The Great African Kings and Queens of Ancient Africa


Today, people remember African great kings and queens for their great dynasty. In ancient Africa, these leaders served as great role models as they were wise, ferocious, and shrewd warriors. Some of these rulers include:

#1 Afonzo the I

Alfonzo the I was one of the ferocious African Kings and Queens. He was born in c1460 and died in 1542. Mvemba a Nzinga was his original birth name, although many nicknamed him Apostle of Kongo. Afonso succeeded his father after defeating his brother in combat and became the 6th King of Kongo.

During his reign, he established a good relationship with the people and encouraged them to learn Christianity and new skills like carpentry and agriculture. The coming of Portuguese had impacted greatly on shaping the doctrine of his Kingdom to Christianity. Hence he was the first Christian King of Kongo.

He traded with the Portuguese and permitted them to enter his territory. Meanwhile, he expanded his Kingdom and built a Roman Catholic Church in Kongo. However, when he discovered the Portuguese were illegally trading Africans as slaves, he established an administration to combat them. The Portuguese were bitter about that and attempted to assassinate him. Afonzo the first remains in the books of history as one of the greatest legends.

#2 Hatshepsut

She was a female ruler and a prominent queen among the Egyptians. She was the only queen in Egypt who had the power similar to that of a pharaoh. Initially, she ruled as a woman as she awaited her stepson to succeed her. However, she usurped her son.

Hatshepsut was the 5th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty in ancient Egypt. Many recognized her as the best female ruler in Egypt and a successful monarch. As a controversial woman, many celebrated her for casting aside the belief of male dominance in society.

#3 Sunni Ali Ber

He was the King of Songhay. Songhay was a small empire in western Sudan. The kingdom served as a commercial, cultural and Muslim center. This Kingdom acquired its wealth and strength under the guidance of a potent warrior. Sunni had undoubtedly a strong ferocious army who won battle after battle seizing trade routes and expanding their territory.

To date, many still remember Sunni for his great reign among the Songhai. He succumbed in 1492.


#4 Askia Mohammed Toure

He was a religious leader; staunch Muslim. Fairness was one of his virtues while in power. Askia ensured that the people of Songhai lived according to the Islamic doctrines. During his reign, he united the whole region of western Sudan with a government that still runs today. Askia lost his power as a king to his son and died in 1528.

#5 Tiye, the Nubian Queen of Egypt

Tiye is one of the famous influential women in Egypt. Although she is originally from Nubia, she was a great royal wife to the then pharaoh. Her beauty, intelligence and will capture the heart of the pharaoh and transitioned the course of history.

Their romance having elevated on another level, the pharaoh decided to marry the Nubian queen. However, the move to marry the pharaoh at first was rather political as Tiye aimed to settle their differences with Egypt. People remember her for her beauty and brains.

#6 Mansa Kankan Musa

Mansa Kankan Musa is among the African Kings and Queens known for his wealth and leadership. He is the grandson of Sondiata, the founder of his dynasty. He was a religious leader as he led 72000 people to Mecca over 6000 miles. Mansa was a flamboyant leader who had the pleasure of meeting people’s needs. With the diverse resources he had acquired as a king, he ensured his entire kingdom benefitted.

Having reigned for 17 years, he remains in history as the wealthiest man. Under his rule, Mali conquered over the great Songhai kingdom. As a devoted Muslim, he contributed to the spread of Islam in West Africa.

#7 Shaka Zulu

He was a prominent leader among the Zulus of South Africa. Shaka had mastered his art quite well on the battlefield as he always emerged victoriously. Many felt shaken and intimidated at the sight of his forces.

He was among the African leaders who disputed and opposed colonial rule hence attempted to unite tribes to oppose the white. Therefore, he is not only a warrior but also confident and cunning. His legacy remains unerased especially among the Zulus of South Africa.

#8 Nefertari

She is an Egyptian queen, also known as Nefertari Meritnut. She is the first great wife of Ramesses. Although Ramesses had many wives, Nefertari was the chief queen. Their relationship was incredibly unique as she was the most beloved. He was obsessed with her beauty and had a strong admiration for her.

Nefertari wasn’t a regular woman because highly educated as she could read and write. She dedicated her intelligence and talent to diplomacy.

#9 Cleopatra

Although not originally from Egypt, Cleopatra ascended to power while 17 years old and ruled the kingdom of Egypt. She is among the greatest female rulers. Many know her for her intellect. Her beauty and stunning personality were her greatest political weapons. She had a good educational background as she was good at mathematics, philosophy, etc.

She committed suicide after she lost to the Octavian forces who were in pursuit of her in Alexandria.

#10 Taharqa

He was a young king who led the Nubian army at the age of 16 in defense against the Syrians. He succeeded his cousin Shebtiku. Early on in his reign, he supported Palestine’s in resisting the King of Syria.

Taharqa died in southern Nubia and his remains left in the pyramid of Nuri.

#11 SamoryToure

Samory Touré was a Muslim, a military leader, and the founder and ruler of the Wassoulou Empire. This empire in the present-day is north and south-eastern Guinea and part of north-eastern Sierra Leone. Because of his astute military prowess, he won battles. One of his achievements is unifying west Africa into a single state.



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