Story and photos by Abigail Nelson
Team207 will present African Night 2020 on March 7, 4:30 p.m., at South Portland High School, 637 Highland Avenue. African Night will showcase the beauty of African cultures for the community. “One of our goals is to bring everyone together, and also show everyone that Africa is not only about sadness and poverty,” said Team207 co-founder Djamal Maldoum.
For seven months, Maldoum, co-founder Casay Mohamed, and their team have been planning and preparing. African Night will feature food, dancing, motivational speakers, poetry, singing, art, and a fashion show. The event, which includes out-of-state participants, provides a platform for each presenter to display individual artistic talents.
“A lot of people, when you talk about Africa, they think it is the same place. But there are many countries,” said Milly Gladys, who is a model. Team207 has found representatives of different areas of Africa and asked them to showcase their cultures.
“Maine has so much life, but it’s hidden in houses, churches, and mosques,” said Casay Mohamed. Team207 members hope this event will energize people who may have drifted away from cultural traditions for a variety of reasons to embrace where they are from, while showcasing the beauty of African cultures.
“Here in America, people are so welcoming. Everyone is there to help you and pitch in to grow your idea more,” said Maldoum. “But there is still some racism. Not just like black-white racism, but black-black as well.” By holding this event, Team207 wants to break stereotypes and celebrate the continent’s variety of cultures.
Although several of the performers and models have participated in similar, African-based events in the past, Team207’s African Night will be their first time in a show of this size. The organizers hope African Night will become an annual event that takes place in different locations up and down the northeastern coastline. They plan to present the show in Boston next year.
Tickets cost $5.00 and are available in advance at afnbyteam207.com or at the door.