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KARIBU’s AC Night: Laughter, joy, fashion, and African-Caribbean magic


Photo: Students performing at AC Night on Nov. 18. Photo Courtesy of Enrico Tamayo.


As an African, it is my birthright duty to cover African and Caribbean (AC) night for The Olaf Messenger. A night filled with laughter, joy, fashion, and African-Caribbean magic, hosted by KARIBU, St. Olaf’s African and Caribbean Association. The night was — not to sound cliché — unforgettable. But why should I be the only one to tell you this? 


Audience members enjoyed the range of performances, and they felt good seeing African and Caribbean culture being displayed at the Nov. 18 show in the Lion’s Pause. The night’s performances definitely had a unique range of diversity, including song, dance, and proverbs. The performances were electric and filled the room with life. From Ethiopian dance to spoken word about the African continent, the performances showcased the multi-faceted nature of African and Caribbean culture.


“[It was important to me to] put in so much work and effort into my AC performance,” Anthony Igboabuchi ’27 said, who is from Nigeria and did three amazing performances. “From my high school I always performed on smaller stages…I was looking forward to performing on a larger stage and it happened. So let’s say I’ve ticked something off of my bucket list.”  


In between performances, there was a play about university student Patience who, while studying for exams, falls asleep and travels to 2070 where she is confronted by a very unfriendly person. Throughout the night, the audience is taken on a journey with Patience and the stranger as she returns home. During this journey, Patience learns about the new world, like how load shedding still exists and “The Wedding Party 5,” which is a Nollywood film series that is currently on its second movie. The story showcases the theme of the night — Afrofuturism.


Bonga Nsimbini ’27, who played the rude stranger, explained the stressfulness of preparation. “At times I was like, why did I even sign up for this?” Nsimbini said. “I didn’t know what to expect. But it was a lot of fun because the people I was with were very good people. We laughed throughout the practice sessions… and when it actually happened it was rewarding. Every minute I put into my work was worth it.”


This sentiment of hard work behind the scenes was shared by the executives of KARIBU. “It was definitely stressful,” Simisiwe Maziya ’27, a first-year executive, said about the time leading up to AC night. “Getting things to work, getting things from Amazon, talking to the Pause, and getting time slots was very stressful. We were meeting almost every day. But on the day…it was nice.”


Selwe Mbingo ’26, public relations executive, shares this sentiment. “The things the other execs were taking on were quite hefty. They are fantastic. I have so much respect for my co-execs,” Mbingo  said. “We began the semester by letting everyone know about [AC night]. We want to showcase who we are as a family. The preparations took about a month.” 


I think the event was a success. Everything about this was so well-coordinated. Whoopi Goldberg’s monologue in “Sarafina!,” was shown at the beginning of the event and will forever stay with me. The fashion and the dances and the singing will forever remind me of the people I know. And the proverbs and poems spoken will forever make me miss home. To end this, I’ll share what Mbingo said of the event’s success: “We wanted it to feel more like a community. There weren’t just people that signed up for one night but people who had been continuously coming to KARIBU and people that were involved in our space.”

Lukhanyo Zwane
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