Queen Nzinga –  The reformist

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Queen nzinga the Reformist
Queen nzinga the Reformist

She was born sometime around 1583 to Ngola Kiluanji Kia Samba and Guenguela Cakombe in the Portuguese settlement of Angola. Her father was the ruler of the Ndongo and Matamba kingdoms. She had two sisters, Kifunji and Mukambu, while her brother, Mbandi, was her father’s illegitimate son.She was one of her father’s favourite children. Her father gave administrative exposure to her and also took her to war.

Sometime during the 1610s when her father was dethroned, Mbandi assumed power while she was compelled to leave the kingdom as she posed a challenge to the throne.

Queen Anna Nzinga was an influential and astute 17th-century queen who ruled the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola. She played an instrumental role in freedom her kingdoms fighting against the Portuguese and their increasing slave trade in Central Africa. She was sister of the king, Ngola (King) Mbande, who had sent her as his representative in negotiating peace with the Portuguese. She illustrated her ability and tact to stitch a treaty on equal terms. She converted to Catholicism and adopted the name Dona Anna de Sousa possibly to strengthen the treaty with the Portuguese. Portugal, however, did not honour the terms of the treaty, which prompted her brother to commit suicide. Following this, she became the regent of his young son, Kaza. It is alleged that she killed Kaza for not being prudent. She then assumed power and formed alliances with former rival states, and also the Dutch to initiate a thirty-year war against the Portuguese.

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