Motherland: Coming to America

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Ralph Winfrey | mwinfrey2@radford.edu

The Radford University African Student Alliance hosted the 4th annual Motherland: Coming to America in Muse banquet hall, directed by ASA President Colbert Osei-Owusu. Despite the heavy winds and snow flurries Saturday, April 9, community members and students gathered in greater numbers than ever before.

The two hosts of the night were Sanford Amponsah and Ernest Bonsu of Afrikk Radio. They were the narrators throughout the night and provided comical and thought-provoking skits. They were not afraid to interact with the crowd, which made for a very comfortable environment.

Theo Wilson, a well-known poet, then moved the whole audience and even sparked overwhelming emotions through his melodious words that caused some people to shed tears of enlightenment. He set the tone early for the rest of the event.  Following him was a dance performance by RU Hype. They mixed traditional African dance with some urban influences. The routine was a fusion that transcended time.

Next, a trail of red rose petals were subtly dropped to form a runway for the models. All of the outfits were custom made by Timmy Ajulo’s fashion line. The clothing included a mix of classic and contemporary African styles. This was not an average, quiet walk down the runway as huge grins and loud words of encouragement filled the room. It was very clear that everyone was enjoying themselves.

With high energies looming the room SimmieRay Dinkins, a Chicago native, slowed the tempo down with original songs which would set the mood for the next set of models. The next group was styled by Santa Designs, which introduced a mix of casual, traditional, and even swimwear to the scene. The swimwear was really unique and consisted of detailed and elegant patterns. This shocked the crowd because swimwear was completely unexpected.

Spectator and new transfer student Javeh Pope was impressed.

“The show was put together very well and I will be part of it next year!” Pope said.

There was not a dull moment throughout this whole event. During intermission, senior Jessica Shaw used acrylic to create a stunning painting of Nelson Mandela backed by the colors of the Ethiopian flag. Trailing the intermission was Radford’s very own Ivy Akosua Amankwa Preko who spent her 2015 summer being crowned Miss Ghana USA. As a double major of fashion design and education, she briefly spoke about what inspired her and assisted her success.

The last event of the night was the divine rotation, which was an extremely well-choreographed dance routine coordinated by Mychelle Gyamfi. The room became electrified and the whole crowd was on their feet as if it were a concert.

ASA hosted another successful and fun Motherland: Coming to America. With the level of excitement and support behind this event, it can easily become a lasting Radford tradition.

“We have been preparing for this day for five months and that time spent planning and creating is always my favorite. This event creates opportunities for everyone from DJs to photographers to models, and someone always finds a new passion or hidden talent,” said Osei-Owusu.

It was hard to walk away from this event without being eager for next year’s Motherland event.