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10 Formidable African Warrior Queens You Never Knew
Do you realize that African warrior queens formerly dominated various regions of the continent?
It is difficult to understand how African queens fell from grace when one considers the tremendous roles they played in history.
Women were not just followers searching for a voice many years ago; they were leaders. They have led armies, and men submitted to them. We’ll examine ten African warrior queens today and their valor.
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10 courageous and enduring African warrior queens
The African warrior queens of Dahomey would have undoubtedly come in first place. While the ladies battled valiantly, they were under the orders of King Ghezo. Evidently, the Dahomey troops lacked a charismatic commander.
The women who controlled, not the women who fought, are the emphasis of this list. As a result, a couple of the African queens on this list never brandished a sword. Yet they had important positions in their respective kingdoms.
We included links to the biographies of the various queens so that you may learn more about them. Using any of the links, African Vibes may get commissions on purchases that qualify.
1: Amina of Zaria
One of the finest African warrior queens ever was Queen Amina of Zaria. She was the child of Queen Bakwa Turunku and King Nikatau.
Queen Amina was a warrior queen of Zazzau, which is now Zaria City in Kaduna State, Nigeria. She was born around 1533.
Her granddad introduced her to military and political matters. She ascended to the king in 1576, and Zaria grew to be one of the seven major Hausa republics.
She started a series of military conflicts not long after ascending to the throne. Throughout her reign, she oversaw a large military force that was always engaged in combat. The chronicles of Kano state that
Amina ruled over every town all the way to Nupe and Kwararafa in the north and south, respectively.
She was the driving force behind the development of protective amours for the Hausa soldiers. She also enjoyed picking up a lover in each location she visited.
The lovers did not survive to tell the story; after spending the night with the queen, they were executed the very following day.
She is credited with building the remarkable and well-constructed ancient city walls in her region known as granular Amina or “Amina Walls.” Nowadays, several of these buildings are still standing.
In addition to her victory, she made a significant contribution to trade and commerce in her state. This African queen had a role in the development of trade networks throughout Northern Africa.
In 1610, Queen Amina died. She is still a significant person in Zaria’s past, however.
#2: Ile-Queen Ife’s Moremi
Offa, a village in southwest Nigeria, is where Queen Moremi Ajasoro was born. She gained notoriety for the tact and daring with which she freed the inhabitants of Ile-Ife from slavery. She was wed to Oranmiyan, Oduduwa’s son.
A particular group is known as the “people of the forest” conquered and subjugated the inhabitants of Ile-Ife in the 12th century.
She made a promise to the river spirit known as “Esimirin” that if she could learn the secret of her oppressors, she would do all necessary to free her people.
Queen Moremi posed as someone else and was captured by their captors. As a result of her beauty and tact, she finally wed the group’s leader. As a result of her finding out the invaders’ secret, her people were set free.
To keep her promise, she went back to her people and the river spirit. Olurogbo, Moremi’s sole child, was unfortunately requested by the ghost.
She sacrificed her own son in keeping with her commitment. The whole population of Ile-Ife was grieved by this sacrifice.
The inhabitants of Ile-Ife still see themselves as Queen Moremi’s “forever children.” In remembrance of her noble deed, they also observe the Edi holiday.
The Moremi monument sometimes referred to as the “Queen Moremi Statue of Liberty,” is the highest statue in both Nigeria and all of Africa.
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3 Makeda, the Queen of Sheba
The Hebrew Bible originally mentions Queen Makeda of Sheba as a female monarch and the first African queen.
She was a powerful and wealthy lady. Her victory against the snake King Awre made the most impression. During that time, the Kingdom of Axum in Northern Ethiopia was disturbed by the snake king.
She was well known for her wit and cunning, which was confirmed by her trip to the Jerusalem court of King Solomon.
It is crucial to be aware that historians think she gave birth to a boy named Menelik for King Solomon. Menelik went on to become Ethiopia’s first emperor.
4 Egyptian monarch Nefertiti
Nefertiti the Queen Neferneferuaten was born in 1370. Nefertiti’s name translates to “the lovely lady has arrived.” She was Pharaoh Akhenaten’s (the 18th Dynasty Monarch of Ancient Egypt) royal spouse.
She and her husband, however, became well-known for supporting the religious movement. She actively participated in the worship of the sun deity Aten.
Several scholars think that since Queen Nefertiti supported her husband, he elevated her to the position of co-regent.
Despite the fact that her successors took great efforts to bury her memory, some people believe her term in office was one of relative stability.
She has, however, been shown on blocks at the Hermopolis excavation site playing the role of a traditional male conqueror.
The African warrior queen is seen snatching her foes by the hair and slashing them with mace. Despite her significance, researchers continue to speculate about Nefertiti’s disappearance.
Some academics say she passed away, while others claim she was banished following her husband’s death.
She is recognized to this day for her painted sandstone bust. She is also shown in other archaeological locations, such as the King Riding Chariot.
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#5: Egyptian monarch Cleopatra
Ptolemy’s daughter, Queen Cleopatra VII Theo Philopator, was born in early 69 BC. Incest, a practice that was widespread among the Ptolemaic dynasty members, gave rise to the African Queen.
While not originally from Egypt, Queen Cleopatra was born there. She then served as the legal authority in Cyprus and other countries including Egypt.
As the leading religious figure in her domain, she took the initiative in religious activities.
Her ceremonial husbands during her rule were her teenage brothers, whom she wedded. She has had multiple romantic relationships with men for political purposes.
Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony are examples of this. Mark Anthony and Queen Cleopatra were more than simply political allies. According to historians, both of them had romantic high points.
Also, Queen Cleopatra participated in the governance of her realm and handled its economic issues throughout her reign. She was a strong, possessive leader who constantly defended her position.
