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Mohammed Hassen Ali

last king of the kingdom of Jimma in Ethiopia, scholar, was born in Jiren, the political capital and commercial center of southwestern Ethiopia. As a young man Abba Jobir received the best Muslim education under several prominent Muslim scholars who settled in Jimma during the reign of his famous grandfather Abba Jifar II (r. 1878–1932).

His grandfather was the most famous, wealthiest, and most popular Oromo king throughout Ethiopia during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was a very foresighted politician who had an excellent grasp of the importance of firearms in warfare. He sent agents to the expanding kingdom of Shewa and realized that King Menilek had superiority in weapons; therefore, he peacefully submitted to Menilek. Although four other Oromo kings who resisted Menilek were destroyed, Abba Jifar II signed a peace treaty with the Christian king of Shewa in 1882 In exchange for local ...

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Abdulai Abubakari

king of Dagombas and victim of murder at Yendi, the capital of the Dagomba traditional area, was born in August 1945 at Saganarigu, a suburb of Tamale in present-day northern Ghana. His father was Andani Yakubu, also the king of Dagbon, who reigned from 1968 to 1969, and his mother was Zenabu Mahama, who hailed from Savelugu. He was named after his grandfather, Na Yakubu I (1824–1849). He was the first son of his father, who had about thirty children, and the only child of his mother. He attended Yendi Primary and Middle schools and taught as a pupil teacher for several years.

He became the Ya-Na, the title given to the king of the Dagombas, in 1974. The previous incumbent, Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV (1969–1974 was said to have been improperly installed as king The matter was contested in court amid great tension ...

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monarch was born in the town of Tshipunda located in the southern province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo then the Belgian Congo His father Tshipunda was a member of the Cokwe ethnic community Natshika his mother belonged to the Lunda aristocracy but had been enslaved by Cokwe traders who were bitter rivals of their Lunda neighbors He belonged to the royal family that had governed the Lunda or Ruund kingdom that had once controlled much of the southern Democratic Republic of Congo northeastern Angola and northern regions in Zambia In the early twentieth century colonial officers of the Independent State of the Congo drove out Cokwe leaders from the Lunda state Ditende was then sent to the court of of King Muteba who had been placed in power by colonial officials His parents sent Ditende to primary school at the Methodist Protestant mission of Musumba There ...

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Orisha (Shango) king of Trinidad and Tobago, was born on 12 December 1901 in Third Company Village in southern Trinidad, but he lived most of his life in Fifth Company Village. The “Company Villages,” as they are known, were founded after the British-American War of 1812, when many enslaved African Americans who had fought on the British side were offered their freedom and resettlement in other parts of the British Empire. Several hundred arrived in the southeastern area of Trinidad, where they became small farmers. They and their descendants were known as “Merikans.” Ebenezer Elliott was descended from two of these early settlers. He fathered four children and married later in life. Elliott made his living as a small-time farmer, but his real claim to fame lay in his religious life as the undisputed head of the Orisha religion in Trinidad.

Elliott was born into the Baptist faith which ...

Article

Faruq  

Matthew H. Ellis

king of Egypt and the Sudan (r. April 1936–July 1952), was born in Cairo on 11 February 1920, the only son of King Fuʾad I and his second wife, Nazli Sabri, notably an Egyptian commoner. After a reputedly solitary and unhappy childhood inside the palace, Faruq briefly attended the Woolwich Royal Military Academy in England, at his father’s insistence. His education there was cut short when Fuʾad died abruptly in 1936 and Faruq rushed back to Egypt to accede to the throne (though he would rule for more than a year under the stewardship of a regency council). Faruq was the tenth and final member of the Ottoman-Albanian Mehmed Ali dynasty to rule in Egypt.

For the first several years of his reign Faruq a charismatic and good looking young king who unlike his father could address his subjects directly in Arabic garnered widespread support and affection among Egyptians ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

king of Morocco, was born on 9 July 1929 to Mohammed V and Lalla Abla bint Tahar. Mohammed V ensured that his son received an advanced education by sending him to the Imperial College at Rabat and then to France. Hassan received a law degree from the University of Bordeaux.

