3 Inspirational Women in West African History
March, Women’s History Month has been a time to celebrate and raise awareness of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. At Lándé's African Tales we love to celebrate the uniqueness of the African culture. We hope you and your children are inspired by these 3 Inspirational Women in West African History.
Source: Google Images
Queen Moremi – The Yoruba Queen of Liberty
Queen Moremi Ajasoro who was from Offa - was the wife of Oranmiyan; the heir to the founding father of the Yoruba Kingdom Oduduwa.
The Yoruba kingdom of Ile Ife had been at war with the Forest People known now as the “Igbos”. The people of Ile Ife had long been enslaved by the Forest People and they could not stand up to them or defend themselves as they saw the Forest people as spirit masquerades often covered in raffia leaves.
Queen Moremi pledged a sacrifice to Esimirin, the spirit of the river to reveal the secrets of the Forest people so she could save her people from enslavement. She then strategically got herself captured by the Igbo people. Whilst in capture, her beauty attracted the ruler of the Igbo people. She soon became his queen and her confidence and skills soon won her the trust and affection of the King and the Igbo land. Once she had access to the secrets of the Igbo army, she escaped back to Ile Ife to inform her kinsmen in the Yoruba army.
This information led to the defeat of the Igbo army and liberated the Ile Ife people from their enslavement.
The Yoruba people honoured her with a 42ft statue popularly known as the Queen Moremi Statue of Liberty. The Edi festival is also celebrated to mourn the sacrifice of her son Olurogbo whom she sacrificed to Esimirin.
Queen Amina – The Warrior Queen of Zazzau
Queen Amina was a Hausa Muslim woman who was the first to become a Sarauniya (Queen) in a male dominated society. She was born into a wealthy family of traders who imported metals, horses, salt and other items.
Despite her father’s reign being peaceful, Amina had an interest in battles. When he died, her brother became the King but she decided she wanted to be a warrior.
She worked very hard and spent a lot of time training with the warriors of Zazzau to hone her military skills. Her passion and skills eventually led to her emerging as the Zazzau military leader. Upon the death of her brother after ruling 10years, Amina became the first Queen of Zazzau.
She led the army into her first conquest just a few months into her reign and her army continued to grow as she led an army of 20,000 men. She is popularly referred to as ‘a woman like a man’ and is seen as a symbol of strength and spirit of womanhood in the African culture.
Source: Google Images
Yaa Asantewa – The Ghanaian Warrior Queen
Asantewa was a remarkable woman who played a vital role in preserving the Ghanaian empire and prevented the Gold Coast from being colonised by the British in the late 1800’s.
As the Queen mother, one of her many roles included protecting the ‘Golden Stool’; a symbol of the leadership system and power of the Ashanti Kingdom.
In an attempt to take control of the Golden Stool, her brother Asantehene Prempeh I – the ruling king – was captured and exiled by the British to Seychelles Island. Queen Asantewa did not stand down; she rallied the troops and was ready to take on the British to secure the Golden stool. Her dedication to protecting the people led to her becoming the Commander- in- Chief of the Ashanti army. This led to the final war between the British and Ashanti people being called the Yaa Asantewa War of Independence also known as the War of the Golden Stool.
Lándé's African Tales was born out of a desire to inspire a generation of curious children to be bold and confident in who they are through stories that celebrate diversity and the uniqueness of the African culture. We look forward to sharing many more stories with children all around the world. Our first book, Èbùn the Exotic Elephant will soon be available to pre order.
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