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Café talent raises awareness

By Naina Iyengar

The College’s first Café Night of the spring semester, which was sponsored by the Haitian Student Association and Delta Sigma Theta, featured a diverse set of powerful performances including a capella, rap, poetry and juggling on Wednesday, Feb. 6. in the Brower Student Center.

First to take the stage was the a capella group the iTunes, who enthusiastically swayed as they sang Shakira’s “Waka Waka,” and Gloriana’s “Wild at Heart.”
This was followed by original rap songs “Faith” and “My Nigerian Childhood,” from sophomore digital arts major Retji Dakum, who says his verses incorporate elements of humanitarianism, religion and freestyle.

“It’s more like a book, I give an introduction and different chapters … it has to have a link to my life. I can’t rap about something that doesn’t affect me,” Dakum said.

Next up was junior biology major Eche Nwizugbo, who delivered a soulful rendition of “Tell Me If You Still Care” by Monica.

The first café night of the semester works to raise money for ‘Here for Haiti.’ (Nisha Agarwal / Staff Photographer)

“Music and dance is my art — many people don’t expect that I can do it so it’s a nice surprise for them,” Nwizugbo said.
Senior math and secondary education double major Steve Demorcy, who immigrated from Haiti when he was seven years old, shared his poem “Rose and Mauve,” which detailed his childhood culture shock and subsequent adjustment period when he moved to the U.S.

“I don’t normally perform because (my poems) are really personal … it’s a sensitive area,” he said, although he has previously performed at poetry house and music venue Trenton Social.
This tied into the focus of the event, which was raising money for the “Here for Haiti” campaign, an initiative aimed at rebuilding Haitian infrastructure, and “Womenspace,” a non-profit organization which empowers victims of domestic violence.

Other performances that night included a two-man rap group “What If, Why Not entertainment,” from Roselle, N.J., who contrasted their song “Dreams” with another song titled “Nightmares.” This was succeeded by two-girl poetry group Tumi & Chika, who read an emotional poem by American playwright Ntozake Shange.

Roger Barrett, early childhood education and math/science/technology double major, also showcased poetry. Junior psychology major Kristina Ali, sang mellifluous covers of famous songs including

Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Freshman English major Wachen Harris also read two of his moving personal poems, including one called “Fight.”
Indeed, Café Night was a fun and effective way of displaying the College’s numerous talents while raising awareness for a cause.


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