Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity hosts Soul Cafe showcasing SU students and community

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Even before the Soul Cafe event started, the music was already being created. As more than 80 people entered Schine Underground, artists, hosts and DJs clapped in rhythm for warm-ups. Before all the poems and songs were performed in front of a lively crowd, the souls were already in the room.

On Wednesday, the Distinguished Delta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hosted Soul Cafe. Alpha Phi Alpha Fall 2021 Ace and SU junior Jordan Pierre hosted the event, which brought together singers, poets, and rappers from Syracuse University and the Syracuse community.

Soul Cafe is a traditional event hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha that seeks to showcase the talents of Syracuse students and community members, said SU Fawaz Okoya.

Okoya, the fall 2021 Deuce of the Delta Zeta chapter, was happy to bring the cafe back after the fraternity went through a three-year hiatus. Okoya hopes that events like the cafe can completely restore the brotherhood’s influence before they broke up.

“Alphas has had a strong impact on the Syracuse University campus. We want to show our past impact on a new generation of students,” Okoya said.

The stage was dazzled by black and gold streamers and balloons covering the performance area while dark blue and orange lights illuminated the audience. Alpha Phi Alpha members, students, families and community members all gathered in the crowd to listen to the talent on display.

In total, there were 21 performances, including original poetry and a revival by John Legend. Moving covers like Alicia Keys’ “Fallin'” and a blunt poem written and performed by SU senior Fabryce Fetus titled “Sucker for Love” were all part of the various performances featured at the cafe.

Throughout the show, the audience was very engaged. Applause and shouts rang out during the performances as the performers really stirred the listeners.

Local Syracuse rappers TMC and L2real were able to perform thanks to the Delta Zeta Chapter’s desire to display talent beyond the SU community. The two rappers performed their song “Love Struck” in front of an energized audience.

“(The show was) a crazy good experience, lots of good energy,” TMC said. “Everyone discovers new talent, and that’s just a motivation for everyone.”

Even after the performances ended, the festivities continued, with spectators and performers dancing to the background music.

Audience member and League senior Aidaruus Shirwa was excited after the show about what the Alphas had brought to campus.

“It was one of the best structured events I’ve been to,” Shirwa said. “I really enjoyed the diversity of the event.”

Alpha Phi Alpha will continue to bring events to the Syracuse community this weekend with its “All Black Affair” for Valentine’s Day weekend.

To close the show, Pierre wanted to remind the audience of the purpose of the Soul Cafe and the importance of events like this.

“It’s about building the culture, building the community and showing the talent,” Pierre said.

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