2011-2012 yearbook first edition
A Message From The President. Hello ASA Family! First and foremost, I would like to say that it was a pleasure serving as your president this past academic year. From the moment that I arrived at Columbia, ASA has played a very integral part of my experience, and has provided me with a family away from home--without which, I honestly believe my experience here at Columbia would have been vastly different! It makes my heart swell with pride to see how much ASA has grown in my time here at Columbia, from our expansion of Afropolitan to our increased political footprint on campus. I have always believed that we have a duty to be ambassadors of the African experience (which is unique to each of us) here on Columbia's campus. From those of us who were raised out here in the Diaspora, to those who were born and raised in Africa, we all have a responsibility to show people that there is and abundance of beauty and splendor to Africa, and that there is more to it than the images and sound bites of poverty and destitution that prevail in the media. I believe that we did a great job of trying to do so this year, and I am so excited to see where the new board takes us this year. I will always look back on my years serving on the ASA e-board, and specifically my time as president, fondly. I look forward to being a very enthusiastic g-body member this year, and planning Afropolitan. I can't wait to build more memories with the ASA family and to get to know all of our new members during my last year at Columbia! All the Best, Iffy Akwule Columbia College 2013 President 2011-2012
A Message From The Vice President.
To my fellow ASA'ers, It has been a pleasure serving as your Vice President this past academic year. ASA has always been my family away from home and I hope that through our events, you have been able to feel that same love. From our "bumper to bumper" parties to insightful political roundtables, I hope that our e-board has been able to create memories that you will never forget. Enjoy the yearbook and I hope to see you all soon! 1 Love, Michele Acheampong Columbia College 2013 Vice president 2011-2012
Executive Board Ifeoma Akwule, CC 2013 President
Michele Acheampong CC 2013 Vice President
Uju Ofoche, CC 2013 Campus Liaison Richard Nwaobasi, SEAS 2012 Web Master
Out with the old!
Miriam Kwarteng-Siaw, CC 2014 Secretary
In with the new! Jake Bediako, CC 2014 Social Chair
Lauretta Ambe, CC 2014 Historian
Kambi Gathesha GS 2013 Political Chair
Afua Ataa Bampoh, CC 2014 Treasurer
Hamed Adeyemi, CC 2015 Frshman Representative
Aniekeme Umoh, SEAS 2015 Freshman Representative
Freshman Meeting We kicked off the Semester with our first big even, The Freshman Kickback where all first years get a chance to experience the best of ASA with great food, fun activities, and mingling. The event was well attended and hosted by the 2010/2011 Freshman reps, Miriam Kwarteng-Siaw and Lauretta Ambe.
NIGERIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE OCTOBER 8, 2011 A few members joined in the annual parade, held on October 8, 2011, which celebrated Nigeriaâ€™s 51st year of independence from the United Kingdom.. The celebration commenced on East 54th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, and proceeded to Nigeria House on 44th Street and Second Avenue. Attendees were entertained with a procession of floats blasting Nigerian music and proudly parading green and white and were treated to delicious Nigerian and west African delicacies.
COMING TO AFRICA FIRDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 The Semester was kicked off to a great start with our 3rd annual Afropolitan Cultural show. This year boasted not only the highest attendance but also the highest revenue to date. Moderated by the ever vivacious Abdallah Diagne, attendees were treated to great performances from student groups including Onyx, Raw Elementz, Orisha, CU Belly Dance, CU Gospel Choir, and to delicious food catered by Papaye Ghanaian Restaurant. A few highlights of the show included an amazing tap piece performance by our very own Efe Kakpovbia and a piano and vocal performance by Akornefa Akyea as well as a tribute to Malian Afro-Pop singer, Salif Keita, performed my Melaku Assegued and backup dancers choreographed by Efe Kakpovbia. The audience was also treated to a skit titled, Sankofa: You Either Run From It Or Learn From It, written and directed by Dapo Atitebi. Always a hit, this year’s fashion show did not disappoint with fashions designed and created by Mbaba and models coached by Lindsey Hastings-Spaine.
SANKOFA: You Either Run From It Or Learn From It
CU Belly dance
Salif Keita Tribute/ Akornefa Akyea
Political Roundtable: African Studies at Columbia
We continued the semester strong hosting our first of two Political Round Table events of the year. We had special guest speaker and PhD candidate, Abdi Ega , spoke on his view point and experiences with pursuing African studies at Columbia University as well as the availability of courses and resources making such a pursuit possible. The meeting was moderated by political chair, Kambi Gatheshda.
Partnering with fellow student group, Muslim Students Association, the ASA hosted a dawn to dusk fast-athon which culminated in a banquet and showcase in order to raise funds for famine beaten East Africa. The evening’s performances included lo-‐ cal acts from the Harlem area, student performers, and a stunning highlight performance by the soul/hip-hip duo, the ReMINDers.
