Princess Aqualtune Ezgondidu Mahamud da Silva Santos – Central Africa

In 1665, Princess Aqualtune Ezgondidu Mahamud da Silva Santos led 10,000 men into the Battle of Mbwila; between the Kingdom of Kongo and the Kingdom of Portugal. It is estimated that 5,000 men died in the war.

The surviving members of the Kongo army were captured and sold as slaves in Brazil amongst other places. Those captured included the King of Kongo, his two sons, his two nephews, four governors, various court officials, 95 workers in the kingdom and 400 other aristocrats.

The princess later founded the Palmares or the Quilombo dos Palmares, a community in Alagoas, Brazil comprised of runaway slaves. The princess was the mother of Ganga Zumba and maternal grandmother of Ganga Zumbi.

Princess Mahamud was the daughter of an unknown King of Kongo. Kongo was located in modern-day northern Angola, the Republic of Congo, the western part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and southern Gabon. From 1891 to 1914, Kongo was a vassal state of Portugal.

After the Battle of Mbwila, the princess was transported to the Port of Recife, a warehouse and sugar mill.

It is documented that the princess was purchased solely for the purpose of reproduction with other slaves. When she became pregnant, the princess was sold to a mill in Porto Calvo, Brazil.

In her second to last month of pregnancy, the princess formulated the Palmares. She later gave birth to Ganga Zone, Ganga Zumba, Sabina and Zona. Zumba was the first leader of the Palmares.

Thereafter, the whereabouts and fate of the princess are unknown.


Princess Anta Madjiguene Ndiaye – Senegal

Princess Anta was born in 1793 in the powerful Wolof Kingdom in modern day Senegal, West Africa. She lived a royal life and had guards and servants that followed her to protect her from the many raids by the Tyeddo raiders from the nearby Foula Tooro Kingdom. Unfortunately, in 1806 she was captured by the raiders along with two young girls who could have been her servants from the Wolof Kingdom, popularly known as Jolof Kingdom of Ancient Senegal.

Anta was only 13 years old at the time of her capture, and it is very unlikely that the raiders were aware of her social status. She was taken away to Goree Island along with other slaves and kept hostage until slave merchants purchased her after being displayed at the slave market. Princess Anta was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley, a wealthy plantation owner, businessman and slave ship captain from Florida. The two got married and she became a rich plantation owner in Florida. It took more than two centuries for her people to relocate her and welcome her spirit back home through grand celebrations in 2018.

More information about Princess Anta: CLICK HERE


History of Africa by Zeinab Badawi

Zeinab Badawi (Arabic: زينب بدوي‎; born 24 November 1959)[1][2][3] is a Sudanese-British television and radio journalist. She was the first presenter of the ITV Morning News (now known as ITV News at 5:30),[4] and co-presented Channel 4 News with Jon Snow (1989–98), before joining BBC News. Badawi was the presenter of World News Today broadcast on both BBC Four and BBC World News, and Reporters, a weekly showcase of reports from the BBC.[5]

Background and education

Badawi was born in Sudan[1] and has lived in Britain since the age of two. Her grandfather, Sheikh Babiker Badri, fought against Kitchener's British forces at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 and pioneered women's education in Sudan. Badawi's father was a newspaper editor in Sudan committed to social reform who, when the family moved to the UK, joined the BBC's Arabic Service.[6] Badawi speaks Arabic but not fluently.

She was educated at Hornsey High School for Girls in North London, before studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at St Hilda's College, Oxford. At Oxford, Badawi was a member of the Oxford University Broadcasting Society.[7] In 1988 she moved back to London to pursue a full-time one year MA degree at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in Politics and Anthropology of the Middle East, graduating with distinction in 1989.

Journalism and awards

After graduating from Oxford University, Badawi was a researcher[8] and broadcast journalist for Yorkshire TV from 1982 to 1986.[9] After a period at BBC Manchester she joined Channel 4 News in 1988.[9] Badawi co-presented Channel 4 News from 1989 until 1998 when she joined the BBC.[1]

At the BBC Badawi worked as presenter and reporter for Westminster live political programmes for five years. She also worked on BBC radio as a regular presenter of The World Tonight on Radio 4 and BBC World Service's Newshour.

In 2005, Badawi became the new presenter of The World on BBC Four, the UK's first daily news bulletin devoted principally to international news. In May 2007 the programme was rebranded as World News Today and is also shown on the BBC World News channel.

