2018 – Hubert Charles Ahovissi, Class of 2013
Hubert “Charles” Ahovissi is a professional artist, dancer, drummer, choreographer, educator, stage costume designer and tailor. He is an approved teaching and performing artist through the Nebraska and Iowa Arts Councils. Ahovissi began his dancing career in 1984 when he joined the National Ballet Company of Benin, West Africa. He left the National Ballet in 1987 and joined the Super Angels Dance Troop that toured extensively throughout the world performing and teaching traditional African dance and music. Ahovissi moved to Omaha in 2000 and since has shared his knowledge and love of Africa through traditional dancing and drumming to foster better understanding of Africa’s diverse and beautiful cultures. In 2006, he founded the African Culture Connection as a non-profit organization to teach African culture. Under his leadership, ACC and Ahovissi have received the following awards: 2010 Girls Inc. Angel Award; 2012 Nebraska Governor’s Art Award for Heritage Arts; 2012 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award; 2015-18 Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards nominated (2015) and selected (2016 & 2018) Best Local Dance Production; 2017 U.S. Air Force Excellence Through Diversity Award.
In spring 2001, Ahovissi turned to Metropolitan Community College to further his skills. He started taking ESL classes and in 2012 earned his Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts/Academic Transfer. His education has helped him amplify the African Culture Connection. “After my graduation at MCC, I became more precise and passionate in my teaching…” says Ahovissi, “My communication and leadership skills have increased.” Ahovissi credits MCC with providing him the education necessary to become an American citizen.
Throughout the Omaha community, Ahovissi shares his passion through dancing and drumming during public performances, school assemblies, residencies, and workshops. Ahovissi provides multicultural lessons by giving students authentic, hands-on experiences with African culture. He creates an authentic African village ambiance and uses ceremonial African clothes as well as traditional instruments to teach about African culture. Ahovissi promotes unity and multiculturalism while offering students a fun, social and physical activity.