Monday, November 09, 2009

Afolabi, Ibaye

I received very sad news today that a fellow Santeria priest has left this world. Clay Keck, who as an initiated priest of Yemaya was known as Afolabi, and as a proud Queer Jew was known as Shloma Rosenberg, passed on yesterday, November 8, after suffering a medical emergency. I believe Afolabi was older than I in ocha but younger than I in birth years.

We never met in person: I knew him only through e-mail conversations which we had over the course of many years since my early days in the religion. I ran across him first on "Orisha List," before I realized how counter-productive virtual forums on the religion could be. I found him to be knowledgeable and wise, with a wild eccentric streak (see photo) that was a singular gift from Yemaya Herself. As another gay, non-hispanic practitioner of the religion (with a soft spot for leftwing politics) I felt a sense of connection with him even though our paths never directly crossed. He owned a Magick shop in Michigan, and was gifted with an incredible creative ability. He initiated many many godchildren into the religion.

Some of Afolabi's writings can be read at his website. My heart goes out to his family in life and in ocha, his lovers, his godchildren, and his friends. May God bless him; he will be missed in this world.


  1. My husband is his godson. This is just unbelievable.

  2. Hi, My name is , Alfonso, I had known Clay since his family opened up the bookstore in MI, literally on the 1st day. I have always had an afinity to the religion, and mi Padrino has always ben a friend. I can't believes he's gone. But as his godchild, and as a child of Okolun, Yemaya, how do I continue my path, my work, how do I recieve my teachings?

  3. Flagstaff, Arizona. I live on campus at Northern Arizona University with my wife and three children. I am a junior-archaeology student

  4. I was specifically interested in re-procurring my elekes, as they we're stolen from me (short story) in MI, and would like to do obi

  5. Hey Alfonso.

    I'm not sure I know anyone near you...I'm not actually very well connected in the community outside my house.

    I know there are Santeria communities in Texas and LA; I don't know about Arizona at all. I saw you posted on Facebook...perhaps Martin Ts. knows some of your godfather's friends closer to you?

    peace and blessings