Houseboys and Poets: A Conscious Talent Show

by VERNA GIBSON

Last Wednesday, students gathered in Nyumburu Cultural Center for African Student Progressive Action Committee’s second annual “Houseboys and Poets.” Guests sat down to a dinner while enjoying performances including spoken word, rapping and singing for a good cause.

Many performers centered their pieces around the current situation in Baltimore and the topic of police brutality. Others spoke on what it meant to them to be Black or African.

“It was interesting seeing the talents talk about the same issue going on, just being black and all the issues going on in the community,” said Samson Bintu.

Bintu, a senior studio art major, said “It was great to witness the amount of talent in this area.”

Jason Nkwain, a geographic information systems and English double major, performed a poem called ‘Have You Ever Seen an African Dance?’. Nkwain was accompanied on vocals by Gabrielle Aka, a junior journalism and French double major.

Junior Abriana Height, an electrical engineering major performs a poem about being a black woman.

Tomi Faldoun, a bioenigineering freshman, and Elie Rizk, biology freshman, performed ‘Is it Love?’ by Bob Marley. Faldoun sang while Rizk accompanied him on guitar.

The event was a fundraiser for ACF Uganda, an organization that runs mission trips to bring American students to Uganda, along with a clothing drive from the Iota Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. During the event, there was a presentation explaining what ACF Uganda does and the mission trip they take yearly.

Kawan Glover, a finance major and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said Iota Zeta chose to co-sponsor the event in an attempt to branch out and team up with other cultural organizations on campus they haven’t traditionally worked with. Glover said he enjoyed the performances but felt the event was “under attended for the talent here.”

William Sama, former ASPAC president, said he enjoyed how “Houseboys and Poets” brought conscious artists together to share their art for a good cause. Sama said he felt that was one of the best aspects of the event.

Chydubem Nwaiwu, Physiology and Neurology major, came to the event because he “feel[s] a strong connection to the African community.” Nwaiwu says this year was an improvement and though there were fewer people in attendance the performances were better than they had been.

ASPAC chose to donate their proceeds to ACF because their former president went on one of the missions trips and told them about the charity, according to Shalom Abwa, ASPAC’s historian.

“I feel like last year set the tone for this year,” said Sabwa. “More people were excited to come and we had more hype around it.”

“It did exceed our expectations. We like the fact that people were willing to come and pay $5 to support such a service,” Sabwa said.

You can donate to UCF at gofundme.com/acfuganda2015

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