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Within the vibrant fabric, a glimpse of cultural roots

ASU group takes part in fashion show featuring African wear

 by Heather Cutler
 published on Monday, February 26, 2007

RUNWAY SCHOLARSHIP: Nigerian contestant Ejiro models clothes in the first Arizonaís Faces of Africa Pageant. The clothes were designed for the creative wear category Friday. Presented by ASUís African Student Association, the pageantís purpose was to raise funds for a scholarship./issues/news/699998
Lee Kauftheil / THE STATE PRESS
RUNWAY SCHOLARSHIP: Nigerian contestant Ejiro models clothes in the first Arizonaís Faces of Africa Pageant. The clothes were designed for the creative wear category Friday. Presented by ASUís African Student Association, the pageantís purpose was to raise funds for a scholarship.
 

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About 20 ASU students strutted down the runway Friday night, but they weren't modeling the latest haute couture - they wore traditional African clothing representing their native lands.

The models represented different African countries through their attire in the fashion show as part of the "Arizona Face of Africa" event, hosted in part by ASU's African Students Association. The event also included various dances from different African regions.

Approximately 200 people attended the event at the American Banquet Hall in Phoenix.

Members of AFSA organized the inaugural event with students from other schools, including Mesa Community College, in an attempt to raise $3,000 to $5,000 for a scholarship fund, Eva Nandudu, one of the event organizers, said in an e-mail.

"[The event] ties to Black History Month in a way that it involves a variety of African celebrations [that show] pride by displaying the skills and knowledge that have been passed on from generation to generation," Nandudu said.

The fashion show displayed various types of clothes including creative wear, beachwear and sportswear.

Some students chose to wear very traditional clothing, while other students went with a more modern look.

The more traditional clothing had deep patterns and vibrant colors, and some of the girls wore traditional headwear as well.

"Most of the girls are modeling clothes that they made by themselves, and some got some outside help from tailors and different African stores," Nandudu said. "Some clothes [came] directly from their home countries through their relatives."

Communication and business graduate Meryem Alaoui said she was happy to represent Morocco, her home country.

"It's a good opportunity to represent my country while being far away," Alaoui said. "To represent while my parents are not here feels good."

Civil engineering junior Rachal Gitumbi focused more on raising money than representing her home country, Kenya.

"If I can help someone else get money for school, then I feel good about that," Gitumbi said.

The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in May 2008 to an ASU student, Nandudu said.

About 60 percent of the ticket sales will go toward the scholarship fund once the club is compensated $1,000 for the money it spent on the event, she added.

Reach the reporter at: heather.cutler@asu.edu.



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