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African history books are filled with accounts of Ancient African Kings who built and ruled various kingdoms throughout the continent.

African Queens, just like African Kings, were a common sight on the continent. As a matter of fact, African Queens were quite common, and in many instances, more successful than their male opposites.

Here are eight of the most influential ancient African Queens.

  1. 1 Queen Amina of Zazzau Kingdom


    This African Queen hailed from the Hausa community of Nigeria. She was the daughter of a powerful queen who built the city of Zazzau, which was in Hausaland.

    At only 16 years of age, Aminatu became queen after her mother’s death.

  2. 2 Makeda, Queen Of Sheba


    She is perhaps the most known of all African Queens and African Kings. If you have the Bible, she is the Queen who sought out King Solomon’s advice on how to be a leader who has favor in the eyes of God.

    She sired a child with King Solomon, named Menelik. Menelik became Ethiopia’s first imperial ruler.

  3. 3 Al-Kahina


    This Ancient African Queen was a leader in the country now known as Algeria. She was one of the fearless people who tried to rally her people to fight against the Arab invaders. 

    The Arabs, however, eventually prevailed.

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  4. 4 Nana Yaa Asantewa


    Nana Yaa Asantewa was the Queen of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire, which was located in modern Ghana.

    This Ancient African queen is known for leading “The War of the Golden Stool” against British colonialists.

  5. 5 Queen Nandi


    We have all heard and read of the great African King Shaka Zulu. Queen Nandi was his mother. She got pregnant with Shaka out of wedlock but did not stop her from raising one of the greatest pre-colonial leaders the continent has ever seen.

  6. 6 Queen Cleopatra of Egypt


    Queen Cleopatra of Egypt was born with a golden spoon in her mouth. At the age of sixteen, she and her brother inherited the throne after her father’s demise. 

    She later enlisted Roman emperor Julius Cesar’s help and overthrew her brother.

  7. 7 Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar


    This Ancient Queen ruled Madagascar from 1788-1861.  She was a ruthless dictator who executed any and all dissenters.

  8. 8 Queen Nefertiti


    Queen Nefertiti is perhaps the most famous  Ancient Egyptian African Queen. Her name literally means “a beautiful woman has come.”

    She was the mother to one of the most known Egyptian Pharaohs, King Tutankhamun.

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