Black History: Special Delivery!!
Queen Amina of Zaria (1533 – 1610), commonly known as the Hausa “warrior queen” is considered one of the greatest military leaders of the 16th century. She was often referred to as being, “‘a woman as capable as a man.” Born into a wealthy family, she gained military skill by training with soldiers from the Zazzau military. She was the oldest daughter of Queen Bakwa Turunku. Her leadership abilities were discovered early by her grandfather, who allowed her to accompany him to state meetings.
Also aware of her abilities, her mother Queen Bakwa vowed to raise her to become a queen. Born in Zaria, (what is now the northwest region of Nigeria) she lived about 200 years before the British colonial rule in the 19th century. She became queen in approximately 1576, following the 10-year rule of her brother. Queen Amina was highly respected by the Zazzau military of pre-colonial Nigeria. Soon after becoming queen she led her first military battle. Her military campaigns would continue, largely uninterrupted throughout her 34-year reign. Queen Amina lead an army of 20,000 men in expanding Zazzau territory (Hausa Kingdom). Her military conquests amassed great riches.