African Students Union celebrates over 50 years on campus

Students from the African Students Union dance to Afro Fusion, a mix of West African and American music, at the International Talent Show on April 4, 2019. (Caleb Pfeifer | Collegian Media Group)

For five decades, the African Students Union has provided opportunities for African students to meet others at Kansas State and connect with other African student unions across the country.

ASU also strives to celebrate all important African national festivals and events. In May, they will host their annual African Nights event.

“It’s just given me a sense of community,” said Catherine Obiribea Ofori-Bah, ASU secretary and graduate student in agricultural economics. “I may be away from home, but I have a home among people who can relate.”

Ofori-Bah also said she has been able to learn a lot about other cultures during her time in the ASU, but her favorite thing she’s learned about is all the different types of food.

“Though we come from the same continent, there are so many cultures, and I have been able to learn a lot from them,” Ofori-Bah said.

Dominica Genda, graduate student in veterinary medicine, is the current president of the organization. Being president has given her a better understanding of different cultures and has taught her a lot about leadership.

“You get to interact with people, get to know people almost more personally and to understand them because the African Students Union hosts people from an entire continent, and not just one country,” Genda said. “Everyone has different cultures, different beliefs, so being in this position, you have to learn to respect cultures and the sense of leadership.”

ASU represents many different cultures, but the group comes together for a common goal: providing a place for all African students to connect and learn about each other.

Barikisu Issaka, graduate student in mass communications, said it was nice to be able to relate to others in the organization.

“I think it feels great to have people you can relate to and share a lot of things in common,” Issaka said. “There are a lot of things we share in common even though we come from different countries.”