(Photos follow the article)

Afrobana is an annual cultural showcase organized by the Trent African Caribbean Student Association (TACSU).

This year it was titled Hakuna Matata and took place downtown at Showplace.

Each year the show tells a story. This year it was based on the story line of a married couple indulging in their honeymoon on a romantic cruise.

The show this year accomplished a lot more than just entertainment, though. The students performing used the playful story line to take their audience on a journey of joy, reflection and respect.

By including a spoken word piece titled “I Am More” addressing the generalization of many countries as Africa, to a jaw-dropping rendition of At Last, students took to the stage with passion and purpose.

Perhaps what was most memorable about the show however, isn’t simply what happened on stage, but the atmosphere in the audience.

For some it was a matter of seeing their friends on stage, for some it was familiar cultural references, and for some it was simply exciting to celebrate diversity in our community.

Regardless of why people were excited, their excitement was obvious and kept people dancing in their seats, cheering and singing along throughout the night.

The show also featured guests STOP from Toronto, and Trent’s own TISA Choir. These groups help to highlight the collaborative nature of the show. STOP in particular brought a heartfelt message with them.

It is events like these that remind us of the creativity that is encouraged to grow and develop at Trent.

With both experienced and new students taking the stage to share their stories, it was evident that this show was a great opportunity for all.

For everyone on stage or in the audience, there was, I’m sure, learning and appreciation all around.

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All photos by Keila MacPherson.