UBUNTU 2018: ‘A Cultural Masterpiece’

UBUNTU dazzles reviewer Bri Paterson, who finds evidence of the diversity our university so often claims.


On the Saturday 10 February 2018 the St Andrews Afro Caribbean Society hosted a cultural masterpiece of a showcase on the (somewhat) famed 601 stage. A mishmash of dance, fashion and a beautiful narrative story of African legends the night was a resounding success and despite it being something I had never heard of before I’m now determined to attend next year.

The stage and atmosphere were impressive, the models and dancers were impeccable, the technical team and effects were outstanding, hell even the crowd were good. It was just a wonderful connection of everything going correctly on the night. All I can say is if you weren’t there you definitely missed out.

Now a lot can be said about the talent that went into this event. To start the night off there were a series of dances to loud pumping African inspired music, a clever move that ensured the audience were ensnared from the very beginning. Following on from the dancing was the fashion section of the night which was interspersed with the visual effects on the screens telling a series of legends about the beginning of the world from an African perspective. While these legends were beautifully produced and enrapturing the true star was the fashion and makeup that was displayed in every element.

Large bold prints from various new designers as well as an outstanding make-up team ensured that every part of the show was impeccably designed and eye catching, meaning that the audience were hushed at the right moments and cheering at others. Above all a special form of recognition has to go to the shows announcer – a confident entertaining lady whose name was almost immediately lost to the crowd’s cheers.

Throughout the breaks of the show she came on stage to give out raffle prizes and promote the shows sponsor Brugal. From shouting at the audience members to shut up to forcing unwitting members to recite African countries she definitely enjoyed her role, and undoubtedly succeeded in making the audience love her.

I’ve said this before when it comes to St Andrews Afro-Caribbean societal events but I’m never sure if it’s appropriate as a white person to kind of awkwardly invite yourself along, particularly to something like this where it is very much celebrating a shared African culture. After all our university arguably has a problem with under representation of people of color, perhaps because we’re stuck in the depths of frozen Scotland.

However I was completely floored at the diversity of not only the show, but of the audience and how inclusive and welcoming an event it was. You didn’t have to be of the culture to appreciate the beauty and skill that went behind the show, nor did you feel at all left out from the fun. As mentioned before I hadn’t heard of the show before attending but the turn out was fantastic and the promotional team had put a lot of work into spreading the word of the cultural showcase to the university population. Above all I just want to thank everyone who put effort into the night and state how impressed I am with the result.


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