When a picture of a bevy of beautiful black women adorning green gowns with various designs circulated the internet at the beginning of the year, many assumed it was a bridal party. Ghanaian photographer, David Daka who moved to America for his freshman year in high school, told This Is Africa that the women he photographed were Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKAs) from South Carolina celebrating their ten-year anniversary. Daka is the photographer behind the now iconic images.
The group of 15 women had come together after planning the reunion for eight months to a year. Courtney Jade, a member of the sorority told This Is Africa, “being that this was a ten-year reunion we wanted to try as hard as we could to get everyone together since life has taken us to different places. And ten years is just such a milestone. Going into a new decade is transformative; us turning into ten is transformative, and we’ve changed so much, not only as individuals but as a sisterhood.”
Black women solidarity could not be better captured as it was in the pictures Daka took. Many times sororities and fraternities feel like their work is over after graduation from college Courtney told TIA.
David Daks’s journey
Daka who graduated from Kennesaw State University in December of 2019, having studied chemistry. He started off as a biochemistry major before switching to chemistry to focus more on research. Prior to being a photographer, he’d been working at a cosmetic lab. His journey into photography was as random as buying a camera in college and taking pictures of his friends on Wednesdays, a tradition that was termed Dab Wednesday. Soon enough he was getting request from friends to have their pictures taken.
“Big groups tend to be overwhelming,” Daka said when asked about his experience photographing the women’s reunion. “They were really fun. I shook everyone’s hand and got to know them, saw their vision and did my best to make it happen.” he said.
The women had met each other in college at the University of South Carolina and bonded in the sorority, keeping close to each other, attending each other’s weddings and being there for each other. Courtney told TIA, “I hope the images serve as a means of empowerment for women to know how important it is to find your tribe and find your sisters and love them and love them hard.”