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Amina, Queen of Zazzua


Dates: about 1533 - about 1600

Occupation: Queen of Zazzua

Known for: warrior queen, extending territory of her people

Also Known as: Amina Zazzua, princess of Zazzua

Religion: Muslim

Background, Family:

  • Grandfather: probably ruler of Zazzua, a Hausa city-state which is now Zaria province in Nigeria
  • Mother: Bakwa of Turunka, ruling queen
  • Brother: Karama (ruled as king, 1566-1576)
  • Amina refused to marry and had no children

About Amina, Queen of Zazzua::

Amina's mother, Bakwa of Turunka, was ruler of Zazzua. Amina was trained in skills of government and military warfare, and fought in battles with her brother, Karama.

In 1566, when Bakwa died, Karama became king. In 1576 when Karama died, Amina, now about 43, became Queen of Zazzua. She used her military prowess to expand the territory of Zazzua to the mouth of the Niger in the south and including Kano and Katsina in the north. These military conquests led to great wealth, both because they opened more trading routes, and because conquered territories had to pay tribute.

Mud walls around cities became known as "Amina's walls" because Amina is said to have build such walls around her military camps.

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