From Feb. 17-23, the Wellesley African Students’ Association (WASA) invites the Wellesley College community to take part in Africa Week. Originally called the African Film Festival when it was established in 2004, the event as a chance for the community to focus on different African perspectives through film.
Now, Africa Week is put on during Black History Month and focuses on having the community engage with various aspects of different African cultures. Aside from solely screening films, Africa Week allows WASA to invite different organizations on campus to showcase their talents in order to highlight the diversity of African culture.
“[WASA] aims to increase interest in and an awareness of issues pertaining to Africa and Africans in the Diaspora,” said Chika Egbuzie (’19), the president of WASA. Their organization’s motto is “If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.” WASA makes an active effort to provide support and empowerment to African students on Wellesley’s campus, as well as showing the rest of the community the diversity of African culture.
As an open organization on campus, WASA has a diverse group of members. Interested students can get involved by attending events and lectures. Their two biggest events of the year are Mamaland in the fall and Africa Week in the spring. Mamaland is a cultural show that has been put on by WASA every fall since 2004.
“The show showcases plays, dance, poetry recitals, and song, as well as modern and traditional African attire… Africa Week is [a] more political supplement to Mamaland. Our theme this spring is Heritage: a past to remember, a present to celebrate and a future to generate,” Egbuzie explained. In regards to their plans for the spring semester after Africa Week, WASA plans to address more serious topics like neoliberalism, skin bleaching and African unity.
Africa Week kicks off next Sunday, Feb. 17 with an African Awareness Campaign. Later in the week, events like Movie Night in Collins Cinema, Wrap Day, Afro Pub Night, Storytelling and an AfroDance Workshop will take place across campus. These events are open to the entire Wellesley community. Members of WASA are most excited for the Afro Pub Night on Thursday, Feb. 21.
“We are most excited to bring our Afrobeats and Afrocentric playlist to the Punch’s Alley dancefloor,” Egbuzie said.