When French colonial officials received approval from the French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault to remove Mohammed V from the throne of Morocco, Hassan was arrested and imprisoned on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on 20 August 1953. Mohammed and Hassan were then banished to the French colony of Madagascar in January 1954. They returned to Morocco on 16 November 1955 after the French government in Paris ultimately chose to allow Morocco independence rather than have to fight anticolonial wars in Algeria and Morocco Hassan became a key advisor to his father after Morocco gained its independence ...

Article

Idris  

Ronald Bruce St John

king of Libya, Libyan religious and political leader, descendant of a distinguished North African family that traced its ancestry to the Prophet Muhammad, was the first head of state after Libya won independence in 1951. Born at Jaghbub in eastern Libya, Sayyid Muhammad Idris al-Mahdi al-Sanusi was the eldest son of Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Sanusi, in turn the eldest son and successor to Sayyid Muhammad bin ʿAli al-Sanusi, the founder of the Sanusi Order, a strictly orthodox order of Sufis established in Libya in 1842. Idris was schooled in traditional Islamic studies at the Kufrah Oasis, a Sanusi center in southeastern Libya, where he earned a reputation for piety and scholarship. After Italy invaded Libya in 1911, an occupation the Sanusi Order resisted with force, Idris assumed leadership of the order in 1916 Idris tried to reach a peaceful accommodation with the Italians but when his ...

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monarch, was born between 1905 and 1910 in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo Kabongo s mother was Ma Nsenga who had originally been a prisoner brought to the king His father was Kumwimba the reigning monarch of a state that once had controlled most of the Luba speaking clans living in southern Congo This empire had fallen on hard times by the early twentieth century as African rival states took over territory claimed by the Luba state and as a result of the establishment of Belgian King Leopold II s colonial regime known as the Independent State of the Congo Kabongo then known by the name Boniface Kalowa first attended primary school at the Protestant mission of Kabongo After two years Kabongo transferred to the Dafubu professional school run by Belgian Catholic missionaries near the provincial capital of Lubumbashi There Kabongo became a skilled ...

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monarch, was born in the Kasai Province (in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo) sometime around 1920. Very few details of his youth and childhood are available. His grandfather, Kalamba Mukenge, had made an alliance with the Belgian officer Van Weisman in the 1880s. In 1934 his father was exiled by the Belgian colonial administration. Kalamba attended mission schools in his youth, but the colonial government appointed him in 1946 as the representative of Lulua ethnic communities in the Lulua and Kasai districts Lulua ethnic identity had emerged in the late nineteenth century as Luba speaking clan member devastated by Cokwe and Swahili speaking slave raiders had fled into western Kasai where they were welcomed by indigenous Luba speakers who became known as Lulua in the colonial period Belgian companies and authorities favored the eastern Luba immigrants now known as Luba to distinguish them from the Lulua while ...

Article

Maitseo Bolaane

king of the Bangwaketse in Botswana, was born in Thaba Nchu, Lesotho, on 17 August 1933, the eldest son of Kgosi Bathoen II, paramount chief of the Bangwaketse ethnic group, and Mohumagadi Ester Mafane, a princess of the Barolong boo Seleka. Between 1946 and 1949, Seepapitso started his primary education at Rachele Primary School in Kanye, headquarters of GaNgwaketse District. He was later sent to Tiger Kloof Institution in Vryburg, South Africa, to complete his primary education and continue his secondary education. Seepapitso’s parents were staunch believers in education and Congregational Christianity, and Tiger Kloof Institution in Vryburg had been established by the London Missionary Society.

In 1956 the South African apartheid government began regulating education at Tiger Kloof with the introduction of Bantu education As a result Seepapitso left Tiger Kloof for Moeding College a school in Bechuanaland Protectorate now Botswana that was modeled on the ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

king of Morocco, was born on 10 August 1909 in the Moroccan city of Fez. He was the youngest son of his father Yusuf, the sultan of Morocco in the Alaouite dynasty, who was placed on the throne by French colonial officials after Germany accepted a French protectorate over the kingdom in 1911. His mother was Lalla Yaqut.

