7 Great African Queens Who Shaped History

By: Maafia Nhyira

African history is filled with tales of powerful and influential women who fought for their people, culture and identity. These women’s stories, although often overshadowed, have left an indelible mark in history. Today, we talk about 7 of the most powerful African Queens who shaped history.

1. Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba

Queen Nzinga was a warrior queen from Angola who fought against Portuguese colonialism and the slave trade. She was known for her political acumen and military leadership, forging alliances with neighboring kingdoms to resist Portuguese aggression.

2. Queen Makeda of Sheba

Queen Makeda, or the Queen of Sheba, was the legendary queen of present-day Ethiopia who is known for her meeting with King Solomon as described in religious texts. Their meeting was marked by cultural exchange, and the queen is said to have returned to her kingdom with new knowledge and resources.

3. Queen Amina of Zaria

Queen Amina was a warrior queen from Nigeria who expanded her kingdom's territory through military conquests. She was known for her marksmanship and equestrian skills, and also worked on building infrastructure such as walls and ramparts to protect her kingdom.

4. Yaa Asantewaa of the Ashanti Empire

Yaa Asantewaa was a queen mother from Ghana who led a rebellion against British colonialism, uniting the Ashanti people and leading them into battle. Her bravery and leadership inspired many to join the fight for independence.

5. Queen Moremi of  Ile-Ife Kingdom

Queen Moremi Ajasoro was a legendary figure from Nigeria's ancient city of Ile-Ife, known for her courage, wisdom, and selflessness. According to legend, she sacrificed herself to the enemy to gain vital information that would save her own people from attack, earning her the respect and admiration of her people. Her legacy continues to inspire women in Yoruba culture and beyond.

6. Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt

Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen who lived during the 14th century BC and was known for her beauty and promotion of the worship of the sun god Aten. She had powerful influence over her husband and was skilled in diplomacy with foreign leaders. Her life and legacy remain shrouded in mystery, with her ultimate fate still debated by historians and archaeologists.

7. Queen Nandi of the Zulu Kingdom

Queen Nandi was the mother of the founder of the Zulu Empire, Shaka Zulu. The African queen was a skilled negotiator and leader who played a significant role in the early years of the Zulu Kingdom’s expansion. Queen Nandi was known for her resilience and bravery, even in the face of significant adversity.

These seven powerful African women are just a few examples of the many women who shaped African history. Their contributions and legacies serve as a reminder of the strength and resilience of African women, and the importance of their role in shaping the continent’s future.

What's Next?

10 American Musicians  Originally From Nigeria