This past Friday, 12 contestants had the opportunity to be named ETSU Mr. Shades of Africa 2017 and Ms. Shades of Africa 2017. The Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Fourth Annual African night was held in the D.P. Culp University Center Auditorium.
“The overall fashion show went great,” said Office of Multicultural Affairs Director Laura Terry. “The students were very receptive and engaged. It was good to hear how happy the audience were when the contestants would come out. Hearing them clap and yell was great and good camaraderie. The crowd was good and diverse, and I was happy to see so many different students come out to see their peers compete in the contest.”
The host for Friday’s event was comedian Damilola Olatunde “AphricanApe” and the judges were Karen Sullivan, Elyse Batista and Dr. Jeff Roach.
Contestants came out to the stage to start the show in a country’s attire and waving the country’s flag. After the parade of flags, contestants introduced themselves, stated the country they were representing from Africa and spoke the language from the country.
After the introductions, each contestant came out and performed a cultural dance. Following the dance was a cultural talent. Next was cultural evening wear and the last task was to answer a question from the host.
During intermissions, more entertainment filled the stage. A singing performance done by Easy Music and a dance performance by Diversity INC. kept the audience on their feet. A monologue was also presented by one of the members of the Black Affairs Association.
“We had participation from many different cultures,” said Terry.
After the questions were answered by the contestants, the Drama Crew (Ini Udoeyop, Alphonso Kamara, Kaliee Jones) from Shades of Africa performed before judges announced the winners.
On the men’s side, the second runner-up was Jermaine Kpan representing Liberia. The first runner-up was Jaylen Grimes representing Rwanda and the winner was Danansi Kouame representing Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
For the women contestants, Delisa Sanders claimed second runner-up representing Congo. Idara Idoeyop received first runner-up representing Nigeria and Ginette St. Louis was the winner representing Cape Verde.
“It was great to see the ones that were in the top three, because those are the ones that showed the most participation in coming to practice,” said Terry. “The students were very dedicated to come to the practices every Sunday.”