Slideshow: African heritage a focus at Safari event

The African Heritage Organization took students on a safari of African culture Thursday night.

The Safari Thru Africa included African food and traditional dance and fashion shows, which displayed jewelry and clothes. Skits, martial arts demonstrations and other entertainment were also featured.

The African Heritage Organization was formed by students who wanted to promote awareness of African culture on campus. The Safari Thru Africa was a way to fulfill that goal, Ashley Ototo, AHO vice president, said.

“There is a large portion of people with African heritage at TCU, so it’s nice to get our face out there and to let people know we’re on campus,” Ototo, a junior psychology major, said.

Sidee Dlamini, a former Horned Frog and emcee of Safari Thru Africa, said the event was a way to show students a side of Africa they might not have seen before.

“There’s a certain image of Africa portrayed in the media…the purpose of this event is to show what the real world looks like,” she said.

Brianna Ortbals, a junior nursing major, came to the event to experience a taste of African culture.

“[I’m looking forward to] learning about the culture through these dances, the fashion and the food,” she said.

The organization planned to host another event next semester called Red Hand Day, which would focus on preventing the use of children as soldiers in countries across the globe, Dlamini said. Students would have the opportunity to dip their hands in red paint, put it on white paper and then sign it. The group planned to mail the hand prints to the United Nations as a way to protest child soldiering in countries across the globe.

“The red hands mean ‘stop it.’ We send them to the U.N. every February,” she said.

The organization worked on smaller projects throughout the year, but their main focus has been Safari Thru Africa and Red Hand Day.

AHO is currently made up of approximately 30 members. The group holds a meeting once every month.