SANKOFA event celebrates Pan-African Culture, Black History Month


Students model Pan-African-inspired clothing at the second annual SANKOFA Pan African Culture Show Feb. 10 in Plachta Auditorium.

EDITOR'S NOTE: When originally published, this story referred to Eric Okunrounmu as the moderator for the event, when it was actually Ebenezer Ikhumhen. The story also listed Calish K. and Bayomi as performers for the event, when Cassius Tae was the only performer for the event. Central Michigan Life has been informed of these inaccuracies, and the story has been updated.

Students celebrated Black History Month and African culture at the second annual SANKOFA Pan African Culture Show Feb. 10 in Plachta Auditorium.

The purpose of the culture show was to educate attendees about Pan-African culture in celebration of Black History Month. The event was hosted by Central Michigan University’s African Student Association.

“Our purpose is strictly to showcase the African continent to the CMU community,” Ebenezer Ikhumhen, ASA’s treasurer and moderator for the event, told the audience at the beginning of the show.

The main segment of the event was the Pan-African fashion show, during which models displayed clothing from Martha’s International Market and House of Zuri. Models wore several different types of Pan-African inspired clothing, from casual to formal business attire.

“(The event) brings together the black community and gives us all a chance to embrace the culture,” Ann Arbor freshman Kashshiada Kidd said. “Even if we didn’t directly come from Africa, we can all come together and celebrate it.”

Dance and musical performances were held between the fashions shows, all of which were inspired by African culture. CMU’s ASA performed several dances throughout the night, and there was a guest performance by Michigan State University’s ASA chapter. 

Rapper and CMU alumni Cassius Tae performed during the event. The artists Calish K. and Bayomi were scheduled to perform, though couldn't attend due to a snowstorm the previous day. Additional was music was provided by DJ Blakito. Rampage, a CMU dance team, performed as well.

Ikhumhen kept the audience entertained throughout the night by challenging audience members to dance-offs in between performances and inviting them to sing or rap on stage.

After the culture show, attendees could go to an exhibition in the Bovee University Center Rotunda, where they could sample African-inspired food and purchase clothes from Martha’s International Market and House of Zuri.

“Things like this show are important because a lot of people aren’t exposed to this,” Lansing junior Kamyra Rodgers said. “I think it’s important to know about the culture and be knowledgeable.