Published: Eye Books (August 2019)
Encounters with an African Goddess
High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so. When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the Ifa river goddess Oshun in Nigeria, her curiosity is aroused.
It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, a hurricane and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyoncé channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.
Mystifying, harrowing and funny, The Oshun Diaries explores the lure of Africa, the life of a remarkable woman and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment.
In the windowless, earthen-floored bar with its ineffective plastic fly-screen and unwiped tables, we sipped Fanta and chewed on stale Lincoln biscuits. I let out a sigh. ‘I can’t believe I’ve come all this way for nothing.'
Ebis smiled. ‘No journey is ever wasted.’
‘Diane Esguerra is a very fine writer’
Eddy Canfor Dumas