The 2013 International Festival Unites Faculty, Staff and Students

Angelitta Anderson

April 2, 2013

Sophomore Biology student, Birtrand Bikibili of Cameroon, sets up the juice bar at the Cheyney University International Festival.

Sophomore Biology student, Birtrand Bikibili of Cameroon, sets up the juice bar at the Cheyney University International Festival.

The Office of International Programs, the Students of All Nations organization, the United Nations Association, and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars initiated the annual Cheyney University International Festival on April 1. The festival has become an annual tradition on campus during the first full week of April. 

This year’s festival began with an international banquet held in the Marcus Foster Auditorium. The University’s Director of International Programs and International Student Advisor, Dr. Norma George, was the host and emcee for the time-honored event. Faculty members, students and Cheyney employees all came together to celebrate the occasion.
The festivities opened with a performance by African drummer and Director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, Sesime Adanu. Poetic verse by Cheyney student and author, Travis Cameroon followed with a spoken word piece titled “Third World.” Cheyney University Chamber Singer Janina Jones performed a flawless performance of “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh My Beloved Father”) an aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini.  Jamaican-born Marcia Robinson from Cheyney’s human resources department followed with "Coconut Woman," a Jamaican folk song made famous by Harry Bellafonte about a woman selling coconuts in the market.
Mass Communication major and spoken word artist, Kyle Morris, offered streaming poetic verbiage that he rhymed titled, “Wake Up.” The audience roared with cheers and applause at Mexican native and Assistant Professor, Dr. Patricia Montenegro's  aria “Ebben, ne andro lontana” (“Well, then? I’ll go far away”) from Alfredo Catalani's Italian opera “La Wally." A traditional mealtime blessing "God is Great, God is Good" before the meal was sung by Cheyney University Concert Choir students, Christian Beard (bass), Lariah Warner (soprano) and Janina Jones (alto). 
The evening’s feast was a smorgasbord of specialty cuisine and drinks from various parts of the world that included Jamaican ginger beer, East African tamarind juice, Mexican enchiladas, Louisianan styled collard greens, East African cassava leaves and couscous as well as West African jollof rice just to name a few delectables. There were also global delicious sweet treats. 
Everyone enjoyed good food, delightful drinks and the wonderful sounds of African drums during the banquet by Frank Mulbah, Political Science major, Keystone Honors student and President of the Students of All Nations organization. The food was long gone well before ending time, as students, staff and faculty alike all enjoyed an evening of international food, entertainment and fellowship at Cheyney University.