Malden High’s Afro Caribbean Team Hosts Eventful Night

“We live in a crazy time. Politically, a lot of bad stuff is happening in the world… a lot of stuff that's happening in the world is driven by ignorance of religion or culture, and I think having the ability to be open to how others have been raised and how others have lived just makes us a better school and makes us individually more accepting and understanding,” principal Christopher Mastrangelo stated. 

On February 9th, Giselle Dessert hosted an Afro-Caribbean Night with the help of her friends. As the doors opened many excited students flooded in, ready to watch the show. But before the performances began, Dessert explained how hard she and her friends had worked to set the whole event up. 

“The experience was great but putting on the whole show was a challenge just because it was my first time doing something different like this. We usually just stick to events held by the junior class such as JVs or we attend college events, so putting on our own event this year was a challenge, but it was definitely a fun experience.” 

After that, Brunelli house principal Ewald Charles, accompanied by three other students, sang the Haitian National Anthem. 

The Haitian National Anthem was sung by Mr. Charles and three students. HASET TESFAW

Then the Habesha group put on an amazing performance, followed by the step team. The crowd was cheering and continued to be very supportive throughout all the performances. “It was all good vibes and energy,” Patricia Mukasa, who had performed in the Habesha dance group, stated.

“I think it’s a celebration of who they are, which was why they were happy about it. It’s a chance to celebrate who they are, how could you be any happier,” said Charles. “ 

“It felt absolutely amazing to have such a supportive and active crowd,” said Erikah Macharia.“To have our friends, teachers, and family in the crowd supporting us and all that we worked on, made the experience 100 times better.” 

Thema Ulysse then had the crowd in awe as he sang “Unstoppable” by Sia.

Thema Ulysse singing "Unstoppable" by Sia. HASET TESFAW.

Before their last performance, Dessert along with  her best friend, Macharia, had come out to speak about what the profits from this event would be going towards. 

“Most countries, Caribbean countries to be more specific, need the money. The most being  Haiti or Congo, so I wanted to find organizations that helped out both of them and donated money directly to specific areas in Congo and Haiti. I researched and I found some online so very shortly we will be taking the money and depositing it to be able to send it off to both countries, to help as much as needed,” Dessert explained. 

“I think it's just selfless. Not selfish, selfless,” Mastrangelo stated. “The work that they’re doing is noble,” Charles agreed.

Dessert also expressed how much her friendship with Macharia meant to her and how she had been a huge help throughout the entire process.

“Erikah has helped a lot. She was the one that started the club, but as years went on, it kind of melted into us both running it, so to be honest, the club wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is now without her. It means a lot to have a friend like her because she’s super supportive in everything and  she has a very free spirit and it’s nice to have someone like her around,” Dessert continued. 

“She’s one of my best friends and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be by my side throughout not only this process but the past three years. We both share common ideas and interests which made planning everything very easy and also made the whole process much more enjoyable,” Macharia emphasized, explaining how they’ve naturally learned to work with each other.

They ended the show with an amazing performance by the Afro-Carribean group. Along with her other friends, Saniah Charles, who performed in three acts (Habesha dance group, step team, and Afro-Caribbean group), was very happy with the turnout. 

“When the crowd is supportive it honestly makes the environment so much more smoother and better,” said Charles. “The show all came together towards the end. Seeing how everything turned out made all the practices and hard work truly worth it.”

“It’s the best feeling when you see that people are actually enjoying what you are putting on. It hypes you up and makes you want to do so much better, so I felt really good about that. We probably all did,” Dessert stated.

After the performances concluded the show they thanked everyone for coming and supporting them. They then told everyone to head over to the gallery to enjoy some delicious food and desserts. 

One of their main goals for the night was to share the importance of culture and sharing it with others. There are many benefits of sharing your culture with others, as it can form a sense of unity between people.

“One of my greatest takeaways from Malden, when I leave someday, is just how much I thought I knew about culture when I came in here, and how quickly I realized I didn't know anything,” Mastrangelo said.

“As you know, I am of Haitian descent and I think culture and going back to your roots is very important. Culture shapes who you are… we should all hold on to our cultures as we learn new things but never forget where we’re from,” Charles explained.

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