She is a regular presenter of the BBC interview programme HARDtalk. In an exclusive interview in May 2009, Badawi interviewed Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir, the first serving head of state to be charged with war crimes.[6]

In November 2009, Badawi was named International TV Personality of the Year in the Annual Media Awards, the international media excellence awards organised by the Association for International Broadcasting.[10]

Since 2010, in addition to her presenting role on BBC World News, Badawi has presented on the BBC News Channel and the BBC News at Five.[11]

Badawi was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in recognition of her achievements in journalism on 21 July 2011.[12]
In May 2014 she was based in Johannesburg presenting coverage of the South African elections on BBC World News and BBC News Channel.

For many years,[when?] Badawi has led an annual Nobel laureate discussion in connection with the Nobel festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. The programme is shown on Swedish television.

Public positions

Badawi has been an adviser to the Foreign Policy Centre[13] and a Council Member of the Overseas Development Institute.[14]

She has also been Chair of the Royal African Society (RAS) since 2014.[15][16]

She is a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery (since 2004)[8][17] and the British Council.[9]

In June 2011 her appointment to the advisory board of the New College of the Humanities was announced.[18]

Badawi is founder and chair of the Africa Medical Partnership Fund (AfriMed), a charity which aims to help local medical professionals in Africa.[6]




Shanakdakheto (ca. 170–160 BCE) or (ca. 170–150 BCE) Queen regnant of the Kingdom of Kush

Shanakdakheto or Shanakdakhete (sha-nak-da-KHE-te) was a queen regnant of the Kingdom of Kush, when the polity was centered at Meroë. She is the earliest known ruling African queen of ancient Nubia,[1][2] and reigned from about 170 to 150 BC,[3] although the period 170–160 BC is also mentioned.[1] She is said to have ruled with full power in the Meroë Empire.[4] She is also said to have ruled without a king.[3] It is also stated that as queen she played a significant role in the Meroitic religion.[5] In the 2nd century BC Shanakdakheto built the Temple F at Naqa, which has an unusual feature in the first half of the temple with the interior partitions where the gods face the back wall.[6]

Shanakdakheto's name is inscribed as a royal queen in the Egyptian Meroitic hieroglyphs. This inscription is the one seen on the doorjambs of the altar niche of Temple F in Naqa.[1] Shanakdakheto styled herself as: Son of Re, Lord of the Two Lands, Shanakdakheto (Sa Re nebtawy, Shanakdakheto).[7] The inscription reads:[1] "The royal-waab-priest of the Son of Re: Shanakdakheto given life every day 'beloved of Ma'at' like... , The son of Re, ..the Lord of the Two Lands (Egypt): Shanakdakhete”.

Meroites scripted their own language in the early part of the second century BC (alphabetical script during the reign of Ergamenes[8]), the language is still not fully deciphered[2]) and its first epigraphhic inscription is said to be of Queen Shannakdahane in the Temple F at Naqa.[9]

Even though her family antecedents remain obscure, in one of her carvings on a dorsal pillar she is shown adorned with an insignia of rank on the forehead and a crown, similar to the one worn by the reigning kings with decoration of a sun-disk and tall feathers. The garment decorating her, similar to that seen in Pharaonic art, like Uraeus, is drawn as a three-part royal costume. The necklace and her earrings have decoration of a goat head, a sacred animal of the god Amun used in Kushite decorative tradition which was popular in Nubia. The prince standing next to her, wearing a tunic draped around the left shoulder in Greek style, is shown with an ordinary band as a crown. The two figures are shown with their left foot forward. As an African beauty, the queen is shown with a strong build, and bejeweled, a trait indicating wealth, power and prosperity, and child bearing capacity.[4][1]

In the decorations of her mortuary chapel, the architectural features are highly artistic.[1] In one sunken relief the queen is depicted wearing an embellished garment and bejeweled, sitting on a royal seat shaped as lion, carrying a spear and palm branch in her right, with her left hand raised.[10]
A double cartouche found in Naqa is dated to a later part of the second century BC which is said to be the earliest epigraph in meroitic hieroglyphic.[11] However, the hieroglyphic cursive on the Queen's cartouche is called "classical" in style, not seen on the Jebel Barkal slab of Tanyidamani's cartouche who was considered Shanakdakhete's successor. Her pyramid was identified at Meroë, next to Tanyidamani's but not established as her name is not preserved.[12] In the tomb chapel reliefs of Queen Shanakdakhete the carvings show men holding arrows as a Meoritic burial custom.[13]

Sandstone relief stele, a part of decoration of the wall in a pyramid chapel of Meroe, now in the British Museum, perhaps belonging to Queen Shanakdakheto In the sandstone relief stele (pictured) displayed at the British Museum which is the part of the wall of the steep-sided pyramids of the cemetery at Meroe, it is believed that Queen Shanakdakhete is shown enthroned with a prince standing next to her under the protection of Isis with wings. Scenes of religious offerings, the queen's evaluation in front of Osiris, and a number of bearers lined in the front carrying gifts are depicted in the reliefs.


