African Union to host “A Taste of Africa”



The African Student Union is hosting “A Taste of Africa” this Friday evening.


At 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, the African Union will host “A Taste of Africa” at the Wesley Foundation.

This event costs $5 for a buffet of foods from all over Africa. Countries represented will include Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Congo, Kenya, Burkina-Faso and more.

“This year [the African Union has] a really diverse number of people from different African countries, and we wanted to have something that we could represent almost pretty much everyone,” said Faith Aruwan, a junior majoring in management information systems and public relations director for African Union. “Food is kind of our thing, so we wanted to have Taste of Africa and have this different food, but we needed to have a purpose for it. Fundraising was part of it, but we just saw it as an opportunity to share our culture, because one thing that we all have in common food and family—the duo that brings you together as a society.”

Although not every member of the African Union will necessarily be cooking, the group tried to represent as many countries as they could. They also took into consideration dishes from different countries that would compliment eachother.

Aruwan, who is from Nigeria, will be preparing three different dishes: pepper meat, pepper fish and a stew. She characterizes African food as always having bold flavors and spices like curry and thyme. African food is often completely from scratch with fresh, organic ingredients, according to Aruwan.

The event will feature more than just food. There will also be music from many different African countries and dancing.

“Music is a whole part of our culture,” Aruwan said. “Africans — we like to dance. We take pride in dancing; it’s like we celebrate a lot of things. This is also a part of celebration for us because we’re sharing something that we’re very passionate about.”

Aruwan hopes the event gives people an authentic African experience and dispels some of the common misconceptions about the continent.

“People need to know that just because it doesn’t look like yours doesn’t mean it’s worse than yours,” Aruwan said. “We want people to see that Africa has a lot to offer. You just come and see us happy. We are happy while we eat. We don’t rush our food. So we just want people to see the differences. If you can adapt to those things like sitting at the table and just eating and enjoying company and not trying to think of the place you need to be in the next 30 minutes, it really makes a whole difference.”

Aruwan sees the African Union as a family and hopes that those who come to the event sense that.

“We didn’t just want to share our food, but we wanted to share everything that goes around it,” Aruwan said. “So if you get a taste of Africa, you would not just eat, you would get to experience a taste of community. We wish we could invite people while we cook, because the cooking is not like a job thing. It’s a time that we get to spend as a family to commune together.”