Mohammed’s childhood was very sheltered and overseen by the French colonial administration. Yusuf’s low profile prior to the French takeover and his close collaboration with the colonial government made him extremely unpopular among most members of the Moroccan elite. Mohammed’s education was thus placed in the hands of an Algerian loyal to France, Si Mohammed Mammeri. On 11 November 1927 Yusuf died without naming an heir Different factions of the royal family the sultan s ministers and the colonial administration struggled with one another over Yusuf s succession Yusuf s ...

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Mohamed Malchouch

king of Morocco, was born Mohammed ben al-Hasan, the crown prince of Morocco, in Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, on 21 August 1963. His father Hassan II was the twenty-first king in the Alaouite Dynasty, which claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad and has reigned in Morocco since 1666.

When Mohammed was four years old, his father enrolled him at the Qurʾanic school of the Royal Palace, where he learned the Qurʾan by heart and received a traditional education. After primary and secondary studies at the Royal College and receiving his baccalaureate in 1981, Mohammed obtained in 1985 a BA in law at the College of Law of the Mohammed V University in Rabat. The subject of his thesis was “The Arab-African Union and the Kingdom of Morocco’s Strategy in the Matters of International Relations.”

In 1987 he obtained his first certificate of higher studies, a CES ...

Article

Born in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the eldest son of Paramount Chief Seeiso Griffith, Moshoeshoe II was a direct descendent of Moshoeshoe, the nineteenth-century founder of the Basotho nation. He studied politics, philosophy, economics, and law at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. Moshoeshoe II returned home before completing his studies to be throned paramount chief of Basutoland in March 1960. When Basutoland became independent as Lesotho in 1966, he was declared king. After Chief Joseph Leabua Jonathan was elected prime minister in 1965, conflict developed over the extent of the king’s power. In 1967 Moshoeshoe agreed to abide by the constitution, which vested executive authority in the prime minister. In the January 1970 general elections Jonathan recognized his party would be voted out so he nullified the elections and suspended the constitution Moshoeshoe was arrested and then exiled in March After agreeing to avoid political activity Moshoeshoe ...

Article

Betty Sibongile Dlamini

Ingwenyama (king) of Swaziland, was born on 19 April 1968 to King Sobhuza II and Inkhosikati (queen) Ntombi Tfwala. His name at birth was Makhosetive (king of all nations). His mother lived at Etjeni Royal Residence. He danced Incwala (first fruit) at the age of 2, and four years later he began to perform the traditional sibhaca dance. His sibhaca team competed at many festivals and other events. As a boy, he engaged in traditional agricultural work, during plowing, weeding, and harvesting. He also went to hunt with emabutfo and shot birds with a sling and later with a gun. In 1973, at five years old, he joined the Umbutfo Defence Force, becoming the first young cadet to join the force. Three years later, he attended the Masundvwini Royal School and was noted for his dedication to excellence in his studies.

When his father King Sobhuza II died in ...

Article

The second youngest of at least sixty-seven sons of King Sobhuza II, Makhosetive was only fifteen years old when chosen by his ailing father to succeed him to the throne. According to tradition, he was not to be crowned king until he turned twenty-one, and royal duties would be attended to by a regent, one of Sobhuza’s wives. In 1983 Makhosetive was called away from his studies at Sherborne, England, to quell unrest generated by the removal of Queen Mother Dzeliwe as regent and the installation of Queen Ntombi. Further disputes between royal factions led to his coronation as King Mswati III, in April 1986, three years earlier than expected. In May 1986 Mswati dismissed the Liqoqo, the traditional advisory council to regents, which had assumed greater powers than were customary. In July 1986 he dismissed and charged with treason Prime Minister Prince Bhekimpi and several government officials ...

