Taste of Africa offers rich cultural experience

Each year, the GT African Student Association (ASA) hosts Taste of Africa, one of the largest cultural events on Tech’s campus and in the city of Atlanta. Showcasing the arts and foods of Africa, the event  is a long and proud tradition of the club and its organizers.

This year’s Taste of Africa is predicted to be the largest in its history in terms of turnout, the variety of foods available and the cultural aspects like music and dance being highlighted.

According to the president of the organization Marteki Codjoe, ASA was founded 1990 with the purpose to bring together African students on campus, as well as anyone with an interest in African culture.

“We want them to learn more about each other and our culture, and share this with the Tech community,” Codjoe  said.

Taste of Africa is the ASA’s signature annual event, drawing more than 750 participants in this previous year. Present on campus for more than ten years, the event has undergone enormous growth in organization and attendance, evolving over time. Upgrading from last year’s venue, Taste of Africa will now take place in the Ferst Center with a maximum of 1200 seats to account.

At its core, Taste of Africa is a celebration and exploration of the cultures of many African nations and the collective identity of the continent as a whole. Students gain exposure to a unique tradition through exotic foods and dances. No specific countries are highlighted, only a rich combination of regional flavors and styles that characterize the continent.

Each year there are plays, fashion exhibits, and historical museum collections presented at the event.

Tech is not the only ASA club that puts on this affair. ASA clubs at Emory, Georgia State, UGA, Kennesaw and across the United States host their own Taste of Africa events to incorporate cultural immersion within their own campus boundaries.

In anticipation of the massive expected attendance by the college and local communities the amount of food cooked has been doubled, with new items on the menu too.

The show will take place on the Ferst Center’s stage and revolve around the theme of Tales of the Motherland. In addition, Atlanta artist Na!ra will be making a special guest appearance.

The organizational process has been diligent on ASA’s part to ensure Friday’s event will kick off without a hitch. Their dancers have been rehearsing for months and their member have been working non-stop to facilitate the logistics of hosting a thousand or more people.

Everything is planned a year in advance. Due to their extensive marketing campaign both on and off campus this is sure to be the largest Taste of Africa in Tech’s history.

Taste of Africa seeks to  educate all Tech students on the values of African culture with a visceral, firsthand experience.

Tickets are on sale online for $7 and at the door for $10, with the show and dinner included.