The African Scholars Program at Amherst Regional High School will present an African Dinner and Film Night on Thursday, March 15, at 5:30 p.m. in the high school library and cafeteria. The program is a benefit for the group’s planned student exchange in West Africa.
The evening will include a sumptuous home-made meal using authentic West African recipes and a free screening and follow-up discussion of Senegalese filmmaker Sembene Ousmane’s Mandabi, the story of a man with a money order he can’t cash because he has no identity in the postcolonial bureaucracy.
The menu will offer a choice of entrees, vegetarian mafe or chicken yassa, with white rice. Beverages will include bouye and bissap (made from baobab and hibiscus, respectively) as well as ataya, a special tea brewed and poured with great fanfare. The principal chefs will be African Studies Program directors Oumy Cisse-Deme, a French teacher and naïve of Senegal, and Momodou Sarr, a special education teacher and native of The Gambia.
The goals of the African Scholars Program are to infuse African studies into all parts of the high school curriculum and to establish an ongoing exchange program with secondary schools in Senegal and the Gambia. The group’s fundraising activities will support students who cannot afford the full cost of the exchange as well community service projects in Africa.
The event is open to the community, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students; preferred seating and a souvenir mug are available with an additional $10 contribution. Tickets can be reserved by e-mailing Bruce Penniman at email@example.com or by calling 413-253-2669.