The purpose of WaZoBia Mana, located in Haselton Hall, is to learn about various African cultures, discuss social issues and politics but to also foster a sense of community and unity in the name of Africa. The continent remains a divided one, with rivalry amongst each other. People in different African nations do not often work with one another to better the continent, despite having similar colonial issues. WaZoBia represents the unity found within African nations and gives students an idea of what can happen when people come together for a common goal. The name WaZoBia, which is a “slang” formed in a West African country, Nigeria. WaZoBia means come in three major languages in Nigeria: Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo respectively. In a Nigerian context, it symbolizes hope that the three very different ethnic groups and cultures can come together to help advance the country. While WaZoBia is a Nigerian name, the house will not revolve around Nigerian culture. Rather, in a “Drew” context, it symbolizes the coming together of different types of people be it ethnicity, religion or gender (and other aspects of diversity) to shed light on a country that has been destroyed by the Western media.
Numerous people at Drew have different stories of Africa, from the T.V, from going on a D.I.S., learning about it in a classroom, or having a friend or neighbor that is African. We want to hear those stories, expand on them if they are positive and change attitudes towards them if they are positive. While we host fun events— e.g. Owanbe parties— we really strive for an educational component that would leave an impact on the Drew community.
In this house we strive to educate ourselves of African history, cultures and political and social issues. We achieve this by focusing on North Africa, West Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa, giving each region about 3-4weeks per year. In the final weeks of the school year we focus on the interconnectedness of the regions.
WaZoBia Mana House Assistant: Heanley Pierre