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African Queens

Women Who Ruled in Africa

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No, not the movie African Queen ... but two real women who led their people in military campaigns in the 16th and 17th centuries:

Amina (1533-1600), queen of Zazzua, a Hausa city-state in what is now Zaria province in Nigeria, extended the territory of her people and built up wealth through trading routes and tribute. Read more: Amina, Queen of Zazzua

Nzinga (1581-1663), queen of the Ndonga and Matamba (modern day Angola), resisted the Portuguese and tried to control their slave-trading incursions in her central African territory for thirty years. She's especially known for a clever outsmarting of the Portuguese in negotiations: they tried to humiliate her by not having a chair available for her. Read more: Anna Nzinga

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