Known as the Queen of ancient Kemet in Egypt, Nefertiti lived between 1370 and 1330 BC. Queen Nefertitiwas the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Historical records suggest that the period of their joint reign was arguably the wealthiest of Ancient Egypt.
Queen Amina, renowned warrior queen of Zaria (formerly Zazzau, northern Nigeria), was born in 1533 and died 77 years later in 1610. Amina trained as a soldier during her brother’s reign. Her military skills and achievements in battle won the respect and admiration of her people. She was crowned queen on the death of her brother expanding her territory to become a dominant force in the region.
Born in 1760 in Melmoth, South Africa, Nandi was the mother of the Zulu King Shaka Senzangakhona. She fell pregnant out of wedlock reportedly raised her son as a single parent, enduring rejection, humiliation and hostility as a result. Nandi’s resilience allowed her to bring up her son to fulfil his destiny. History records her political influence during his 12-year reign, when she was often allowed to govern in her son’s absence. Nandi died on 10 October 1827.
Nana Yaa Asantewaa (1840 – 1921) was appointed Queen Mother in the Kingdom of Asante by her brother, Nana Akwasi Afrane Okpese. When the British exiled King Prempeh I during the Anglo-Asante wars in the late 19th century, and demanded the 'Golden Stool' (of sacred, existential significance to the Asante), Nana Yaa led the charge to the war now known as the War of the Golden Stool. Her courage in the face of apathy and reluctance from the male leaders in her Kingdom marks her out as one of the most outstanding queens of Africa.
Queen Moremi Ajasoro, born in Offa, Ile Ife, in present day western Nigeria, started life as a beautiful Yoruba princess, who was later captured into slavery by their tribal Igbo neighbours. Captive, she married the Igbo king, and as his queen, learned the secrets of the Igbo army. As the legend goes, she was able to use this information to ensure the Igbo army’s defeat at the hands of the Yoruba.
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