ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The Ellsworth Air Force Base Diversity Council honored African American History Month with a celebration of culture at the deployment center on Feb. 23.
During the event, attendees were taught about African traditions through a fashion show and tastes of regional cuisine.
“I pondered a lot about what means I could use to teach others about my roots,” said Airman 1st Class Georgette Ndamukong, a 28th Medical Operations Squadron public health technician, who was born in the Republic of Cameroon, Africa. “Almost everyone admires art, and a fashion show is a form of art that can be used to convey a plethora of messages.”
The fashion show provided the audience a glimpse into the meaning behind certain West African wedding customs and traditions, head wrap styles, and the multiple meanings and purposes of the Dashiki – a traditional West African garment.
The fashion show was accompanied by a buffet of traditional African dishes, such as jellof rice, lamb pepper soup and Algerian couscous. All of the dishes were prepared by Ndamukong and other volunteers.
For some, the event took them home; for others, this was a unique learning opportunity.
“This is what it means to be diverse,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Barrett, the 28th Bomb Wing director of staff. “All of us should take what we’ve learned today and share it.”
Ellsworth AFB’s Diversity Council plans to continue providing the base with more opportunities to learn about different cultures and encourages all Airmen to come and share their own.