The History Behind The Emotan Statue (by Uwagboe Ogieva)


In the last couple of years, black people all over the world have found and continue to take pride in what colonialist used to describe as primitiveness. They have come to realize that while these Europeans in one hand were condemning African culture and works of art made and adorn by Africans, they were carefully stealing and smuggling the great works of arts with the other hand. The interesting thing about African art in general is that they are closely tied to African history, spirituality and social life. Despite the lack of much consideration given to women in the Edo society today, Edo women of yesterday years were not only very recognise and respected, but the role they played in societies were greatly appreciated and rewarded respectivelly.

Emotan was an ordinary petty trader who used to sell foodstuffs in the Oba market during the reign of Oba Ewuare the Great which historians have placed at about 1440. She have been actually trading since the reign of Oba Uwaifiokun, who reign before Ewuare. Both these men were brothers.

Ewuare was one of those legends whose history will sound to modern days youngsters like fables rather than realities. Ewuare was a great king, a magician, reputable leader and warrior. He made many enemies and one of those was his brother Uwaifiokun. It was agaisnt this Emotan was helpful. Ewuare's brother, Uwaifiokun who was still reigning, had conspired with his cheifs to have Ewuare murdered. Emotan got the wind of the conspiracy, took the risk to unveiled it to Ewuare. She not only told Ewuare the plan to murdered him but joined to protect and hide him from being killed. Ewuare was saved thanks to her. When Ewuare became the Oba of the Benin Kingdom, Emotan became a favoured citizen. When she died Ewuare ordered that her body be buried at the Oba market in the n the same spot where she use to trade. A tree was ordered by the Oba to be planted on the gravesite. Not only that, Ewuare also deified Emotan who was worshipped as the mother of love and kindness. In the past every man attended all funeral procession, invested, celebrated, visited the tree and gravesite at the City Center.

Oba Ewuare Nogidigan also recognised one of his servant who saved him too from a terrible illness. He changed the name of Igodomigodo (The Edo Coutry) to "Edo" after his deified (servant) friend, who was able to save him from a sudden death in about same time with Emotan deitification. Before this time, the Edoland and country had been called the land of Igodomigodo. Oba Ewuare Ne ogidigan (The great), reign in Benin Kingdom about 1440 to 1473 in the second milenium. From Ewuare, Edo became the name of the Ancient Benin Kingdom, their language and territory.

Today in Benin City, Emotan's beautiful statue conspiciously stands where she was first Buried during the reign of Oba Ewaure Nogidigan. It is in this regard that one sees the permanent statue unveiled and lunched by Oba Akenzua II on march 20, 1954 in honor of Emotan in the heart of Benin City as a great gesture


Princess Olu Pupupu (1530-1560)

The Osemawe title of Ondo Kingdom was instituted in 1510, when Princess Pupupu, a powerful daughter of the late Alaafin of Oyo, King Oluaso left the palace with the Royal entourage in a bid to settle far from her father's palace.

She settled on a hill called Oke Agunla in Ondo town On arrival of this Princess at Oke Ogunla a smoke rising from far below was spotted by a man called Esiri who traced the smoke to know its source. On getting to the hill where the smoke was spotted, he met Princess Pupupu and her royal entourage. He took them to a village in Ondo Kingdom called Oriden. The villagers were very happy to meet the powerful princess and exclaimed Edo du do, edo do, idi edo!!! Where the name of the Kingdom Ondo Kingdom was formed.

Princess Olu Pupupu ascend the Throne as the first Osemawe of the Ekimogun people of Ondo Kingdom and reign from 1516 to 1530. Before her death, she gave birth to two sons, the eldest was named Airo Pupupu and the younger one was named Luju Pupupu. Airo Pupupu later ascends the Throne after the demise of his mother in 1530. 


Nana Afia Dokuaa 1817-1835 Ghana

Nana Dokuaa (1855) was the great grand niece of Ofori Panin. Her mother, Akotowaa, was the daughter of Korama born of a union between Adu Daako Asamankesehene (and nephew of Akwamuhene Ansa Sasraku), and Oforiwa, niece of Ofori Panin. Dokuaa ascended the Ofori stool in 1817 in lieu of a male heir to her uncle, Kofi Asante (1811-1816).

