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The African-Caribbean Association (ACA) Night

Bennet recounts the events that took place during the African-Caribbean Night celebration of 2023.

Bennet recounts the events that took place during the African-Caribbean Night celebration of 2023.

One of the best days for me this academic year was the long-awaited African-Caribbean Association (ACA) Night celebration. Organized by ACA and hosted in the Kracum Performance Hall at Weitz Center for Creativity, the night was a rollercoaster of dance, music, comedy, films, poetry, fashion, and food, in celebration of African and Caribbean cultures.

The success of the event was a result of the active dedication of all members of ACA. I participated as a dancer, cinematographer, and vocalist. The four weeks leading up to the event involved a lot of practice and preparation for all the performances and presentations. Here’s my biased take on the event.

ACA Night
Faith Agboola’25 and Binny Onabolu’23 were the MCs for the entire event.

Dance performances!

There were performances from West African Dance, Oromo Dance, Horn of Africa, Karibu (Bena Mayo), Last Two Brain Cells (Aarnie and Tyreis Dance), Samosa Warriors (East and South Africa Dance), and the ACA Board Dance.

ACA Night
Members of the West African Dance group performing on stage.

The West African Dance, which I was part of, turned out to be really excellent. The group performed a mix of four songs: Lil Prinz by Wizkid, Dancina by Yemi Alade, Kukere by Iyanya, and Doings (by Flavour & Phyno). I give Faith Agboola’24 a lot of credit because she choreographed all the songs we performed.

Music performances!

They constituted Zuciya Daya by Chiamaka, ACApella (acapella group), Vibes by SLA, and Ethan & Taia’s rap song.

ACA Night
Members of ACApella performing during ACA Night.

I took part in ACApella as a beatmaker; I was the guy making beats with my mouth. The group performed Bank On It by Burna Boy, Melanin by Sauti Sol and Patoranking, Higher by Tems, and Sheng Yeng Anthem by Shenseea.

Before the group started singing on stage, there was an awkward silence because someone didn’t have a microphone. So I had to go backstage and wait for a while before getting a mic for him. We had meticulously planned everything we had to do when were on stage, right down to where we will stand and the color of the mic everyone will have. This missing mic was a little bit of a disappointment. However, none of my group members really complained; they were more energized than ever to perform. The many hours we spent practicing paid off!

Standup comedy!

Nadine’24 was the comedian that night. She was really good when she performed during the ACA Night Gala. Her performance during ACA Night showed a marked improvement from her last standup because her jokes were getting more laughs from a larger audience.

I have deep respect for her: I think standup comedy can be really difficult. I’m happy for her and wish she keeps excelling at it.

Films & Photos!

This constituted a video and a gallery presentation by Arthur Onwumere’24 (a.k.a. Art) and a Trivia video by the ACA board.

Art’s video was about what home feels like for people in the African-Caribbean diaspora. Some parts were quite emotional but portrayed the people interviewed in the video as individuals who really care about their cultural heritage. I had a part in the video in which I talked about how the traditional food of my tribe, Kom, reminds me of home. I miss such meals since coming to the United States. Occasionally, I eat nicely prepared Cameroonian food and usually always crave more.

Art also showed a slideshow of photos that highlighted the theme of camaraderie and a sense of cultural heritage among members of the African-Caribbean diaspora. Dedicated to his dad, Art’s presentation comprised photos of some members of ACA who were dressed in traditional attire that represented their cultural heritage.

The Trivia video was a really interesting piece. Shot at Sayles, members of the ACA board walked up to some Carls and asked them to guess the name of an African or Caribbean celebrity or name at least four countries found in Africa or the Caribbean. A few people guessed wrong, but most got the questions right. I felt happy that other people knew a little about where I came from. Art did a good job inserting some really funny memes that made me laugh out loud the entire time the video was playing.


There were some beautiful pieces from Hailey’25, Angie’26, and Victoria’25. Aside from how profound each poem was, I want to acknowledge how Hailey brought more life to hers. She had a slow calming sound and a video of flowers on a giant screen playing while she read out her poem. The environment felt so peaceful.

Fashion & Food!

ACA Night
Me (left) and Dak’23 (right) during the ACA Fashion Show.

For the Fashion Show, all members of ACA wore traditional clothes and paired themselves into groups. I was paired with Dak Blagburn’23 and we wore almost the same clothes.

We walked from the separate entrances at the same time, showing off our clothes, then meeting and taking a photo on stage. After the Fashion Show ended, there were a few speeches from the MCs of the occasion after which the audience and every person who attended the occasion proceeded to eat food that was catered for the event.

ACA Night
All the people who participated in the ACA Fashion Show.

There were a lot of food options: injera, eggs & chicken in tomato sauce, spicy jollof rice, Somali rice, “puff-puff”, fufu, beef pie, etc. The food was enough to feed all the people who attended the occasion. This marked the end of the celebration.

It was an amazing experience because the members of ACA were able to portray different sides of their culture to people from Carleton and Northfield communities. All the preparations that led up to ACA Night made me more connected to some members of this wonderful community. The preparations weren’t easy but I’m glad everyone was happy at the end. I’m grateful for being part of such a wonderful community at Carleton and look forward to many more events.



Bennet is from the town of Bamenda, Cameroon. He is currently undecided but looking forward to a double major in Computer Science and CAMS (Cinema and Media Studies). Aside from blogging, Bennet also works for the Office of International Student Life as a Peer Mentor. On campus, he is part of the African and Caribbean Association (ACA), Men’s Club Soccer, and serves as the Public Relations Officer for Men of Color (MOC). He likes spending his free time reading nonfiction books, working out, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.