When Chinyelu Mwaafrika heard that a team at Butler University was looking for a student to be the voice of its newest television and radio advertisements, the first-year Theatre major jumped at the opportunity.
From his home in Indianapolis, he used his cell phone to record an audition for the voiceover: “As Bulldogs, we believe in the Butler Way. In doing more than our best, in putting team above self, and in unleashing our strengths for the greater good…”
The next day, he got the part.
“I’m always interested in trying new things, and I’ve never done anything like this before,” Mwaafrika says. “I also wanted to be helpful. Plus, I like Butler a lot, and I wanted to contribute in any way I could.”
For much of his childhood, Mwaafrika had planned to pursue engineering. But the desire to perform was always there, so he joined the Asante Children’s Theatre at 13 and continued to participate in plays throughout high school. Eventually, he realized theatre was what he needed to be doing full-time.
“I’m really into the potential for theatre to bring about change,” he says. “It encourages people to think and ask questions. It’s a good tool for bringing people together and exploring issues that people don’t always want to talk about.”
When Mwaafrika started looking for universities in his home state of Indiana, Butler seemed like the obvious choice.
“Butler was the only place I auditioned that I felt would be able to really push me and help me grow as an artist and as a person,” he says.
And so far, his college experience has been fantastic. He says the switch to online learning this semester hasn’t been ideal, but he appreciates the faculty who have found ways to adapt and make sure that students still get the best possible education.
“I cannot put into words how much I miss the people and the campus,” he says. “I love Butler so much.”