She maintained the tradition of resistance to Asante overlordship and took Akyem Abuakwa into an anti-Asante alliance of coastal chiefs and the British Administration on the coast. She personally fought at the head of the Akyem Abuakwa contingent at the battle of Katamanso (August 1826) in which rockets were used for the first time.

The royal horns at Kyebi palace commemorate her rare valour in a terse statement: Dokuaa obaabasia a oko oprem ano (Dokuaa, the valiant woman who fights amidst rockets).It was the allied victory at Datamanso and the ensuing Treaty of 1831 that liberated Akyem Abuakwa and the Southern states from Asante claims to suzerainty over them.

She was a woman who occupied the Paramount stool as Okyenhene, as well as the Queen Mother. She was a woman like her counterpart, Nana Yaa Asantewaa of the same Asona clan of Ejisu, Ashanti. Both were warlike and heroines. Nana Dokua fought the Ashantis 99 times, warding them off anytime they attacked the Akyems. Her outstanding and renowned feats are still remembered in songs in her praise.

Nana Dokua was not only a warrior, but also a first class administrator. She set up Akyem Abuakwa towns and villages into the present divisions for the purposes of war and administration, as well as preventing break-ups or revolts in her kingdom. She married Barima Twum Ampofo of the Oyoko clan of Barekeseso in Ashanti, whom she made the Asiakwahene and the Nifahene of Akyem Abuakwa; the only "foreigner" holding the title of a Divisional Wing Chief in Akyem Abuakwa. The rest of the five Divisional Wing Chiefs are:Kukurantumihene (Adonten), Begorohene (Benkum), Wankyihene (Oseawuo), and Kwabehene, (Gyase), who are all Asonas.

There are also the Akyeasehene (Tarkwa) of the Oyoko clan; and Otwereasehene (Odau) of the Aduana clan; both of whom rank as equals to the five Divisional Wing Chiefs. She also organized the surrounding villages of Apapam, Apedwa, Tetteh (Asikam), Adadientam, Ahwenease, Affiasa, Pano, and Wirenkyiren-Amanfrom into "Amantomiensa" (soldiers and guardians of the Paramount Stool). This group became members of the Kyebi Executive Council, including Ankobea, Pesemaka and Kyidom, with the Okyenhene as the head. This body always acted in the place or in the absence of the Okyeman Council in all matters affecting Akyem Abuakwa.

Nana Dokua had two male twins, who successively became kings of Akyem Abuakwa after her death. The birth of the royal male twins by Nana Dokua and Barima Twum Ampofo led to the institution and the recognition by the Akyem Abuakwa State of what is termed "ABAM" (The Twins Day), which is celebrated each year on the first Friday after the celebration of the "Odwira" festival by the Paramount stool at Kyebi. The "Abam" festival is performed at all times by the Nifahene of Akyem Abuakwa, at the Okyeman Queenmother's residence at Kyebi, as the "father" who brought forth the royal twins. This festival is always attended by all the twins in Akyem Abuakwa and by the occupant of the Paramount stool, the Okyenhene.

Dokuaa's record of unflinching defiance of Asante power turned Abuakwa into a haven for political dissidents escaping the fury of Asante retribution. In 1818 and in 1824 the Bosome and Kotoku, respectively, sought refuge in Akyem territory.


Maria (? - 1716) Curacaoan slave and leader of slave rebellion Curaçao

Maria (died 9 November 1716) was a Curaçaoan slave and leader of a slave rebellion on Curaçao in the Dutch West Indies in 1716.

Maria was a cook at the plantation St. Maria, owned by the Dutch West India Company, where she prepared the newly captured Africans to be sold into slavery. On 15 September 1716, the slaves of the plantation rebelled and killed some of the white staff, including women and children. The rebellion was soon subdued by the military from Willemstad. Her lover, the slave Tromp, stated under torture that Maria had planned the rebellion as she wanted revenge on the overseer Muller, who was responsible for the death of her spouse.

Maria was sentenced to death and executed by burning on 9 November 1716.


More information (in Dutch): 

Picture: is not Maria, but from Tula slave Monument (by Nel Simon)

Queen of Pemba (East Africa ?-1679)

Ruler of Pemba (?-1679)

Pemba is an island off the coast of East Africa near the part of Tanga, Tanzania. Durin the 17th century queens ruled on several of the islands in the area. In c. 1679 a queen was ruling, but antagonistic faction from a distant branch drove her into exile. In 1687 she went tot he Portoguese colony of Goa, seeking refuge. There she ended all chance of regaining her throne by becoming Christian. Nevertheless, the queen continued to speak fort he people on Pemba.

