Vanderbilt’s African Student Union (ASU) presented its annual spring showcase Harambee Saturday, Feb. 15 in Langford Auditorium. ASU dedicated this year’s showcase to Adriel Bineza and donated all proceeds from the event to the Adriel Bineza Graduate School Equity Fund. Additionally, this year’s performance was centered on the theme of mental health and its intersection with African-American and African diasporic communities.
“It meant everything to be a part of Harambee this year,” Harambee co-chair Maeva Makendi said. “Being given the opportunity to lift the veil on the topic of mental health in the African community and diaspora is something I’ll always remember.”
Harambee featured a variety of performances, such as student-choreographed dances, a fashion show, and seven guest performances from student organizations including VIBE, Nilaja Amari, Melanated A Cappella and Vanderbilt Spoken Word. Vanderbilt’s six National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) chapters also stepped on stage and shared historical context about NPHC both on and off Vanderbilt’s campus.
“We went into this show refusing to believe that Harambee would always be the underdog of the cultural showcase,” Makendi said. Everyone worked tirelessly to ensure that the performance could rival any other.”
“Being able to begin conversations around mental health awareness within the Diaspora was a blessing, but the biggest blessing of all was the opportunity to work with all the amazing choreographers, volunteers, participants and guest acts,” Harambee co-chair Clara Dokyi said. “Because of Harambee, I have new friendships that I will cherish forever.”