Avni Garg (Canada, UWC AC 2010-12)
As the lights dim and the students’ chatter dies away, an African sun rises up on stage to the first ringing notes of The Circle of Life. Vincent, dressed as a warrior leads an enthusiastic group of African and Caribbean students bearing their national flags on stage. It is the 23rd of January, and so begins another Atlantic College national evening – significantly less delayed than usual.
Though there was clearly an excellent display of performances, among which a lot of variety, there were a few that stood out. Notably, Sheila’s poem “I am an African”, striking down unjust stereotypes given to Africans. Accompanied by Donald’s traditional drumming, this performance gave a raw and proud stance on what it means to be an African. Also there to discourage any generalisations, was the skit performed by a large number of the cast, mischievously over-playing what many people don’t think is the ‘real’ Africa.
Always a joy to see was, of course, the dancing. The Decali Gwada dance was a bold and colourful piece of choreography. And the gum boot dance. It was a stomping uniform dance, whose rhythm reverberated through every person attending – the heartbeat of the show. On a musical note there were also singing performances by Chisom, Olorato and Hajar. Distinctive to their own backgrounds, these were personal and unique. In regards to a enjoyable closing for the evening, the fashion show had a little bit many things wrapped in one – the clothes, the music and the people. All-in-all, a very satisfying end to an equally satisfying evening.
The general atmosphere throughout the show was one of good nature and uplifting not only for the audience, but performers too. The performers were confident and prepared, displaying a mature sense of unity despite many of their differences. The audience was engaged in the show, which found a peaceful balance of being not only informative, but highly entertaining. National Evenings offer students the chance to display their nations proudly and openly, and equal opportunity for others to become aware of the world they live in, and to share its wonders. The Afro-Caribbean National Evening certainly achieved that.
-United World College Student Magazine-