Dancers at the Harambee showcase on April 16, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Narenkumar Thirmiya) (Narenkumar Thirmiya)
Dancers at the Harambee showcase on April 16, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Narenkumar Thirmiya)

Narenkumar Thirmiya

IN PHOTOS: Harambee 2022

Vanderbilt’s African Student Union’s Harambee return, shining the spotlight on African art and cultures.

May 13, 2022

Harambee is a Kenyan tradition that means “to all come together” in Swahili, Kenya’s national language. As the 2022-23 school comes together with finals week ending earlier this month, we looked back at Vanderbilt’s African Student Union’s (ASU’s) annual spring Harambee showcase. This event was held indoors on April 16 for the first time since 2020 due to the pandemic.

The theme for the 2022 showcase was “The Power of Words,” revolving around the TV series “Gossip Girl” and the importance of social media in African American and African diaspora communities. The showcase involved a humorous skit about college students navigating campus life as well as performances centered on more serious issues, such as wealth inequality, mental health and sexual assault.

Various student-orchestrated performances in the style of African cultures, such as Congo Seben, Ethiopian and Eritrean dances, Nigerian medley and Nilaja Amari were interwoven between scenes of the skit. Additionally, the event featured guest performances by other student dance groups, such as Melanated Acapella, Lakshya, VIVID and Confidance.

The highlight of the event was the fashion show. Student models vibrantly displayed their cultural clothing and waved flags representing their nationalities. Audience members cheered as the models strolled across the stage.

As the showcase progressed, the performers continued to enthrall the audience, demonstrating their talent and displaying the hard work they put into preparing for this night.

We can’t wait for next year’s Harambee and the performances it will deliver.

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