On Wednesday, January 6, Upper  Campus students and faculty enjoyed an inspiring performance by Sounds of Afrika, a troupe that has performed nationally and internationally since 1995. Kojo Bey, Abishai Ben Reuben, and Deborah Calhoun founded the troupe as an Afrikan Drum and Dance troupe to promote Afrikan and Afrikan-American culture in the communities and schools. All of the members have diverse backgrounds in the arts and extensive study of African dance and drumming techniques. Sounds of Afrika has performed and facilitated after-school programs in more than 700 schools. They have also been featured on television and in various publications. IMS students and faculty chanted and danced along with the group as they performed and asked lots of interesting questions during an informative Q&A session.


Before the Wednesday performance, students toured the SALAGA Transatlantic Slave Route exhibit set up in the Ingle Conference Room. The exhibit is a self-guided tour focusing on the slave routes from Ghana. Ghana had 93% of all slave castles where people were kept before they loaded onto the boats. The SALAGA traveling exhibit explores the long arduous journey of enslaved and runaway Africans along the slave routes to the coastal areas. Through panel photos, artifacts, photo catalogues, replicas, and music, the exhibit examines the significance of the slave route history, landmarks, and artifacts that represent 400 years of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Route. Proceeds from items for sale during the exhibit, including CDs and T-shirts, go to an orphanage in Africa that the Sounds of Afrika troupe helps support. You can learn more about the SALAGA by viewing the video below:



Sounds of Afrika has been recognized as a premiere troupe, invited to perform for various events and share the message of unity to its audiences, always stressing the importance of respecting every culture. Everyone, regardless of background, can use the values and lessons they teach. In addition to schools, Sounds of Afrika reaches out to youth centers where teens are at risk; community centers where people socially congregate; churches and civic organizations; prisons; corporations; and to hospitals, health centers, and elderly shelters where the healing processes are taking place.