Back to My Roots VI to tribute Mandela

Annual event returns to be better than before

By Allison Price
On February 21, 2014

  • Seinior Heather Dills. Ashley Romo
  • Seinior Heather Dills. Ashley Romo

African Student Association (ASA) and UCPC are back in action to bring together the sixth annual 'Back to My Roots' performance Monday, Feb. 24.

Back to My Roots is an annual event that focuses on a different theme each year.

This year, the theme will be freedom, with a tribute to South Africa and the late Nelson Mandela.

"[Nelson Mandela] passed away in December, and we want to do a tribute about him," student adviser for ASA Besspher Mannah said. "Along with that tribute, we will be doing dances, poetry, singing and a fashion show, all to the African beat."

In addition to the events the organization plans, UCPC reaches out to musical groups that can play at the event, Mannah said. This year, the Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana will be the musical guest, playing the lively African beat.

"I went to last year's Back to My Roots performance, and it was a truly different experience," sophomore Brittni Villarreal said. "It is great to see the different culture and celebrate it."

Mannah said that planning begins in the fall semester for the Back to My Roots event. The groups want to make sure that everything is ready to go come the spring semester, when the actual event takes place.

"We brainstorm ideas and look at what is going on in the economy so we can have a theme that people will be able to relate to," he said. "Sometimes we don't always base it on an event going on."

Mannah said everyone is welcome to enjoy the event and experience more of the African culture.

"We are bringing a new twist this year," he said. "But we are also incorporating the older twists to make it more relevant."

Mannah said having students come and interact is fun, and it gives ASA the chance to share their culture with everyone.

Back to My Roots VI will begin at 7 p.m. in the C.J. Davidson Center. The event is free for ASU students, faculty, staff and the San Angelo community. Free refreshments will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

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