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Pageant showcases contestants’ talent

By Greg Larose
Contributing Writer

The annual Inter Varsity African Student Association (IVASA) Pageant was held on Oct. 6 at the Memorial Student Union at the campus of North Carolina A&T for almost 150 audience members.
Tickets were on sale for $7 and the event started at 7:30 p.m.
The contestants in the pageant were from different schools representing their African Student Organizations, including UNCP, East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and UNC Greensboro.
Each school generally sends at least one male and one female.
The winners of the pageant were UNC Greensboro sophomore, Damita Onourah and North Carolina State sophomore, Demilable Olybanwo.
The pageant allowed each contestant to showcase their talents and answer tough questions on the spot.
UNCP’s Leila Davies, who represented the country of Sierra Leone, received second place.
Davies was also the ASO president last year.
UNCP’s African Student Organization was created two years ago.
This is the third year UNCP has participated in the pageant.
“Next year we hope to have scholarships as a reward for the winners,” said Secretary of the Inter Varsity African Student Association (IVASA) Melody Fayomi.
According to Fayomi, there was about $500 made from the pageant that goes straight back to next year’s pageant due to IVASA being a non-profit organization.
“This pageant brings a lot of African American organizations together,” said Robert Canida II, director of the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs.
The organization [ASO] is open to not just Africans, but student of other ethnicities as well, he said.
President of the ASO Yetunde Akindahunsi said, “This pageant highlights the talents of African students, primarily in the UNC system.”
“I am impressed with the richness of the African culture in North Carolina,” she said.
Kurt Kampshroder was also a representative of UNCP at the pageant.
Kurt is a white European and is an excellent example of diversity in the organization, Canida said.
It will be an enriching experience for him at the pageant, he continued.
The majority of the people who participate in the pageant are from West Africa and are mostly Nigerians, Akindahunsi said.
“A lot of people would never see…African attire and also you have to do a platform on your country,” she said.
NC State originally created the pageant and has a committe to run it, but it is likely that it will be held at other schools in the future.
Akindahunsi had said she would like to lobby for next year’s pageant to be held at UNCP.
The pageant is held once a year during the fall.

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Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2007
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