What welcomes the Holiday season better than FOOD? Members of the ASA treated the Columbia neighborhood to African cuisine in our annual African Thanks giving dinner. Dishes were featured from all across Africa; Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa to name a few.
ASA’ers Hard at work...
ASA’ers Hard at work...
ASA members and friends alike stormed the Columbia Campus in droves, donning traditional African wear. One word described the whole event...SWAG
Moderated by Kambi Gathesha, our second Political round table was a grand success, not only for ASA, but for the Columbia community as a whole. Columbia president Lee Bollinger presented the keynote speech on the state of affirmative action in the educational system and it’s relevance today.
Once again the x-Lounge was filed to the brim with unbridled talent. ASA members and friends came to showcase their dancing, singing, acting, and instrumental skills at the Milo Coffee House. We were pleased to see many new and old faces come out and enjoy themselves during this always popular event.
senior send-off party Ever a bitter-sweet affair, The ASA family joined together one final time to send off our ASA seniors into the world. Though saddening indeed to let go of such a special group of people, the pain was eased by the vast amounts of delicious food and music! Best of luck to you all seniors!
A Message From The Incoming President.
It is with great enthusiasm that I compose this message for the African Students Association's first ever yearbook, an excellent documentation of the organization’s events during the year 2011/2012. As the secretary of the ASA this past year, I was able to witness the difficulties that were sometimes encountered in the planning of our weekly meetings and events. But even more important was the privilege I had to see the fruits of our efforts show in the success of the events throughout the year and the appreciation expressed by ASA members and guests in attendance. It was a year in which the ASA left a strong footprint on campus, from starting the year off with the best Afropolitan Cultural Showcase yet to leaving with a bang with the political roundtable on Affirmative Action. I am glad that all these wonderful, intellectually enriching and fun events have been documented for us, the current ASA body and future ASA members. I also look forward to serving the ASA as the president this year. With the assistance and support of the rest of the E-board and the general ASA body, I hope to carry on this legacy that has been documented here. To continue providing a welcoming and open environment for discussions and to continue to foster the growth of the ASA as a family. Stay blessed! Miriam Kwarteng-Siaw Columbia College 2014 President 2012/2013 Secretary 2011/2012
A Message From The Incoming Vice President. Welcome to a vibrant community forever teeming with ideas and itching to move to the music that is the African Students’ Association! Going into my last year at Columbia, the ASA has been a big part of my growth process while here. It has given me a family to rely on for support and an opportunity to engage in rich intellectual dialogue about the continent and it’s offspring that has truly enriched my worldview as a human, as an intellectual, and as and African. ASA is a resource for learning and sharing what you know about Africa. It is also a pristine source of Monday night entertainment; a great way to ease up the pressure of the newly started week! Whether you suspect that you have familial ties to the continent, have seen the Lion King, or are just plain curious about what has been an enigma in world socio-political and economic history for the last 50 years or so, the ASA is open to one and all. Join us this year as we grow the organization and give it a bigger voice on the Columbia campus, from our annual cultural showcase, Afropolitan, to our weekly Monday night meetings and our legendary parties, as well as our efforts to becoming more of a professional networking resource for any and all interested in investing time and skills in, dare I say it, the world’s most beau- tiful continent. I look forward to meeting you all, students, alumni, friends of Africa, and I end this message not with a ‘goodbye’, but with a ‘welcome’ in my native language, in the hopes that we shall meet sooner rather than later: Akwaaba Cheers, Adwoa N. Banful Columbia College 2013 Vice President 2012-2013
A Message From The Editor/Historian. In the spirit of this year’s Olympic games, I will use a sports analogy to describe the creation of this yearbook. It truly was a difficult race. Yet, it was one of the most worthwhile marathons I’ve had to conquer. With no precedent to follow as a guide on how to make a yearbook, I undertook this project essentially blindly. Many times I was tempted to just give up-- restarting from scratch after your computer dies, taking your life’s work with it to the grave is no easy feat! However, with the wealth of growth and achievements I witnessed with this year’s committed e-board and passionate g-body, there was no way I could watch the year go by without documenting its rich memories in this yearbook; a book to which we can all look back one day with fond memories, and from which future ASA’ers can look for guidance and inspiration. It truly has been a great year and I will fondly remember the good times we had together as an ASA family. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your historian this year. I sincerely enjoyed the time spent serving my position. To all who assisted with the creation of this yearbook, taking pictures, answering my questions about the details of past events I may have forgotten, or even giving me that nudge during the process. It was truly an exhilarating and arduous process, but I believe both ASA and I will be made better by it. With this, I hand off the torch to the next line of ASA historians, hoping that this light continues to burn, leaving behind lasting records of the ASA’s memories, achieve- ments, continued growth and evolution. I am truly proud of what ASA has grown to be and I treasure what it has come to represent on Columbia’s campus. I hope ASA will be as dear to the hearts of future ASA’ers as it has and always will be in mine. With ASA love, Lauretta A. Ambe Columbia College 2014 Historian 2011-2012