7 most powerful African queens in history you need to know

Yaa Asantewaa, the Asante warrior queen (DW)
  • African women played significant roles in the history of the continent.
  • Here are seven powerful queens in the history of Africa.

There are powerful and clever women who were African leaders and played significant roles in the history of the continent, most especially during pre and post-British colonial era.

They are:

1. Amina the Queen of Zaria Nigeria


Amina Mohamud was a Hausa warrior queen of the city-state Zazzau, presently in the North-West region of Nigeria. Her leadership skills were discovered early by her grandfather who allowed her to attend state meetings.

Historians described her as one of the real rulers born in the mid-sixteenth century.

2. Kandake - the empress of Ethiopia


Kandake or Candace was regarded as one of the most dreaded war generals of her time. Historians said she was known to be a fierce, tactical and uniting military leader.

3. Makeda - The Queen of Sheba, Ethiopia

Makeda was known to be a queen of incredible strength, after surviving a battle with the serpent king Awre.

4. Nefertiti - Queen of Ancient Kemet, Egypt


Nefertiti was an Egyptian Queen and the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. With her husband, she reigned during what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.

5. Yaa Asantewa - Ashanti Kingdom, Ghana

Asantewa was the queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire – now part of modern-day Ghana. In 1900, she led the Ashanti war known as the War of the Golden Stool, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa war, against British colonials.


6. Queen Nandi - Zulu kingdom, South Africa

Queen Nandi was resilient as a mother and the hope against social pressures. She was the mother of Shaka Zulu, one of the Zulu kingdom’s greatest kings. According to historians, during the reign of her son, she had significant influence over the affairs of the kingdom.

7. Queen Moremi – Ile-Ife Kingdom, Nigeria


Queen Moremi was a courageous queen who is fabled to have contributed to the deliverance of the Yoruba tribe from oppression.

Enhance Your Pulse News Experience!

Get rewards worth up to $20 when selected to participate in our exclusive focus group. Your input will help us to make informed decisions that align with your needs and preferences.

I've got feedback!


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: