Students at the University of Rhode Island got a “Glimpse into the Future” on Saturday night at the Student Alliance for the Welfare of Africa’s (S.A.W.A.) 11th annual hair show.
This year’s show featured nearly 30 hairstyling designs across five separate scenes from local stylist Jerry Tolbert. Although Tolbert is not a graduate of the University, S.A.W.A. President Adefemi Filaoye said that the group chose him based upon his reputable work.
“This year we wanted the hair show to be more about the hair than the outfits,” Filaoye said. Neither the hair nor the costumes failed to stun the crowd, though.
Four of the five scenes featured hair and outfits meant as a nod to the future, but the last scene, Space Warriors, did not include the same metallic jumpsuits or 5-inch heels, however. Instead, the scene served as recognition of Africa’s past.
“Space Warriors was a background of African warriors,” Filaoye said. “Since the theme of the show was going to be ‘A Glimpse into the Future,’ we imagined the future and acknowledged our warriors who also fought for our freedom. Honestly, as an African organization it makes us feel connected to our roots.”
In addition to hiring a hairstylist, Vice President Lisa Early said the show would not have been possible without help from costume designers, makeup artists and performers like Alima International Dance Association.
“There was so much planning that went into this,” Early said. “I’m just so proud of everyone who helped. It’s been an amazing three months.”
According to Early, the show completely sold out. In recent memory, this is the best turnout the group has ever received and proceeds reflected that. The hair show helped fundraise more than $2,000, according to Filaoye.
All proceeds will be donated to the Izzy Foundation, based in Providence, Rhode Island, which helps to provide services and support to families with children who have debilitating diseases.
Community services and outreach lie at the heart of S.A.W.A’s mission statement. The group strives “to enrich and unite the African community through social, artistic, educational and services events.” Through this, S.A.W.A hopes to place “Africa under a positive life for the benefit of everyone.”
Although this year’s show has finally come under wraps, Filaoye and Early said they’ve already begun to plan for next year.
“It’s something we look forward to every year,” Early said.
Similarly, senior model Marcia Almeida said she was thrilled with how well the show went. For her, modeling in the fashion show over the past four years was a well-deserved break from all of her classes.
“I feel accomplished,” Almeida said. “I absolutely have no regrets.” Walking down the runway for the last time was a bittersweet moment for her.
Early said she missed out on getting to see everyone walk while she was busy with all the behind the scenes work, but she was extremely proud of the event. “I never expected the show to turn out as amazing as it did.”