On Campus: African Student Association

Dan Olson  Journal Staff

February is National Black History month and no club at Suffolk University is taking more advantage of this than the African Student Association.  This year, the organization received a new president, senior, international relations major, Mohamed Djingo, who has been trying to re-think its overall outlook on campus at Suffolk.

“I’m just trying to put us on track, just to make us known,” says Djingo, 22,  “to be like the other clubs at Suffolk.”

As the current President of Suffolk University’s African Student Association, Djingo has been working with students to create an “International Day” to take place in March or April of this year.  Students at Suffolk University Dakar took part in events like this annually and Djingo has been trying to bring these festivities here.

“We had a fashion show, different types of African foods, and we were taught African dances,” says Djingo.  “I’m trying to set up another event called ‘African Cooking 101’ at Suffolk also.”

Last year, the club was known mostly for offering tribal African drumming workshops for non-African students.  After being taught routines and methods, students performed what they learned and the teachers and  students from Suffolk’s now defunct Dakar campus, attended the performances to cheer them on.

Professor Bellinger, who had connections to Suffolk’s Dakar campus, and has been to Africa many times, advises the club.  He has helped a great deal with workshops and other activities for the organization, according to Djingo.

The ASA is in need, mostly, of awareness from other Suffolk students.  All of its members, including Djingo, care a great deal about their heritage and have the desire to educate others.

“My goal is to make Africa known—not the Africa they show on TV—the real Africa,” says Djingo.  “A child dying of hunger is what the media shows this country and it’s not the reality.”

We have all seen the commercials and ads depicting a young starving child staring into the camera in need of food and donations; but Djingo says that Africa has changed.

“We want to show that that was the old Africa, a lot of new things have happened.”

Djingo and the other club members want nothing more, right now, than to get non-African students excited about their events and to spread the word about this not-so-well-known club here at Suffolk.

“Students should come to our events and see what we have.”

 

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