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African Cultural Week celebrates the power of transformational contributions

Ohio University's 2011 celebration of African Cultural Week will emphasize its theme, "Transformational Change," by honoring individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of the continent of Africa.

Organized by the African Student Union, the celebration will recognize the contributions of Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior Garang, a Sudanese politician and one of the advisers to the president of southern Sudan. She is the widow of John Garang De Mabior, the late first Vice President of Sudan and the president of the government of southern Sudan.

These are some of the upcoming events: 

Monday, May 9

•    The opening event will feature a lecture from Brandon Kendhammer, assistant professor of political science at Ohio University, as he reflects on the week's theme at 6 p.m. in the Friends of the Library Room in Alden Library. Students will also hear from outgoing and incoming ASU presidents. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, May 10:

•    A free screening of the African Academy Award nominated film, "The Change: History through Guineans' Eyes," will be held at 6 p.m. in Baker University Center 341. The documentary tells the story of Guinea’s recent history from the perspective of the people themselves.

Wednesday, May 11

•    A lecture will be presented by Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, Glidden visiting professor in the Department of African Studies and College of Fine Arts, titled, "Fela… and his Politics became Music," at 7 p.m. in Walter Rotunda. This will be followed by a presentation of traditional African clothing and fashion. The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 12

•    The African Studies Program, Linguistics Department, and Center for African and Asian Languages will host, "African Languages Night" at 7 p.m. in Walter 235. The evening will feature skits, songs, poems, food, raffles and prizes in celebration of African languages at Ohio University: Akan, Kiswahili, Somali, Wolof, and Zulu. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, May 13

•    An African Dance night will be hosted by ASU at 10 p.m. in Jackie O's Pub and Brewery. The night will feature music and dances from around the continent.

Saturday, May 14

•    African Heroes Night will celebrate the life and work of Rebecca Garang at 6 p.m. in Ping Center. She will be presented the 2011 African Hero's Award for her efforts to restore peace and avert war just a few months from the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement by her late husband, John Garang. Tickets are $7 for
adults, $5 for teens between the ages of 13-17 and free for children 12 and under. The night will also feature food, music and performances.

For more information, visit www.african.ohio.edu, or Aggrey Willis Otieno, ASU communications director at ao142809@ohio.edu.