When Queen Cleopatra learned that her brother posed a challenge to her authority, she murdered him. 30 BC marked her death. Nowadays, Queen Cleopatra is depicted in several old works of art created in the Egyptian and Roman traditions.
6 Madagascar’s Queen Ranavalona
For 33 years, Queen Ranavalona ruled Madagascar. She was an islander of Merina ancestry. Queen Ranavalona was raised in a royal family while being a commoner.
Her father’s brave action in revealing the murder plan against the Merina King, Adianampoinimenia, was rewarded with her adoption.
She then got married to Radama, the King’s son. The first of Radama’s twelve wives, Queen Ranavalona, was childless for him. Rakoto was born as a result of a subsequent love affair she had with another guy.
She succeeded to the kingdom after her husband’s death by assassinating every possible regent. She had a terrible reputation and was a cruel and aggressive leader.
There was no freedom of religion for Christians while she was in office. Several of them were forced to escape. Those who were unable to were ruthlessly murdered.
The Europeans had access to Madagascar prior to her accession to the crown. But, as soon as she ascended to the throne, she restored the society’s old order. She resisted the movements and powers of Europe.
Any subject who opposed her was treated cruelly. She often used the “tanguin” punishment method, which included feeding criminals tangena to eat. Tangena is a deadly nut that induces vomiting.
Despite her autocratic control, she managed to maintain Madagascar’s independence and prevent it from turning becoming a tiny version of England.
In addition, Queen Ranavalona was a strategic and patriotic leader in Madagascar’s past.
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7. Zulu monarch Queen Nandi
She was the mother of Shaka Zulu, one of the Zulu Rulers of South Africa, and was born in the year 1760 in Melmoth, South Africa.
She represented power for the Zulu empire. Her unmarried pregnancy, according to historians, caused her to endure a tremendous deal of scorn and humiliation at the hands of other women.
She was tough and tenacious, however. She was certain that her son Shaka would grow up to be one of history’s greatest rulers.
There were times when she was unable to provide for herself and her son, particularly during the “Madlathule” famine of1802, which was marked by the instruction to “Eat and be silent.”
To get assistance for her son, Queen Nandi had to go a considerable distance on foot.
Shaka rose to become a powerful king because of her tenacity. Queen Nandi’s unwavering commitment benefited the realm.
She imparted in her son tremendous principles, and it was clear from the way Shaka treated his subjects—especially women—that she had done so.
She also gave her son unwavering backing, which led to several escapades and boundary expansions throughout her son’s rule.
She passed away in 1827, yet her work continues today. Although though she wasn’t one of the most fearsome African warrior queens, she did manage to produce a magnificent warrior king.
#8: Rwanda’s Queen Muhumuza
Queen Muhumuza, one of the fierce African warrior queens with extraordinary activity, was wed to Kigeli IV of Rwanda.
She revolted against Rwandan colonial authorities after the death of her husband and fled to Uganda. She has a remarkable temperament and spiritual abilities.
She rose to prominence as the spiritual head of the Nyabinghi cult, which was founded by Queen Nyabinghi, another powerful African monarch.
Some of her supporters think Queen Muhumuza is a different person entirely from Queen Nyabinghi.
She is most well-known, nevertheless, for her social advocacy and political involvement. She declared war on the Germans, the Brits, and the Belgians from the nearby Congo, the three colonial powers in the area.
She bravely opposed several standards that would have restricted women’s rights in her fight for human rights. The Nyabinghi cult was seen as the religion of the downtrodden and was built on resistance.
Because of her courage, Queen Muhumuza was given the name Rutatiina-Mireego, which means “one who never shies away from bows and arrows.”
She passed away in 1945, but the Rastafarian movement carries on her legacy.
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#9: Ashanti’s Queen Yaa Asantewa
In1840, Queen Yaa Asantewa was born. She was the mother of the Ejisu king of the Ashanti Kingdom, which is now a part of Ghana.
The battle (the war of the golden stool) against British colonialism was where she made her most notable contribution.
Several of the Asante Rulers were exiled by the British, who also pillaged their domains. In addition, the British Governor-General asked for the Asante people’s “golden stool.”
The Asante kingdom was represented by the golden stool. This incited Yaa Asantewaa, who bravely took the lead in the conflict and fought for her homeland.
She was a political activist and an educated politician. In 1921, the African queen died. She is still remembered as a valiant person in the Asanti kingdom’s history, nevertheless.
Yaa Asantewa Girls’ Secondary School was established in Kumasi in her honor to support more female leaders in Ghana.
#10: Kandake, the Ethiopian empress
The queens of Moreo, the capital of Kush, had the dynastic name “Kandake,” which means “great lady” (Ethiopia).
Ethiopia was dominated by several female African warriors. Some women reigned alongside their husbands, while others ruled alone.
According to historians, women controlled Moreo mostly. One of them, the Candace, reigned in 332 BC. In 332 BC, Candace led her people with courage and strength.
She established a high bar for the group of African warrior queens.
She bravely stood in Alexander the Great’s path, preventing him from entering Kush. Alexander was compelled to flee to Egypt.
The 22 BC account of Kandake Amanirenas is another reliable one. She was a brave warrior in Ethiopian history.
She also fought the Roman army, but Gaius Petronius was able to vanquish her. Although losing, her valor helped secure a three-year peace agreement between the Kushites and Rome.
It is difficult to say how the tide changed to get us to where we are now. Maybe one of Africa’s colonial legacies is the degrading of female strength. A new generation has emerged after many centuries.
These African warrior queens’ valiant deeds will never leave our hearts. It is hoped that many young African girls would read these women’s tales and be motivated to achieve greatness.
Which warrior queen from Africa do you most admire? By utilizing the comment section below, express your ideas.