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Jeremy Rich

politician and king, was born on 20 November 1925 in the town of Bunkeya located in the province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His father was Mwanangwa Mutampuka Munongo, and his mother was Luebo Lwa Nkolomba. Munongo's father died in a colonial prison when his son was relatively young. Munongo's grandfather was the late nineteenth-century warlord M’Siri. Godefroid's uncle Mwami Kitanka was the king of the Yeke people in Katanga, and until the age of eleven Munongo spent most of his time at his uncle's court rather than immediately enrolling in primary school as his other siblings had done. This experience later proved useful once he became the king of the Yeke himself, as he had a great knowledge of court rituals.

Around 1936 Munongo commenced his formal education at the primary school of Bunkeya and he later transferred to Saint Boniface school in Lubumbashi ...

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Jeremy Rich

king of Rwanda, was born in that kingdom in March of 1911. His father was King Musinga Yuhi V of Rwanda. His mother was Kankazi Nyiramavugo. His father’s decision not to convert from indigenous spiritual practices to Roman Catholicism alienated missionaries and many colonial officials, who began to search for a new king to replace Musinga by the end of the 1920s.

Kankazi a skillful politician lobbied for her son to become the royal heir However the Roman Catholic bishop of Rwanda Léon Classe initially deemed Rudahigwa to be too weak and possibly a threat to Christian missions The colonial administration had a more favorable view of Rudahigwa however and made him chief of the Marangara province against Musinga s wishes Rudahigwa thus gained control over 10 000 head of cattle and soon extorted more cattle from leading Tutsi aristocrats Affluent Tutsi in Marangara despised the young prince ...

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Holly Hanson

kabaka (king) of Buganda, was born on 13 April 1955 at Mulago Hospital in Kampala. His full name is Ronald Frederick Muwenda Mutebi II. The son of Kabaka Edward Muteesa II and Kabejja Sarah Nalule Kisosonkole, Mutebi was raised amidst the turbulent politics that swirled around Twekobe, the Ganda palace in Mengo, as its leaders attempted to preserve a privileged place for the kingdom in the new nation of Uganda. The British colonial strategy of indirect rule had created a twentieth-century version of Buganda inside of Uganda, in which a small elite with chieftain titles held authority, but took care to act in ways that would please the Protectorate officers and thus maintain the advantages they experienced as chiefs. Buganda’s people, the Baganda, had expressed deep dissatisfaction with the kingdom’s government through large-scale violent protests in 1949 Mutebi s father Edward Muteesa II actually wielded very little power and ...

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Kristopher Cote

thirty-fifth kabaka (king) of the Bugandan kingdom and first president of the Republic of Uganda, was born in Kampala on 19 November 1924. His full name when president was Major General Sir Edward Frederick William David Walugembe Mutebi Luwangula-Muteesa. He was the fifth son of Kabaka (King) Sir Daudi Chwa II, who reigned from 1897 to 1939. Muteesa II ruled through a council of regents from 1939 until 1942, when he turned 18 and received his official coronation. He was educated at King’s College Budo, Makerere University, and Magdalene College at Cambridge, graduating in 1948. While Muteesa II was initially an unpopular ruler, his subsequent deportation and exile have left him with a popular legacy.

The first decade of Muteesa II s rule was characterized by a lack of interest in his responsibilities and he later wrote that during his time as a student he was ...

Article

Eric Young

A heavy-drinking womanizer and a poorly educated monarch, King Mwambutsa, born Mwambutsa Bangiricenge, was described by the Belgian governor of colonial Burundi as leading a “dissolute life.” Many Burundians considered him to be a puppet of the Belgian colonial regime. He began his long reign at the age of two, at the time of his father’s unexpected and mysterious death. While his supporters came to see Mwambutsa as a “just king,” a victim of an unholy alliance between powerful members of his own clan and the colonial administration, other Burundians came to resent Mwambutsa’s unwillingness to enlist Belgian support for their own interclan political struggles. The king played little part in the nationalist movement of the 1950s, but the court retained its popular prestige, and many royal family members became nationalist leaders.

In 1962 Burundi became an independent constitutional monarchy granting the king official control over the military and ...