Independence Day celebration with Nigerian students

by Teewhy Dojutelegan

Cameron University has a huge international student population, making it a home to diversity. The CU Nigerian Students Association (CUNSA) is the organization that caters to the well-being of Nigerians on campus, as well as promoting their culture.

Yvette Unoarumhi, a senior Biology major, is the Vice President of the CUNSA this year. She stated the mission of the organization is to highlight the country’s culture.

“The mission of the organization is to promote Nigerian cultures,” Unoarumhi said. “We also aim to help each other adapt to the new environment and culture we have been thrust in.”

Nigeria gained independence from colonial Britain on Oct. 1, 1960, after years of turmoil and advocacy for freedom. Since then, the country has been growing stronger becoming a continental leader. Nigeria is called the Giant of Africa based on the leadership roles she takes and her position as an emerging economy.

For the past two years, the CUNSA has celebrated Nigerian Independence Day at Cameron. The event has attracted many members of the Cameron and Lawton community who came to learn about cultures different from them as well as taste dishes from the other side of the world.

Unoarumhi said that the Independence Day celebration signifies a celebration of liberty.

“It is the celebration of our freedom and the struggles of our founding fathers to gain independence,” Unoarumhi said.

This year, the theme of the celebration will be Exploring Cultures. The carefully picked theme will help enlighten other people about the similarities and differences in aspects of their culture such as dress, marriage and social ethics with the American way of life.

The celebration will be dedicated to the memory of Dr. George Stanley, Professor of African and Middle-Eastern Languages and Linguistics who died earlier this year. Dr. Stanley was a big supporter of the CUNSA and taught various Nigerian languages at Cameron.

The event will feature an introduction to Nigeria, comedy and a fashion show where students will showcase different styles of traditional dresses. The public will also have a chance to try different Nigerian dishes at the end of the program.

The event will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, in the Center for Emerging Technology
and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES) Conference Center. The prices of the tickets are $5 for students and $10 for faculty and staff.

Besides showcasing culture through the Independence Day celebration, Nigerians on campus have been integral parts of the student life on campus with some of them actively being involved in campus organizations and others taking leadership roles in other areas.

Oluwatosin Adegbamigbe, a senior computer and information systems major is the Student Government Association representative for the CUNSA. He said that the organization has plans to introduce legislation, which will benefit all students on campus and help Nigerian students understand the importance of diversity.

“We are in the process of writing legislation that will improve diversity relations on campus,” Adegbamigbe said. “Diversity has been used as a synonym for strange for too long. We aim to change that by helping people realize what it is truly about.”

Jonathan Sanchez, a Business Administration freshman thinks the Nigerian students are fun to be with.

“I hang with the Nigerian students all the time,” he said. “They are my good friends.”

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