I’m often called a warlord by a particular person in my life (you know who you are!). I do have a firey character and I love a good fight…for justice that is and not for the sake of throwing my weight around for no reason. I’ve recently been meditating on the female pharaohs during ancient Egypt, there were FIVE to be exact. After watching Black Panther and seeing the female warriors it reminded me of the Igbo tribe. Back in the day men and woman would fight in battle alongside each other when their village was attacked. Harriet Tubman freed many slaves. Nanny led the maroon revolt. I believe that same warrior spirit resides in me…call me the warrior princess LOL. So what do each of these special woman possess? The incredible stories of the following women lead me to call them real life superheroins. So lets analyse;
Amanishekheto (40 BCE to 10BCE) AKA Kandake, was a valiant woman who lead the Kushites in revolt against the Romans. The queen successfully stopped the Romans from overtaking her kingdom, and it was rumoured she was blind in one eye. After her victory the queen buried a bronze likeness of the emperors head at the entrance of her palace so that all who visited her would trample on the head of her enemy (Jameson 1986:71-84).
Leader of the Maroons in a revolt against the British. Nanny was a slave from Ghana who fled to the blue mountains of Jamaica to escape slavery. She freed around 800 slaves over 30 years. She was renown for her spiritual powers and it was even rumoured that she could stop bullets with her booty (LOL imagine that!). To this day the Maroon’s have their own settlement in Jamaica and a place called Nanny town remained under Maroon control for years. I definitely think this is where I get my fiery spirit from since my ancestors and grandparents are maroons.
Born Araminta Ross, Harriet Tubman the conductor of the underground railroad, she lead 300 slaves to freedom. A real humanitarian at heart she served as a nurse, a cook, a spy and a scout. Harriet Tubman had heart, not only thinking about her own freedom but she made 19 trips back to the south to escort slaves, each journey a success. Using clever techniques and natural instincts she escaped on foot by following the north star, she fooled the slave masters and used horse drawn carriages for the beginning of the journey, she would drug small babies so their crying wouldn’t alert the slave masters. She married John Tubman in 1844, she escaped and was away for a year and came back for others including her husband only to find he had married someone else. Undeterred from her mission she turned her attention to freeing more slaves.
Empress Taytu Betul
Queen and empress of Ethiopia (1851-1918) Taytu was a warrior queen who in the face of war rode out at the front of her army alongside her husband. She was the mastermind behind the plan which led Ethiopia to victory at Makalle and Adwa. She said no to colonisation and as the founder of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, thanks to her Ethiopia is renown for being the only African country that wasn’t colonised. She wasn’t just loyal and respectful to her husband but to her country and her people. She was King Menelik II’s co equal and he wasn’t too proud to consult her for strategic advice.
Ever heard a man refer to a tall or aggressive woman as an Amazon? I have, and I never knew why until I learnt about the Dahomey Amazons. The Dahomey Amazons AKA Mino were an all female military group from the Fon tribe of Benin. They obtained their name from western travellers who saw a similarity to the mythical Amazons of Anatolia. The ruling King at the time put the group together which consisted of elephant hunters and trained body guards. Further more they actually belonged to the king, meaning they weren’t allowed to get married or have children because they were married to the king.