News Brief

Beyoncé Channeled The Yoruba Deities Oshun And Yemoja For Her Pregnancy Shoot

Beyoncé referenced Yoruba goddesses Oshun and Yemoja in her recent maternity shoot.

I'm still not over Beyoncé's maternity photoshoot and I probably never will be, so deal.


The singer made waves earlier this week with the news of her pregnancy, and shared photos from her otherworldly maternity shoot, shot by Ethiopian conceptual artist Awol Erizku.

Many of the photos featured Bey as a Black Venus, donning long tresses and positioned gracefully before ornate floral backgrounds.

Some of the other images, showed the singer floating underwater while draped in bright yellow garments. Many have noticed that the images contain references to Oshun, the Yoruba orisha of love and fertility.

This isn't the first time that Beyoncé has referenced Yoruba spirituality in her work. Lemonade was packed with references to Afro-diasporic religion. The music video for "Hold Up" featured the singer in a flowing yellow gown reminiscent of the garments commonly associated with the deity. She also made references to the Igbo landing in the video for "Love Drought"

The Warsan Shire poem that Beyoncé posted on her website along with the photos also makes specific mention of both Oshun and the Yoruba water deity Yemoja.

With their striking visual beauty and underlying cultural significance, these photos have given me life all over again.

Check out more of the Yoruba-inspired photos below.





Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

These Poignant #EndSARS Protest Photos Show the Heart of a United People

Documentary photographer Victor Adewale captures poignant moments in the continued #EndSARS protests in Nigeria which are calling for an end to police brutality.