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Kathleen Sheldon

queen mother in Ghana, where she served as asantehemaa from around 1809 until about 1819, when she was removed from office after being involved in a failed rebellion against Osei Tutu Kwame. Her father was Apa Owusi, who held the position of mampon apahene, or chief of the locality of Mampon; her mother, Sewaa Awukuwa, was a member of the Asante royal family. It appears from some sources that Adoma Akosua was married to a son of Asantehene Osei Kwadwo.

When the ruling queen mother, Asantehemaa Konadu Yaadom, died in 1809, there were two women with a strong genealogical claim to succeed her. One was Konadu Yaadom’s own daughter, Yaa Dufi, and the other was Adoma Akosua. Adoma Akosua was a matrilateral cousin of Asantehene Osei Tutu Kwame (their mothers were sisters); as such she was eligible to be named asantehemaa and she was selected for ...

Article

Judith Imel Van Allen

mohumagadi (queen or queen-mother) successively of the Mmanaana Kgatla and BaNgwaketse (subgroups of the BaTswana in the Bechuanaland Protectorate, present-day Botswana), was born around 1845. She was also regent of the BaNgwaketse for her grandson, Bathoen II, later a prominent leader in colonial and postindependence politics. Gagoangwe was a daughter of Sechele I, king (kgosi) of the BaKwena, and his wife Mokgokong. As a child, Gagoangwe put out the eye of a servant, and her militantly Christian father, asserting both the biblical injunction of “an eye for an eye” and a certain equality among BaKwena, allowed the servant to blind his own daughter in return. She later became known as the “one-eyed queen.”

Gagoangwe first married Kgosi Pilane of the Mmanaana Kgatla, but in 1875 eloped with Bathoen I, heir to rulership (bogosi of the BaNgwaketse and later married him Gagoangwe was a devout Christian and an ...

Article

Betty Sibongile Dlamini

queen mother and powerful regent of Swaziland who promoted educational reforms and asserted Swazi rights against colonial intrusion, was born at Luhlekweni in northern Swaziland in 1858. Her name was given in honor of her biological father, Matsanjana Mdluli, who was fighting the Tsibeni people in the Transvaal at the time of her birth. Following the death of her father, she moved with her uncle, Mvelase Mdluli, to the royal homestead at Ludzidziu. As a result of her uncle’s guardianship, Swazi people are often referred to as bakaLaMvelase people of Mvelase s daughter She was also known as Gwamile because of her strong willed nature At Ludzidziu she came under the tutelage of the queen mother Thandile LaZidzi widow of King Sobhuza I and mother of Mswati II This background enabled Labotsibeni to learn the ways of the Swazi court She became one of the wives of King ...

Article

Marieke Clarke

senior queen to King Lobhengula, was probably born about 1855 in present-day Zimbabwe. Her father was Ngokho Dhlodhlo, of the powerful Nqameni ibutho or age-set (a group of men conscripted together). In or shortly before January 1870, Lozikeyi married Lobhengula, king-elect of the amaNdebele. The match was arranged to strengthen his support base since the Dhlodhlo family possessed military expertise and traditional healers’ skills as izinyanga. Muntuwani Dhlodhlo became keeper of the Red Axe shrine at Dula in present-day Matobo Communal Area.

In 1880 Lozikeyi became queen of Bulawayo and the king s second senior queen Lozikeyi had no biological child her father s brother s daughter Mamfimfi acting as surrogate bore Lobhengula a daughter Sidambe who was legally Queen Lozikeyi s child The Ndebele senior queen s task was to support the king and strengthen the nation She must understand Ndebele customs and traditions The senior ...

Article

Dior Konaté

queen of the Senegalese kingdom of Walo, reigned from 1846 to 1855 during a period of unprecedented political change in western Africa. The last of thirteen ruling queens of Walo, a kingdom in northern Senegal, Mboj is remembered for her resistance to the French. The daughter of linger Fatim Yamar Khouryaye Mboj and brak Amar Fatim Borso Yala Mboj, Ndate Yala belonged to the Tédiek, one of the three royal families who had the right of succession to the throne of Walo.

In Walo, queens and kings were expected to be descendents of the Dyoos, Tédiek, or Loggar families on the maternal side or from the Mboj paternal line. Powerful political positions were also filled by both men and women from these noble families. Two important political positions were specifically for women. The linger usually translated as queen mother was typically the mother or maternal sister of the brak ...

Article

Dior Konaté

queen mother and ruler of the Senegalese kingdom of Walo, was born at Nder, the capital of Walo. She was the daughter of linger (queen mother) Fatim Yamar Khouryaye Mboj and brak (king) Amar Fatim Borso, and the sister of Ndate Yala Mboj, who succeeded her on the throne. The two sisters were ten and twelve years old when the famous tragedy occurred that is still remembered and celebrated in Senegal as the Talaatay Nder (the Tuesday of Nder): on 7 March 1820 Njembot and Ndate’s mother, along with several other royal women, chose to end their lives rather than surrender to the slave raiders whom they had defeated earlier that day. Raised by their paternal aunt, Ndickou Fatim Borso, the two sisters maintained Tiédek rule over Walo until it became in 1855 the first territory to be subdued by French rule in sub Saharan Africa Despite the circumstances ...

Article

Judith Imel Van Allen

was mohumagadi (queen or queen mother) of the BaNgwato, largest and most powerful of the Tswana polities in the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana), first wife of Khama III, kgosi (king) of the BaNgwato, and grandmother of the first president of Botswana, Seretse Khama. Her father Tshukudu, a hero in BaNgwato resistance to the Ndebele and subsequently a politically powerful kingmaker, had been involved in an attempt to overthrow Khama’s father, Sekgoma I; and Khama’s choice of her in preference to the wife chosen for him by his father was one of many actions that marked hostility between Sekgoma I and his Christian son.

