On May 16, the UC Davis Nigerian Student Association (NSA) will host their fifth annual Nigerian Cultural Show. The free event will include dance, theater, food and music with the aim of teaching people about Nigerian culture. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Giedt Hall 1001.
The Nigerian Cultural Show is the main event in the NSA calendar. Nnedy Obiwuru, a third-year international relations and Spanish student, is currently vice president of the NSA.
“Our sole purpose is to entertain and inform people of our culture,” Obiwuru said.
Every year the show includes a play which is based around the experiences of young Nigerians living in America.
“This year the theme of the play is a wedding,” said Tinola Adeeyo, a third-year managerial economics major who has been involved in the show for the last three years and is current president of the NSA. “It’s the wedding of a Nigerian to an American and how he has to deal with the dynamics of that; his parents aren’t necessarily ready to accept it.”
Members of the NSA have been meeting at least three times a week in preparation for the show. The group is currently about 30 strong.
Adeeyo believes the group brings Nigerian students together and is important for the Davis community.
“I feel like the NSA provides me with something to call my own. I was born in Nigeria so it gives me a chance to share my culture with people that get it,” Adeeyo said.
Osereme Ujadughele, a third-year chemical engineering major, was last year’s president of the NSA. This year, she will be dancing with the Nigerian Student Dance Group (NSDG) which has strong ties to the NSA.
“[The NSA and NSDG] are two separate organizations but this is the first year that we don’t have someone that is a leader in both. This year, more people are getting involved, so it allows for our leaders not to be spread out too thin,” Ujadughele said.
The NSDG has been practicing every Friday and Sunday in the run up to the show. If you’re particularly interested in dance, the NSDG will be performing around intermission.
Ujadughele explained their style of dance.
“I’d say it’ll be a mixture of traditional and modern. Nigeria is getting more modern in terms of dance so it could be seen as similar to hip hop,” Ujadughele said.
There are nine dancers who will also be performing at Black Family Day on May 17. Black Family Day will feature music from Dwele, a children’s fair and craft vendors on the UC Davis East Quad.
“Last year I put [the cultural show] separate [to Black Family Day] because a lot of people in the black community help out with both. I am expecting a good turnout because people are coming the next day [to Black Family Day],” Ujadughele said.
The dancers will be wearing special dress in the Nigerian colors.
“We started this thing where we get a really cute African fabric. We used to get them fitted for particular girls but then it was hard to pass it down when girls graduate so now we just do the typical sarong where you tie it around your waist,” Ujadughele said.
Both Ujadughele and Adeeyo hope to raise awareness at the cultural show of the plight of the missing girls in Nigeria.
“In light of everything that is happening with Nigeria, I think we do need some uplifting,” Ujadughele said. “Our purpose is to keep people aware of Nigerian culture and part of that culture is issues that we do have in our country. There are a lot of us in different places and it’s really good to see what effect we can have.”
In addition to the food and entertainment, there will be a raffle with the chance to win prizes.
The fifth annual Nigerian Cultural Show will take place on May 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Giedt Hall 1001. The event is free to attend and coincides with Black Family Day on May 17, which will be held on the East Quad between 12 and 5 p.m.
ZOE SHARPLES can be reached at email@example.com.