Asadu Returns Back to her Roots in Africa

Asadu Returns Back to her Roots in Africa

Nicole Asadu

Paulina Zuleta

As the little girl is given a new backpack, she can’t help but giggle. Inside she see’s Twix, Reese’s and Hershey chocolates, rings, plastic crowns and toy cars, gifts she could not afford.

Even though these are small items, to some in Edem-Ani, a neighborhood in Africa, they can have more significance.

“My dad gave every person that was number one in their class a backpack because they don’t really have (them) over there,” Sophomore Nicole Asadu said.

For the first time, Asadu received nothing for the holidays. For the winter break, Asadu went to Nigeria, Africa for three weeks, while there her family hosted a party for economically disadvantaged children.

“I was happy to be with them but, of course, I was mad because I wasn’t getting anything for Christmas but these kids never get anything.” she said. “It was really eye-opening.”

Asadu also visited relatives in Nsukka, Nigeria.

“We went because my grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary and because of the party,” she said.

The event, which Asadu’s father who has been hosting since 2014, was celebrated on Dec. 24.

“My dad is a humanitarian,” she said. “Now that he’s living well, he wants to help the ones that are struggling.”

Kids who attend American Friendship School in Edem-Ani were invited.

“It was at my dad’s old elementary school and there were like over 1,000 children,” she said. “Their faces were so cute because the things that I take for granted, they were fighting for.”

The kids spoke Igbo but Asadu doesn’t.

“Once I said ‘hi’ they understood that I don’t know what they’re talking about,” she said. “At school, they learn English and they would talk to me, of course, it’s not well but I understood.”

A meal was also provided.

“We fed them,” Asadu said. “We served rice with chicken and salad.”

The children also engaged in games.

“We played musical chairs and a dance competition,” Asadu said. “If you’re a winner, you got a medal but everybody got a goodie bag.”

During her stay, Asadu, who has a second home in Africa, said everyone was welcome.

“Every day at my house for breakfast we would have food and if anyone needed (any), they could always come and get some,” she said.

Sophomore Aasha Canady said she’s grateful that Asadu had the chance to volunteer.

“It’s really nice how her and her family made kids who are less fortunate happy and helped them have a good holiday,” she said.

Canady said the trip changed her friend for the better.

“I know she had a lot of fun and new experiences because she was pretty happy when she came back,” she said.

Asadu said she had the best experience and can’t wait for next year.

“I felt good about myself because I was helping,” she said. “I didn’t know whether to smile or cry so I just hugged them. It was nice to see other people be happy, it made me happy.”