Background and early life
She was born in Spanish Guinea (today Equatorial Guinea), on the island of Corisco, to a Guinean mother and Spanish father. In her infancy, she moved to Burgos, Spain. See studied music and poem recital at the Madrid Royal Conservatory. She only returned to Equatorial Guinea later in life after she had married, and made several unhindered personal trips during the time of Francisco Macías Nguema. She died in Madrid in 1992.
Poetry and writings
Her first major published work was Ceiba, a collection of poems published in 1978. One of the primary topics is love. Ilonbé wrote poems between 1970 and 1977 and they are arranged chronologically. References to both traditional African values and Catholic values can be seen within the work, such as in the poem "Quién Soy" (English: "Who am I"). While her references to nature reflect both Spain and Equatorial Guinea, her poems do not specifically touch on the nature of her being in diaspora. The collection is named after the Ceiba pentandra tree, the national tree of Equatorial Guinea which is found on its flag; the tree is also considered sacred.
In 1981 she published Leyendas Guineanas (English: Guinean Legends), a collection of eight legends from the Guinean ethnic groups of the Fang, Bubi, and Ndowe. It is considered the first children's book of Equatoguinean literature. In order to get the information found in the book, she toured remote villages in Equatorial Guinea in search of disappearing oral culture.
She has also published the poems "Nerea", "Ausencia", and "Amor", and written but not published the poem "Olvido".
- "Ilonbé, Raquel (Equatorial Guinea)". Literary Map of Africa. Ohio State University Libraries. 2010. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
- "Los ríos hablan, de Raquel Ilonbé". Versovia.com (in Spanish). 2014-11-23. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
- "Leyendas Guineanas" (in Spanish). Libros Tobal. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
- "Raquel Ilonbe". asodegue.org (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-10-16.