Nigeria’s Yoruba people have been said to have one of the highest twinning rates in the world and so while news of the birth of Beyonce’s twins made their rounds yesterday, Nigerians continued in the same vein of excitement that has abounded since the singers earlier announcement in February.
Last month, Beyonce caused a flurry when she shared pictures of her African-themed “Carter push party” on Instagram to celebrate her pregnancy. The video that was posted by her mom, Tina Lawson, saw friends shouting “Happy Carter push party” while Fela’s music played in the background. Beyonce and JayZ had been wearing relatively African attires.
It cemented Beyonce in the mind of many African’s and Nigerians in particular as an avid appreciator of African culture. So while the world welcomes Beyonce’s twins whom Nigerians have practically named, we would like to look back at other times when she was Nigerian culture goals.
When Laolu Senbanjo worked on her body art
Laolu Senbanjo shot to immediate worldwide prominence after his intricate body paintings were featured in the video for “Sorry,” a song from Beyonce’s Lemonade album. The Yoruba visual artist did his signature body paint on Beyonce and her dancers and wrote in a statement on his website;
“When I work with a muse, the muse, their Ori, and I become one. My art form is physically drawing what’s on the inside, what’s in your soul, and your essence and being; on your canvas, which is the skin.”
Laolu Senbanjo’s art is founded on a Yoruba religious practice — the Sacred Art Of The Ori.
When Oshun was referenced in her 2017 Grammy Awards performance
It had been her appearance since her pregnancy announcement and the singer chose to make the appearance in a gold ensemble that paid homage to Oshun, one of the Yoruba deities.
Oshun is the goddess of fertility, motherhood, love, and beauty and adorns herself in gold ornaments.
That unreleased Afrobeat album that we are all dying to hear
The Dream, a producer who has worked with Beyonce revealed in 2015 that Beyonce had recorded a 20-track Fela Kuti-inspired album. He made the revelation on a Genius annotation for the song “End of Time,” he wrote;
“We did a whole Fela album that didn’t go up. It was right before we did ‘4’…we did a whole different sounding thing, about twenty songs. She said she wanted to do something that sounds like Fela. That’s why there’s so much of that sound in the ‘End of Time.”
We don’t know why it was never released and we are frankly still holding out hope that it will be.
When she used words from Warsan Shire’s poems referencing Yoruba goddesses to release a photo series
Beyonce released a photo series called “I have three hearts,” words from a poem by Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire. In the poem, Warsan Shire references Yoruba goddesses Oshun and Yemoja. The photos show her underwater wearing light marigold yellow fabric.
THE ENTIRE LEMONADE ALBUM!
For good reason, lemonade was hailed as a celebration of black culture. The visual album has African and in particular Nigerian influences weaved throughout its length. For instance, the video for “Hold Up,” saw the singer wearing a marigold-colored ruffled dress as she opens a floodgate, an undeniable reference, once again, to Oshun who has been known to unleash her wrath when angered despite being the mother of sweet things.
Beyonce’s twins sure have an interesting mother who is sure to steep them in culture from all around the world. We now know that Beyonce’s twins are a boy and a girl and we will continue to take all the snippets of their upbringing that their parents will give us.