When We Ruled 100 things that you did not know about Africa Books

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The 2nd Edition
An Introduction by
Robin Walker

Study Guide

africa5.jpg50 Greatest Africans - Queen Amina & Queen Bakwa Turunku

15. Queen Amina of Hausaland (ruled 1576-1610 AD)
Greatest conqueror of the Nigeria region and its greatest military architect

Queen AminaPrincess Amina of the Hausa city state of Zazzau was born around 1533. In 1549 she became the heir apparent (Magajiya) to her mother. With the title came responsibility for a ward in the city where she convened daily councils with other officials. She also began training in the cavalry. In 1576 she became the undisputed ruler of Zazzau. Distinguished as a soldier and an empire builder, she led campaigns within months of becoming ruler. She built walled forts as area garrisons to consolidate the territory conquered after each campaign. Some of these forts still stand today. She is credited with popularising the earthen city wall fortifications, which became characteristic of all Hausa city-states since then. Towns grew within these protective walls, many of which are still in existence called "ganuwar Amina", or Amina's walls. Amina subdued the whole area between Zazzau and the Niger and Benue rivers, absorbing the Nupe and Kwararafa states. The Kano Chronicle, an important Hausa history, says: "Every town paid her tribute. The Sarkin Nupe [i.e. king of Nupe] sent her forty eunuchs and ten thousand kolas … In her time all the products of the west came to Hausaland". The southern expansion provided large supplies of slave labour. Moreover, Zazzau came to control the trade route from Gwanja and began to benefit from the trade previously enjoyed only by Kano and Katsina, two other Hausa city-states. Amina's achievement was the closest that any ruler had come in bringing the region now known as Nigeria under a single authority."
All of this information is extracted from When We Ruled. To find out more about this book CLICK HERE

16. Queen Bakwa Turunku of the Hausa city-state of Zazzau (ruled 1536-c.66)
Powerful ruler of the Hausas

Zazzau in the fifteenth century had various fortified places, such as Turunku and Kufena. Zaria city, however, dates back to 1536. Bakwa Turunku founded it after conquering Kufena. Apparently Turunku, her previous capital, lacked sufficient sources of water to support the growing needs of her commercial centre. She probably founded the royal palace of Zaria, which remains an impressive structure to this day. Dr Dmochowski, an architectural authority, says of it: "the palace should be preserved as one of the most important monuments of Nigerian national culture".
All of this information is extracted from When We Ruled. To find out more about this book CLICK HERE

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Creation date : 17/04/2006 @ 20:51
Last update : 28/07/2014 @ 17:31
Category : 50 Greatest Africans

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African Rulers
50 Greatest Africans

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