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Afropollo Brings The Talent To NU

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Afropollo, the talent show put on by the African Students Association on Friday, November 18, was a mixture of laughs, applause, jeers, and undeniable talent.
The show opened with a performance by Fusion Dance Company. It was the perfect way to start the night; before long, the high-energy music combined with fun dance moves had the crowd yelling and cheering.  
In between acts, the show’s MCs Daniel Flores and Chris Smith entertained the rowdy crowd as best they could. It seemed like the crowd was so excited to see the different acts that when it came to the MCs, they acted impatient at best and rude at worst. But that’s to be expected with this kind of show, since people are encouraged to be as loud and outrageous as possible throughout.

  (Photo Credit: Michelle Byamugisha)

Some lucky audience members got more than they bargained for. There were so many raffles throughout the night, it was hard to keep count. The winners got things like a $65 gift card to local salon Pivot Point and gift cards of varying amounts to Cosi, Chipotle, and a ton of other places.


The real draw of Afropollo is that it’s modeled after the famous show “Showtime at the Apollo,” in which performers would be forced off the stage if the audience members booed loudly enough. So in Afropollo, performers had a two-minute window of time to show off their talents with silence from the audience (no one really complied with this, though) before the audience was allowed to boo or cheer as enthusiastically as possible. It was cringe-inducing to see people interrupted in the middle of their performances and literally get swept off the stage by a student with a huge broom. However, the risk was well worth the potential of the reward. The winner of Afropollo, Communication sophomore Jacqueline “Jovi” Maize, won $300 after performing a variety of songs. Her quirky charm (she wore a hot pink wig à la Nicki Minaj) and fantastic voice made her a good choice for the winner.
Besides Jovi’s, there were a lot of impressive performances. Jüç E Früt was an eclectic music group that did an upbeat mix of songs, Weinberg sophomore Irene Tu did some race- and sexuality-based stand-up comedy, and dance group NU Bhangra combined traditional Indian music with hip-hop favorites of today, resulting in an enthralling performance.
Although the crowd could get obnoxious and the chance of performers getting booed off stage was enough to cause serious second-hand anxiety, Afropollo was a great way to spend a Friday night. Even better, it brought attention to an important issue: the drought in East Africa.  A portion of the proceeds went to NU Sounds the Horn for East Africa, a student-led crusade to bring more attention to the seriousness of that situation. 
It’s no surprise Tech Auditorium was filled when it came time for Afropollo. The mixture of people showing off their skills and being brave enough to potentially humiliate themselves is always going to draw a crowd. The African Students Association outdid themselves and put on an excellent show, which is actually a pretty awesome talent all on its own.  

Read more about the winner, Jacqueline Maize!

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Kylie Gilbert


Kylie Gilbert is a senior Journalism major and French minor at Northwestern University. She joined HC as a freshman as a contributing writer and has been campus correspondent since her sophomore year. When she isn't writing, online shopping, or reading fashion magazines, she loves watching The Mindy Project, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother and everything on Bravo.