Sunderland University celebrates united cultures with Battle of the Tribes event

Afrio-Caribbean Society president Francis Ezenagu and member Elvica Kata with Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, and her consort Keith MacKnight.
Afrio-Caribbean Society president Francis Ezenagu and member Elvica Kata with Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, and her consort Keith MacKnight.

Students from all nationalities came together to celebrate all that makes them different.

The University of Sunderland hosted the Battle of the Tribes event with the aim of bringing as many different cultures as possible together under one roof.

Afrio-Caribbean Society president Francis Ezenagu and member Elvica Kata welcome the Mayor of Sunderland Doris MacKnight along with her consort and husband Keith to the battle of the tribes event held by the Afro-Caribbean Society at Sunderland University.

Afrio-Caribbean Society president Francis Ezenagu and member Elvica Kata welcome the Mayor of Sunderland Doris MacKnight along with her consort and husband Keith to the battle of the tribes event held by the Afro-Caribbean Society at Sunderland University.

Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKight, along with her consort husband, Keith, went along to join the celebrations.

The university’s Afro-Caribbean Society organised the diversity event, dubbed, Battle of Tribes, and the red-carpet evening aimed to celebrate, through one unified voice, how different we all are.

African, Caribbean, Greek, Kuwati, Italian and many more nationalities took part in the colourful extravaganza this week.

The event, which was held in CitySpace in Chester Road, was the brainchild of Francis Ezenagu, a Nigerian student currently studying nursing at the university.

We might have different skin colour, language or religion, we are still all the same

Francis Ezanagu

He was inspired to bring cultures together and celebrate diversity after realising that some of the prejudice he had faced in his life was down to a lack of education.

Francis, 26, said: “I have encountered some prejudice and even had an egg thrown at me. But, I must confess, while at the University of Sunderland, I have made loads of friends.

“The reason people act in a hate manner is because they have never been educated on different cultures and they hold misconceptions and stereotypes against other nationalities. 

“The reason why I was keen to organise this event was to elevate cultural awareness and bring people from different nationalities together in a common goal.

(Left to right) Abiola Lasisi, George Mubaraq and Wassa Williams Jnr.

(Left to right) Abiola Lasisi, George Mubaraq and Wassa Williams Jnr.

“It’s normal in life for an individual to dislike what he/she doesn’t know, hence it’s our duty to enlighten the public on our traditions and cultures and also eradicate misconceptions. 

“It has been amazing learning from different cultures and I hope everyone tries to understand that, although we might have different skin colour, language or religion, we are still all the same.”

University of Sunderland Vice Chancellor, Shirley Atkinson, said: “Celebrating diversity is something we are passionate about here at the University of Sunderland.

“The Sunderland Afro-Caribbean event gave us the opportunity to bring together different nationalities and immerse ourselves in cultures from around the world.

Kumareswaradas Ramanathas and Sandra Lulu at the Battle of The Tribes.

Kumareswaradas Ramanathas and Sandra Lulu at the Battle of The Tribes.

“Each year we welcome new students from over 100 countries.

“These students become a vital part of day-to-day life in our city. Outside of their studies, lifelong friendships are created and memories made.  

“Coming together to create a mass message of unity has never been more important, and we are proud that our students are at the forefront of creating a better tomorrow, today.”

Coun MacKnight said she was delighted to attend the event and enjoyed meeting all the students.

She said: “This society showcases the diversity we have here in Sunderland. We have many students in the city who come from all over the world.”

Kumareswaradas Ramanathas and Sandra Lulu.

Kumareswaradas Ramanathas and Sandra Lulu.

Christopher Glover (right) and Gianluca Giordano.

Christopher Glover (right) and Gianluca Giordano.