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Over 150 people packed into the small space of Aurora’s Mirage Kebob House on Friday, April 24, all proudly representing different countries but woven together with similar threads.The first annual African Dress Night brought native and migrant African families to the small restaurant to partake in a full night of cultural celebration, featuring a fashion show and several speakers involved with the African community in Denver.
The fashion show featured participants from countries including Zimbabwe, Mali, Ethiopia, Ghana, and more, each group parading onto the stage and performing brief traditional dances for the cheering crowd.
Notable guests at the event included Mayor of Aurora Steve Hogan, Representative Rhonda Fields, as well as Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman and his wife, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.
Aminata Kieta, president of the African Woman’s Empowerment Group, and African Leadership Group President Papa Dia also spoke about the growing empowerment of Africans in Denver and Colorado, focusing especially on women.
“This is a celebration for the African continent,” said Kieta.
Representative Coffman, who is working on community development initiatives with Dia, said events like the dress night demonstrate the closeness of Aurora and Denver’s African community.
“The immigrant community is very large,” he said. “But they are altogether very close-knit, everybody knows everybody.”
We’ve posted a slideshow with more photos from the event here.