Yaa Asantewaa was a Ghanaian warrior queen, who rose up to lead the Ashanti rebellion against British colonialism to defend the Golden stool. The Golden Stool is an emblem of the Ashanti Kingdom, cultural system, and power. Asantewaa was chosen by a number of regional Asante kings to be the war-leader of the Asante fighting force. This is the first and only example where a woman was given that role in Asante history.
She promoted the emancipation of women as well as gender equality. She was an intellectual, a politician, a human right activist, queen and a leader. She is known as Africa’s Joan of Arc.
Makeda - Queen of Sheba
Makeda is the Ethiopian name for the Queen of Sheba. She was a queen of incredible strength. According to legend, she survived a battle with the serpent king Awre. The serpent king was troubling the northern Ethiopian kingdom of Axum. After defeating the serpent king, Makeda became the queen of Axum.
Makeda is famous for her story with the biblical figure, King Solomon of Jerusalem. They had a son named Menelik I (or Ebna la-Hakim), meaning “son of the wise.” Their son became the first imperial ruler of Ethiopia and the first of a line of Aksûmite kings.
According to historians, Makeda and her son brought back the biblical Ark of the Covenant to Axum. Through them, the lineage of great East African and Nubian kings was born.
Ambuya Nehanda was a powerful woman spirit medium from Zimbabwe who was committed to upholding traditional Shona culture, she was instrumental in organising the nationwide resistance to colonial rule during the First Chimurenga of 1896-7. Despite limited resources, Mbuya Nehanda led the black resistance and fought the British with spears, bows and arrows, while the enemy used the maxim gun.
When the rebellion failed, she was among the last of the leaders to be captured. Together with another leader of the rebellion, the medium of Kaguvi, she was sentenced to death and hanged by the British in 1898 , but her heroic role has made her the idol of present-day Zimbabwean revolutionaries. Her refusal to accept conversion to Christianity, her defiance on the scaffold and her prophecy that “my bones shall rise to win back freedom from the Europeans” made her a renowned spiritual matriarch.
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