Duquesne hosts annual Africa Week to celebrate unique culture

Katia Faroun | Photo Editor
Vendors from as far as Ecuador came to share their goods with students on campus during the fourth annual Africa Week. Items, such as handmade jewelry, instruments and accessories, were on display for passersby to peruse and purchase.

Kellen Stepler | Staff Writer

09/20/2018

The Duquesne community was invited to the 4th annual Africa Week, sponsored by the Center of African Studies. Students, faculty and staff were invited to a three-day event to learn more about African cultures and perspectives.

“Africa Week originated with the Center of African Studies to make the campus community more aware of the continent and the center’s programs,” said Tah Ngijoi Yogo, a graduate assistant at Duquesne’s Center of African Studies.

“It is a week of different events that showcase the diversity and scope of African culture,” Yogo said. “This is done by inviting key speakers, musicians, vendors and students who demonstrate the range of the continent.”

Featured speaker Dr. Télesphore Benoît Nguelefack, an associate professor from Cameroon, spoke on the topic of “Chronic Pain: Global Responses with Specific Responses to Africa.” Organized in the Africa Room, the discussion took place on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Nguelefack, an associate professor at the University of Dschang in Cameroon, explained the ins and outs of acute and chronic pain.

“Chronic pain is one of the most underestimated health care problems in the world,” Nguelefack said.

Freshman Shayaan Myers attended the lecture because her family is from Cameroon.

“As a pharmacy major, I was interested because it was culturally appropriate for me, and it related to stuff I will learn in the future,” Myers said.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19th, A-Walk featured a plethora of African-themed goods, vendors, and live music. Later in the day, members of the Duquesne community were encouraged to head to the Africa Room for a presentation of “Maymester Memories,” in which students and faculty shared their Maymester experiences in Tanzania.

The final planned event, which is to take place on Thursday, Sept. 20th, is entitled “Showcase Afrique.” It capped off a week of African culture and traditions. In the Africa Room, guests were engrossed in a surplus of African cultural performances, food and fashion.

“My favorite event is the African Showcase because of the different artist and presenters who show their particular talents,” Yogo said. “Also, the African food is always a plus.”

Although the incoming freshman class is one of Duquesne’s most diverse, Africa Week is still an integral part of life on campus.

“It is important because it allows a community that may not know much about Africa to have a taste of the continent within their local space,” Yogo said.

Additionally, Duquesne’s rich history has numerous ties to the continent of Africa. As the U.S.’s only Spiritan university, Duquesne strives to resemble the Spiritan identity. Spiritans serve others by working to promote justice and interreligious understanding in all places, including Africa. Duquesne’s emphasis on Africa began in 2008 and is even included as a goal in the University’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.

“Students interested in expanding their horizons and delving more into the African culture are invited to register in academic programs regarding the Center of African Studies and by joining the Union of African Students,” Yogo said.

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