International Women’s Day: Africans celebrate in Missouri

By Mary Dickson-Amagada

Ayodele drum and dance group.

The African community in the city of Columbia, Missouri has set aside their daily chores to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD).

In typical African style, traditional regalia, rhythmic dance and colourful cultural displays tagged – CoMo Africa Fest – gave everyone present something to ponder onkeeping the University City residents spell bound about the potentials of African womanhood.

Cross section of Ayodele drums and dance group.

Choreographic display
The annual CoMo Africa Fest hosted by the University of Missouri’s African Graduate and Professional Student Association, (MU AGPSA) and jabberwocky studios was themed “The Power and Promise of Women.”

This theme, which was highly evident at the gala night, had women in the majority as presenters and performers.

For the MU AGPSA president, VelaphiThipe, several things informed the choice of theme.

“It is high time to embrace women and empower them through the fine arts and forms of poetry or talks,” he said.

“That is why we have performers and speakers were all women because we wanted to give women a voice to speak and tell their own stories.”

Mu Agpsa President in his native South African attire.

A major highlight of the event was the performance of West African inspired dance by the Ayodele Drum and Dance group from the American State of Chicago.

According to Imania Detry, the assistant artistic director, the group aims at fostering feminine perspective through African drum and dance.

“There is a connecting need for our young girls as well as women to come together,” She opined.

It does exclude the men; it just actually creates a space for us to be strong.”


Sammie Idika