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Five Legendary African Queens

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

There is no shortage of African queens that did amazing things during their reign. They led armies, conquered kingdoms, exposed enemies, and more. Below, you'll find a list of my 5 favorite African queens and a short description of each. These queens are my favorite because there is just something I find interesting about their stories.

For example, Queen Amina was like they say women can't lead men, so I'll lead 20,000 instead. Queen Nzinga and Empress Taytu were strategists. Nzinga collaborated with one enemy to fight another enemy, and Taytu made her enemy thirsty (not thirsty for her, although that would have been an interesting turn of events), literally thirsty. Queen Muhumuza is fascinating. She had people who were willing to fight and die because they believed in her and what she stood for. But I have to say that my favorite of all is Queen Amanirenas. She was the most ruthless of the five. I don't want to sound like I like violence... well, except when it's in a good action movie. And the Queen Amanirenas story would make a great action movie. Or better yet, it would make a great African Game of Thrones!

Learn about other legendary African queens in our coloring book for all ages. Click here to get your copy.

Legendary African Queens: Queen Amina - Nigeria

1) Queen Amina

Amina was born into the royal family of the kingdom of Zazzau in the 1500s in what is present-day Nigeria. She was interested in politics and warfare and chose to spend her time honing her military skills with the warriors of the Zazzau cavalry. She grew to become a fierce and well-respected warrior herself, and upon her brother's death, she became queen. During her reign, she led an army of thousands of men, introduced metal armor to the troop, conquered numerous territories, built walls around the kingdom, brought unheard-of wealth to the land, and more. Her legacy now represents the spirit and strength of womanhood. She is known as Amina, daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man.

Click here to get your copy of "Legendary African Queens: A Coloring Book For All Ages"

African Queens, Queen Nzinga, Black Queens

2) Queen Nzinga

Queen Nzinga lived in the 1600s and was Queen of Ndongo and Matamba in what is present-day Angola. Queen Nzinga was a skilled warrior, negotiator, and diplomat. She negotiated with the Portuguese to stop their African slave trade, but when the Portuguese broke their promise, Nzinga went to war. She enlisted fighters and fought beside them, sometimes dressed as a man. She collaborated with the Dutch to fight the Portuguese and hand-selected African soldiers to infiltrate the Portuguese army. She influenced her people and commanded respect. Up until her death, she fought to keep her people free from Portuguese and European rule.

Click here to get your copy of "Legendary African Queens: A Coloring Book For All Ages"

African Queens, Empress Taytu Betul, Black Queens

3) Empress Taytu Betul

Taytu Betul became empress in the 1800s after her husband became emperor of Shoa in Ethiopia. She advised the emperor, and they built a new capital at Addis Ababa, created a national currency, built railways, and more. Meanwhile, the Italians wanted control of Ethiopia and tricked the emperor into signing a bad contract. When the emperor found out, he declared war. The Italians thought they would win, but Taytu was strategic. She went with the troops into battle and had the water supply to the Italians cut off. She also sent thousands of women to care for her wounded army. During the battle, she yelled, "Courage! Victory is ours! Strike!” The Italians lost terribly. Taytu became known as a warrior queen, and photos of her were in newspapers around the world.

Click here to get your copy of "Legendary African Queens: A Coloring Book For All Ages"

African Queens, Queen Amanirenas, Black Queens

4) Queen Amanirenas

Amanirenas was kandake (queen) of the kingdom of Kush in what is present-day Sudan. In about 31 - 27 BC, the Romans conquered Egypt and would have inevitably made their way to Kush. Amanirenas pro-actively attacked the Romans and beheaded a statue of their emperor, Augustus Caesar. The Romans were not happy and attacked Kush in return, killing many and blinding Amanirenas in one eye. She counterattacked with war elephants and fed her captives to her pet lions. Soon, Rome gave up, and Amanirenas and Augustus negotiated to have peace. But she didn’t give back the head of his statue. Almost 2,000 years later, the head was found under the entrance to her palace, where Kushites walked over it (an insult). This “Meroë Head” can be found today, in the British Museum.

Click here to get your copy of "Legendary African Queens: A Coloring Book For All Ages"

African Queens, Queen Muhumuza, Black Queens

5) Queen Muhumuza

Queen Muhumuza was one of the wives of the king of Rwanda in the late 1800s. When the king was assassinated, as planned by his stepmother and the Germans, a war for the throne began. Muhumuza fled, but due to her character, she became a spiritual leader of the Nyabinghi religion. The strength in her leadership allowed her to rally people to fight back. Many of her supporters didn’t even know what she looked like because she was often hidden in a basket, as required by the religion. She launched multiple attacks on her Rwandan enemies and the Germans and British. She was considered such a threat that the Europeans exiled her. But even in her absence, her courage and strength inspired the Nyabinghi believers to continue fighting.

Click here to get your copy of "Legendary African Queens: A Coloring Book For All Ages"

If you have any questions feel free to email me at

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