Disguised as animals, spirits, or ancestors, African Masqueraders dance around to the beat of drums, acting out stories and legends. Most masqueraders are men, even though they sometimes impersonate women. They often go through long periods of training to gain the knowledge and earn the privilege of performing a specific masquerade, in which they mimic the personality and dance steps appropriate to their characters. Often, performers believe that they become so possessed with the character they are imitating that they actually take on that spirit, which gives them special knowledge that is revealed in their dance.

In reality, it is a form of idol worship that is especially common in the Yoruba people of West Africa. “Yoruba” not only refers to an ethnic group, but it is also a language spoken mainly in Nigeria, and also a religion that has influenced cultures around the world. It is even suggested that the American custom of dressing up during Halloween has been influenced by the Yoruban Masqueraders, when that religion was brought to the New World by the slave trade.

This custom was practiced among Yorubans long before Christianity came to West Africa, and is deeply ingrained in many Nigerians. However, things quickly change when the Word of God strikes a predestinated seed of God, even if that seed has been an idol worshipper for over 90 years. Even if he, himself, is a highly respected Masquerader leader. The following is a testimony sent in from Brother Andrew Alasa, VGR Office Manager in Lagos, Nigeria.

I recently received a visit from three brothers at the office here in Lagos. One of them is an elderly brother of 96 years old, who has received the precious Message and been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brother Elijah Dedeigbo, one of the pastors in Lagos, witnessed to him about the Message, and the old man was converted. The name of the Elderly brother is, Solomon A. Ajifa, and he lives in a town called Owo, in the Ondo State of Nigeria.

Brother Solomon was the head of the Masqueraders, which is a form of idol worship. When he heard the Message preached to him in his local language, Yoruba, he believed It. Pastor Elijah picked him up and baptized him in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ.

He does not understand English language, and can only communicate in Yoruba language, but he has no trouble believing the prophet’s Message.

May God continue to bless our dear brother.

We thank God for His Grace upon his life.

Andrew Alasa