Lively song and dance embodied the Nigerian Independence Day celebration at the Dixie State University clocktower Thursday.
The jubilee was presented by the Nigerian Student Association and 55 Nigerian students at DSU to honor the 55th anniversary of Nigeria gaining it’s independence. Students were dressed in traditional, colorful clothing and some played drums while singing Nigerian folk songs.
“We’re singing for our freedom,” said Aliu Gimba, a freshman computer science major from Kaduna, Nigeria.
Gimba painted his bare chest with the green and white Nigerian flag for the celebration.
Right before noon, the students gathered around the clocktower and sang the Nigerian national anthem accompanied by music played from the clocktower. They invited bystanders to join in for a group photo.
Irene Nwokolo, a junior accounting major from Lagos, Nigeria, is the president of the Nigerian Student Association. She said this year’s celebration was the largest it has ever been at DSU.
The students were dressed in traditional “ankara” and “danshiki” clothing to each represent one of the 789 different cultures in Nigeria, Nwokolo said.
“Nigeria has a rich, diverse culture, and we wanted to show it off at DSU for people to see what the culture is a little bit like,” she said.
Nwokolo said she hopes the celebration on campus will drive more students to join the Nigerian Student Association to learn more about the Nigerian culture.
“We are very welcoming and encompassing to everyone,” Nwokolo said. “Plus we have great food.”
Ayoola Faheedat, a sophomore nursing major from Lagos, Nigeria, said the independence day celebrations in Nigeria are so large, they wanted to bring a part of it to DSU. She said the Nigerian students are recruited to come to DSU by agents who come to their high schools.
“[DSU] is a good school, but we wanted to show the diversity and lifestyle of Nigeria to the people here,” Faheedat said. “It is a really beautiful time for us and for all Nigerians across all of St. George and the world.”
Ayoola Faheedat, a sophomore nursing major from Lagos, Nigeria, plays the drum at the Nigerian Independence Day celebration at Dixie State University Thursday. The celebration was presented by the Nigerian Student Association.