we really needed for ourselves but we wanted to display to the rest of the Mizzou campus,” said Vewenda. “I wanted ASA to have a big event. I just really wanted ASA to own something of its own; something that could showcase its culture through many things. And the pageant did that. It showcased African culture through beauty, art, fashion, music, and politics. It did this all while helping to break stereotypes about Africans.”

Left: Miss Nigeria, Stephine Nwaneri was crowned the first ever Mid-Missouri Miss Africa. “I decided to participate in the pageant because I felt like it was time for Africans to show that we really are proud to represent where we come from,” said Nwaneri.

Right: Stephine Nwaneri show cased a cultural dance during the talent portion of the pageant. She also performed an original written poem titled “Struggles in Nigeria.”

The pageant was a success as many people packed Stotler Lounge; many coming from out of town to witness history in the making. ASA hopes to make the Mid-Missouri Miss Africa Pageant an annual event; bigger and better than year prior.

Above: After winning, Miss Africa poses with her parents, Cletus and Georgeline Nwaneri who both hail from Imo State Nigeria. Page 2


As They Hosted the First Ever MidMissouri Miss Africa Pageant. Right: The Pageant started with a group dance, followed by a display of evening attire, a cultural display of talent, cultural attire, and a questions and answer portion involving a platform each girl supported. “The experience was amazing. I became so much closer to Yohana, Mrembo, and the winner Steph,� Said Miss Liberia Kiarah Moore.

Left: Contestants From left to right: Miss Liberia, Sophomore Kiarah More; pageant Winner Miss Nigeria, Sophomore Stephine Nwaneri; First Runner up Miss Tanzania, Freshman Mrembo Palai; and Miss Eritrea, Freshman Yohana Ghrimazion.

Right: In support of the pageant, Les Belles de KU, University of Kansas Based African dance group made a 3 hour drive to MU to perform during the intermission show. Here they are pictured posing with two of the pageant contestants. The University of Kansas went on to have their first ever Miss Africa pageant in February of 2010 and Wichita State is hosting one this April 30th. Page 3


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