In an act of gratitude fort he refuge she received, she willed her kingdom tot he Portuguese upon her death, but they were never able to claim this inheritance. In 1694, with conditions on Pemba still in a state of upheaval, the Portuguese discontinued its attempts to subject its populace. The queen died about 1694.

Women Rulers Throughout the Ages: An Illustrated Guide (by Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer)

Yaya Vita Kimpa of Kongo (1684–1706)

Yaya Vita Kimpa of Kongo dia Ntotela

Vita kimpa was born in 1687 in the village called songololo, in the town of Bakongo at the time when the country was the Kingdom of Kongo Dia Ntotela.

During this period the Kingdom was occupied by the Portuguese, there was war between the kingdom and the Portuguese. There was a King by the name of Vita Kanga, after Vita Kanga was killed; the Kingdom was split up in two kingdoms. The kingdom of Ndompetelo and the Kingdom of Ndozuao.

At this time Ancestral religion worship was banned and the occupiers imposed their religion which was Christianity.

In 1702 there was a woman call Mama Mafuta, she possessed the Holy spirit of Tata Nzambia Mpungu and was given the mission to begin to preach in the name of Tata Nzambia Mpungu. She was to wake up the people of Kongo Dia Ntotela, to stop the war between themselves and return to their God Tata Nzambia Mpungu. Mama Mafuta at this time was about 65 years old when she began to preach.

Vita Kimpa was one of the people who used to attend the teachings. At this time she was 17 years old, her parents were Christians. When ever they came to hear the teachings of Mama Mafuta, Vita Kimpa used to possess the spirit.

The news soon reached the white Christian priests, who were against them. They ordered a total ban of the meetings, but the people continued to worship in their Ancestral way.

One day Vita Kimpa became sick and died. In the traditional way, the elders came together for her burial, but because her father was away, they decided to wait until her father could be found. Three days later, he still had not returned and the villages decided to continue with the burial.

On the way to the burial site Mama Vita Kimpa rose up and asked them what they were doing! the elders replied that they thought she was dead. Mama Vita Kimpa told them that she felt a lot of pain, so her spirit came out on top of her head and an Ancestor came and took her to a very beautiful city in the sky. She receive teachings here and was then sent back.

The mission the Ancestors gave to Mama Vita Kimpa was to wake up the people and unite the two Kingdom,s and rebuild the city of Mbanza Kongo (the City of God) which had been destroyed by the Portugueses. Mama Vita Kimpa went on to say that they should choose a King, who she would ‘bless’, then her mission would be completed.

The people were astonished to hear what the young girl had recounted subsequently from that day Vita Kimpa grew in force and continued to preach about spirituality and manifested many miracles, raising the dead and healing the sick. When fasting for long durations of time, 14-40 days, her body would begin to decompose until her spirit returned and her body would be restored.

Mama Vita Kimpa became very popular, and people followed her everywhere she went.

After spiritually waking up the people she instigated the return of the Ancestral religion. There followed a decline in Christianity, and the people returned to the ways of their ancestors. The invading Christian Clergy heard of this, and made plans to kill Mama Vita Kimpa.

The unification of Mama Mafuta`s group and that of Mama Vita Kimpa’s, gave birth to one group practicing in their ancestral ways. By this time Mama Mafuta was to old to travel, so Mama Vita Kimpa continued the work of preaching and teaching. Many people were convinced by Mama Vita Kimpa`s works, the symbols of power were regained, and feuding parties ceased to fight amongst themselves.

Mama Vita Kimpa eased the tensions and was a guide to both Kings. She rebuilt the city of Mbanza Kongo, which defied the ban imposed by the Portuguese. No black man was allowed to enter the ruined City of Mbanza Kongo, since it had been burned to the ground.

The time finally came to choose the King. She asked all the chiefs of the clans to cast their nominations on who would become King and for the choice to be fair. The candidates then had to fast for 40 days.

The groups split up, and the group of Vita Kimpa went far into the bush to fast. When the news reached the colonialists that Vita Kimpa had gone into the forest with the intention of choosing a King, they decided it was time to kill her. The location of Mama Vita Kimpa was submitted by an informant to the Portuguese. When located,they arrested her , killing all present with her. she was taken alone to a place called Divululu, a mountain where she was tortured and beaten continuously to renounce and reject her Ancestral teachings. As a means of recapturing the minds of the people, her captives demonised her stating that she was commiting evil works . But vita kimpa refused to denounce the work she was given by the ancestors. Because of that she was burned alive by the Portuguese, Vita kimpa was only 17 years old when she died.

Vita Kimpa refused to dismiss the word of God,
She was burned alive on the 2nd July 1706.