CU celebrates Nigerian independence

Photo Jacob Jardel

Photo Jacob Jardel

acob Jardel
Assistant Managing Editor

Nigerian Aggies brought a piece of home to Cameron during the 54th Nigerian Independence Day Celebration at 6 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the CETES Conference Center.

The Cameron University Nigerian Student Association (CUNSA) hosted the event, the third of its kind at Cameron. It celebrated their nation’s independence from the British on Oct. 1, 1960.

Dressed in traditional cultural garb, the students educated the audience about various aspects of Nigerian culture. Vice President of CUNSA Demilade Adenuga said this education was a vital concept behind the event.

“The basic idea of the independence celebration was to showcase who we are,” he said. “We try to correct or change the misconceptions people have about the Nigeria.”

According to Adenuga, another added benefit of the event was the opportunity for Nigerian students to feel at home once again.
“There are some who, since they got here to the United States, have not had the opportunity of going back home,” he said. “This reminds them of what the food tasted like and so on.”

Students set the ambience with Nigerian music and a slideshow filled with facts about Nigerian culture. A silent auction in the back showcased a variety of different Nigerian styles, ready for those in attendance to bid for and potentially own.

The program began with emcee Feyisayo Onifade, a student at the University of Oklahoma, leading the crowd in prayer and in recognition of the Nigerian National Anthem.

Afterward, two Cameron students performed a skit that addressed and corrected a variety of misconceptions some students have toward Nigerian culture. A media presentation titled “This is Nigeria” further set the record straight on the details of the nation, its practices and its people.

The program continued with a speech by Miracle Akinwale, CUNSA’s first president. He expounded upon the rich culture of the nation addressed in the skit and presentation and talked about the pride he and his Nigerian compatriots had in their homeland.
“Nigeria is incredible in diversity, but indivisible in unity,” he said. “I am proud to be Nigerian, and I can see you are proud to be Nigerian, too.”

Upon the conclusion of Akinwale’s speech, Onifade invited students and Vice President for University Advancement Albert Johnson, Jr., to try their hands at Nigerian dancing. Onfiade taught some moves to the all those in attendance.

After the dance interlude concluded, the audience was treated to a buffet of Nigerian cuisine. CUNSA students served various foods, such as poundo yam, jollof rice, pepper soup and puff puff to give attendees a taste of their culture.

During dinner, CUNSA president Akinola Akinlawon gave a speech, which concluded with the announcement of the Nigerian Student Tuition Scholarship. Both Akinlawon and Johnson spoke about the establishment of the scholarship and encouraged the audience to donate to the silent auction, proceeds of which would be split between scholarship funding and charity.

A dance presentation by the Jive Ensemble followed Akinlawon’s speech. The women in the troupe showcased their talents and the dances associated with both traditional and contemporary Nigerian music.

Following the dance was the CUNSA Fashion show. Members of the organization showcased a mix of different types of Nigerian fashion, from traditional garb to modern attire.

After the fashion show and a pop quiz on Nigerian trivia, Akinlawon performed John Legend’s “All of Me” on piano and vocals. The program concluded with a vote of thanks from CUNSA Treasurer Oluawkemi Olurotimi.

Adenuga also wanted to thank the audience for what he felt was a successful night.
“I feel glad,” he said. “I believe the audience enjoyed it because of comments we received after the celebration. Even during the event, you could feel the fun going on with the interaction of the audience.”

Even though he will have graduated by the time the next event happens, Adenuga said CUNSA has plans for the next celebration.
“The plan is to make this a bigger event, extending it further to the Lawton community,” he said.


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