Beyonce and Jay-Z held a push party, an occasion similar to a baby shower, several weeks ago to celebrate the upcoming birth of twins to the Carter family. In video shared on social media of the event, people noticed the heavy African aesthetic present at the party, and several of the celebrity attendees, including Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, La La Anthony and Serena Williams, wore traditional African garb. Beyonce herself came to the party in a royal-style dress, while Jay-Z sported a necklace in the shape of the African continent. It was also reported that the music of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti was also played at the gathering. This party led other celebrity analysts to note that this is not the first time Beyonce has demonstrated influences from Africa, and in some cases specifically to Nigeria.
For example, at the 2017 Grammy Awards, Beyonce performed in a costume making her look like the Yoruba deity Oshun. Oshun is considered the goddess of fertility and motherhood in Yoruba society, making it a timely costume to don for Beyonce in her first public appearance after news of her pregnancy became common knowledge. In another announcement associated with her pregnancy, Beyonce posted a photo series titled “I have three hearts”, a quote from a poem written by Warsan Shire, with Somali heritage. That poem also references Oshun, as well as Yemoja, another Yoruba deity representing motherhood.
Even before her most recent pregnancy, Beyonce allowed African culture to influence her work. For example, in one of the videos released for her Lemonade album, she wears a bright yellow dress as she lets out her rage on a car with a baseball bat. Oshun’s color is yellow, and she is said to unleash her wrath when angered, so this is interpreted by some as a sign that this side of Nigerian lore has been on her mind for a while.