Over time, many African cultures have become extinct due to the adoption of new traditions. Nevertheless, the individuals that ruled over such dynasties live on and are mentioned in African folktales.
Some of these African warrior names are revered for their bravery and accomplishments.
Starting from the Egyptians in the North to the Zulus in the South, Africa has no shortage of legendary and influential figures.
Here are five great warriors in African history;
Mansa Kankan Musa was one of the wealthiest African warriors whose sovereignty lasted from 1312 to 1337 AD. Mansa was also the tenth sultan of Mali, and under his control, Mali conquered 24 cities.
Due to his bravery and power, this African king earned many nicknames and titles, including Conqueror of Ghanata and Lion of Mali.
Yaa Asantewaa is a heroic warrior queen who ruled over the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana. She is remembered for her role in leading the army that fought against the British invasion.
During that time, the Golden Stool was one of the most significant possessions of the Ashanti tribe. When Fredrick Hodgson, a British Governor, demanded that he wanted to sit on the stool and own it, it angered the Ashanti community.
For this reason, under the directive of Yaa Asantewaa, the Ashanti managed to fight and win against the British. Yaa was later exiled to the Seychelles, where she stayed until her death.
Queen Amina Amina
Warrior Queen Amina, also referred to as Aminatu, was a renowned female warrior of the Zaria Emirate, today Nigeria. This warrior queen ruled for 34 years, during which she seized many cities.
Queen Amina was an eager warrior, even from a tender age, she showed interest in wielding weapons. To keep her authority, this female warrior refused to marry. A vital part of her legacy is that she began the cultivation of kola nuts in her kingdom.
Hannibal of Carthage was considered one of the most prominent African warriors not only in Africa but across the globe.
Hannibal was from a family of fierce warriors with his dad, brother-in-law, and two younger siblings who were also notable combatants. Under his regime, Hannibal led his armies in conquering most of the nations that faced the Mediterranean.
One of the famous stories of this African ruler is how he used elephants to help his soldiers cross over the Pyrenees and the Alps.
According to many legends, all the Roman families lost at least one family member to the Hannibal militias in what was dubbed the first great war of the world.
Behanzin Hossu Bowelle
Behanzin Hossu Bowelle was arguably the bravest and most influential West African King who ruled during the end of the 19th century. He is also known as The King Shark.
Among his many wins was out-powering the 1890 French voyage and demanding they pay to utilize the port of Cotonou. Behanzin was considered a courageous and wise king by his subjects owing to the fact he commanded more than 150,000 male soldiers as well as 5000 infamous Amazon women.
Even though many Egyptian pharaohs have faded into oblivion over thousands of years since their rule, one Hatshepsut has maintained her mark to date.
Despite being a woman, she is the longest-reigning woman pharaoh from 1472 BC till her demise in 1458 BC. Hatshepsut is among the female warriors that were well educated.
During her reign, she managed to increase the wealth of Egypt by developing vital trade routes. Moreover, she also managed to construct and commission several buildings, statues, and monuments.
The Great Ewuare
Ewuare the Great Ewuare was a legendary African warrior of the Benin Empire. He came into power after a bloody battle that claimed his brother’s life.
Despite a rough start to his reign, Ewuare managed to rebuild the city. Under his regime, he conquered new cities, reformed the political structures, became a patron of the arts, and encouraged trade with other countries that made ivory and wood famous.
Most believed that Ewuare had magical powers demonstrated in most of the artwork of the epoch. To date, an annual festival dubbed Igue is marked annually in Benin, and the meaning of the holiday is to renew Ewuare’s magical powers.
One of the popularized traits of the Zulu fighters is their exceptional skills in combat. Shaka Zulu, a fierce ruler of the Zulu community, introduced military reforms that enabled his people to gain their warrior culture and formidable reputation.
Why was Shaka Zulu deemed a warrior? Even though Shaka Zulu had the power to defeat many, the war was not his first decision. He was a skillful diplomat who incorporated other techniques to negotiate with his enemies.
During his tenth year rule, Shaka was in charge of 50,000 combatants and reigned over 250,000 people. If you are looking for an African warrior tattoo, Shaka Zulu would be an ideal choice.
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