Messiah Int’l presents ‘Asantewaa – I Am Woman’

Naimah Innis.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Messiah International is working at a fever pitch, revving up its band to impress the judges at the Labor Day carnival on Eastern Parkway, with Yaa Asantewaa – “I am Woman” – that will delves into the realm of African Mas, said co-band leader Lucericia Messiah.

The Trinidadian brother and sister team of Chevon and Lucericia chose to honor the strong and powerful black woman in their second presentation on the Parkway to showcase the Yoruba queen, who led the Ashanti rebellion known as “War of the Golden Stool” against British colonialism.

Lucericia who will wear the black and gold costume to depict the courageous queen said that the band would vie in the small band category, with just 30 masqueraders.

The band worked with each reveler to customize body wear and head headpiece to showcase Cleopatra’s beauty and intelligence, the driven African queen Nzinga, and Nanny Maroon, the brave female of the maroons, who led defiant Jamaican ex-slaves that fled the slave plantations.

“We want masqueraders to feel comfortable when they mas on the Parkway,” said Lucericia, adding “it’s not about the skimpiness of the costume, it’s about showcasing the culture and creativity.”

In addition to beads and feathers, the designers took a more authentic approach by trimming the costumes with fur for a more African feel.

The male section will tell the story of Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar, the lovers of Cleopatra, the seductress. Some masqueraders in this section will prance in slave-like costumes and be showcased in role-play, men on chains being led along the parade route.

Last year, Messiah International arrived on the Parkway late and missed being judged, but they are all pumped up and ready to take the carnival by storm with Chevon Messiah as DJ Twist, who produced the music to accompany the band.

The mas camp located at 266 East 39 St. and Church Avenue in Brooklyn is still open to masqueraders who would like to purchase costumes. Prices range from $150.00 to $250. Mas Band Leader Chevon Messiah and Co-Band Leader Lucericia Messiah can be reached at 718- 676-6336 or 917-202-6426.

Akila Benjamin.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

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