The public is invited to explore Africa during African Awareness Week at UBC Okanagan. Events on the university campus from March 1 to 5 will highlight important issues and showcase life and culture from the African continent.
Student Suud Nahdi from Tanzania organized the week with Uba Mohammed, a student from Kenya. Nahdi says he got the idea during a visit to a student leadership conference at UBC in Vancouver, and immediately knew it was something he wanted to do in the Okanagan.
“Part of my experience is people don’t really know Africa that well,” he says. “I thought we should do an Africa Awareness week — but not make it only about current issues and politics, but make people aware of how people live, the social life in Africa, where the countries are, the geography.
“We want to make it fun, a party with drumming, and sharing of culture and traditions,” says Nahdi. “We have faculty from the arts and science, fine arts — perspectives from lots of faculties and schools.”
Mohammed says she is particularly looking forward to the African Tea Time, a tea and music event planned for Thursday afternoon, and the potluck supper on Friday evening. “It’s about culture. We get to share with people how we live and what we eat,” she says. “We want everyone to come and participate. See what it’s about.”
The week opens with a free public talk on Monday (11:30 a.m., Fipke Centre foyer) by Adam Jones, associate professor of political science, who will speak about the new face of conflict in Africa.
The week continues with the following:
- Monday afternoon features a screening of the classic movie The Gods Must Be Crazy (5 p.m., in the University Centre cinema, UNC106).
- The sequel, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, will be screened on Tuesday, Mar. 2 (5 p.m. University Centre cinema, UNC106).
- Wednesday features a discussion panel about life in Africa, held in the International Collegium (FIP251) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Suzanne Gott, assistant professor of art history, will speak about fashion in Africa, and will be joined on the panel by students, staff and other faculty members, as well as a representative from KAZ — the Kelowna-Zambia partnership.
- The movie Nollywood Lady — filmmaker Dorothee Wenner¹s vision for transforming preconceptions about Africa and African images — will be screened on Wednesday afternoon (5 p.m., in the University Centre cinema, UNC106).
- African Tea Time, an opportunity to enjoy African music and a cup of tea, will be held on Thursday afternoon in the International Collegium (4 p.m., Fipke Centre room FIP251).
- Following the African Tea Time, focus moves across the street to the University Centre for a screening of the movie Hotel Rwanda in (5 p.m., in the University Centre cinema, UNC106).
- The week closes with a potluck supper featuring African foods in the International Collegium on Friday evening (6 p.m., Fipke Centre room FIP251), with entertainment by drummer Bobby Bovenzi and Nankama World Beats.
The public is invited to visit the International Collegium throughout the week to learn more about Africa through a variety of information displays.
African Awareness Week has been organized with support from the Campus Life and International Student offices at UBC Okanagan.
— 30 —