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Amina, The Warrior Queen Of Zaria Used To Take Lovers From Towns She Conquered

 

Amina, a 16th-century Hausa warrior-queen, is known to have captured lovers from the towns she conquered.

Queen Amina is frequently cited among the norm-breaking African women of the past, whose abilities and acts much exceed what we have come to expect of women in current society.

Despite the fact that her historicity has been called into question on several occasions, the former queen of Zazzau is still considered as the typical strong woman.

She was born in Zazzau, a Hausa tribe whose old kingdom is now known as Zaria (curiously named after Amina’s sister) in ancient Nigeria, in the year 1533. Hers was a noble and wealthy family.

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Amina’s family gained a wealth selling leather products, kola, salt, horses, and imported metals, and she learned to fight while understudying with Zazzau military warriors.

When Amina’s mother, the queen, died in 1566, the throne of Zazzau passed to her younger brother Karama, as was traditional at the time. Karama died after about 10 years on the throne, and Queen Amina took over as ruler.

Queen Amina had gained a lot of love among Zazzau’s people and troops because of her exceptional leadership skills and the fact that she was invincible even as a female fighter. As a result, she was crowned Queen of Zazzau in 1576.

Amina is credited with gaining her kingdom’s direct access to the Atlantic Coast for commerce purposes, as well as expanding Zazzau’s realm north to Nupe and Kwarafa.

She is said to have personally led military expeditions of over 20,000 infantrymen to numerous battles to secure this. And this is where a woman’s interest is peaked.

Amina never married, but rather took lovers from the cities she conquered in battle, according to Sidney Hogben’s book Emirates of Northern Nigeria.

Amina did not make them her spouse, so it’s safe to say she wasn’t attempting to form relationships for the sake of her kingdom’s security. The most reasonable conclusion is that she was a lady who had the opportunity to have a lover of her choice and did not refuse it.

However, according to Hogben’s book, Amina’s “brief bridegroom was slain so that no one should live to tell the tale.” This could indicate that, despite being an autonomous woman capable of making her own decisions, she was nonetheless subjected to gendered expectations of womanhood.

Male monarchs do not usually kill their female loves only to ensure that they do not live to tell the tale.

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Written by PH

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