The town of Sokodé, the historic Islamic capital of Togo, is also the central location for 438,000 Kotokoli people. The Kotokoli converted to Islam in the 1700s, and the first mosque was built in 1820. However, under a veneer of Islam, traditional African beliefs thrive. Sacrifices are performed before idols on mountains. During the Day of the Kotokoli festival, ancestors are thanked for a good harvest and Semasi warriors on horseback perform daring tests of strength. Adosa, the Festival of Knives, consists of young men who, after drinking a “protection” potion, run sharp knives over their stomachs. Many Kotokoli are subsistence farmers and taxi drivers.
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)