Mma-Besi was baptized “Elizabeta” in April 1862 by Heinrich Schulenburg of the Hermannsburg Society of Lutherans who had baptized Khama two years earlier She took the Christian name Elizabeta in honor of Elizabeth Bessie Moffat daughter of the Scottish missionary Robert Moffat who founded the first ...

Article

Nandi  

Kathleen Sheldon and Jennifer Weir

royal figure best known as the mother of the Zulu leader Shaka, was probably born around 1760 in what is now South Africa. Historic accounts are scarce, and the story of her life is often romanticized through myth and fiction, making it difficult to relate a purely factual biography.

The first important event of Nandi s life according to what is known about her concerns her relationship with Shaka s father Senzangakhona ka Jama s 1757 1816 Nandi of the Langeni people had a relationship with Senzangakhona that resulted in the birth of Shaka The popular story has been that they were not married perhaps because they were considered to be too closely related Other reports suggested that she became pregnant before they were able to marry so that Shaka s birth was considered irregular This issue has weight because Shaka s illegitimate status was sometimes claimed to be a ...

Article

Ari Nave

Ranavalona was born with the name Ramavo. Upon the death of her husband and cousin Radama I in 1828, Ramavo took the throne as queen of the Merina Empire, a kingdom that extended over most of Madagascar and was recognized by the British as the island’s sovereign authority.

During Radama I s tenure the Merina court had incorporated English beliefs and values along with their military and financial support Missionaries had established schools printed Bibles and transcribed the Malagasy language Many Merina aristocrats and Hova middle caste commoners resented the imposition of British culture and Christian values Even before coming to power Ramavo cultivated their support Upon the death of her husband she immediately laid claim to the throne changed her name to Ranavalona the lady who has been folded a reference to her aristocratic attire and executed all her potential rivals including Radama s mother daughter and nephew ...

Article

Pier M. Larson

monarch of the kingdom and empire of Imerina (Madagascar), was the longest-reigning monarch of Imerina. Her common name, Ramavo, was changed to Ranavalona upon her ascent to power. She was also known as Rabodonandrianampoinimerina, a name typically invoked in ritual contexts. She probably hailed from the district of Avaradrano.

Ranavalona was one of the wives of the founder king of Imerina, Andrianampoinimerina, and her sister Rafaramanjaka was married to Andriantsalama, a military commander at Ambatondrazaka, so by the beginning of the nineteenth century the women of her family were joined to the most powerful men in the kingdom.

Andrianampoinimerina died in 1809 and was succeeded by his son Radama, born of a wife junior to Ramavo and who was from Marovatana province. As was the custom, Radama inherited Ramavo in levirate and she became his senior wife. Radama died after a short illness in late July 1828 It was ...

Article

Karina Hestad Skeie

Christian queen in the Kingdom of Madagascar, was born Ramoma, the daughter of Prince Razakaratrimo from the Imamo province of central Madagascar, and Princess Rafarasoa, the sister of Queen Ranavalona I. As she belonged to the porous political and ethnic group called Merina, she is also called a Merina queen, and the Kingdom of Madagascar the Merina kingdom, to distinguish it from other kingdoms existing earlier and simultaneously elsewhere in Madagascar. It is known that Ramoma had three brothers, and that she learned how to read and write. Sometime in 1845 or 1846 she married her cousin Rakoto (Rakotond Radama), joining her cousin Queen Rasoherina (born Princess Rabodo) as one of his wives. Upon his mother Queen Ranavalona I’s death in 1861, Rakoto ascended the throne as King Radama II. At the time, Ramoma’s eldest brother, Ramboasalama, was Radama II’s rival to the throne.

After Radama II s assassination ...

Article

Pier M. Larson

Malagasy queen, was the niece of Queen Ranavalona I, of the empire of Imerina (Madagascar). Born Rabodozanakandriana (Rabodo for short), she was married to Radama II (Queen Ranavalona’s son) well before 1861. Radama II was executed early on 12 May 1863 on the orders of the Andafiavaratra family which controlled the kingdom s army and bureaucracy The Andafiavaratra family represented by the brothers Rainivoninahitriniony and Rainilaiarivony prime minister and commander in chief of the kingdom respectively in 1863 promised to make Rabodo queen only if she agreed to sign a set of principles limiting royal power These included a provision that Rabodo would consult with them and other courtiers before making decisions of any significance Having signed the agreement Rabodo was proclaimed Queen Rasoherina on the day of Radama s death What struck some foreign observers as the germs of constitutional Government in the magna charta signed by ...

Article

Teresa Barnes

queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901), who ruled over the British Empire at its zenith and gave her name to an era characterized by enormous socioeconomic change, vast imperial expansion, and, stereotypically, a straight-laced style of personal rectitude. At the time of her birth, the British presence in Africa was limited to trading posts on its fringes. By her death in 1901, Victoria’s Britain had extended its influence (in some cases direct, in others indirect) to a territory encompassing present-day Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, and part of Cameroon.

Born Alexandrina Victoria on 24 May 1819 the eldest child of Edward fourth son of King George III and Princess Victoria of Saxe Coburg Saalfeld Victoria s was an unlikely accession as three uncles stood before her ...

Article

David Owusu-Ansah

Asantehemaa (queen-mother) of Asante (present-day Ghana), became Asantehemaa in about 1770 and during the reign of Asante Osei Kwadwo (d. 1777). Her father was Mamponhene Asumgyima Penemo. Her mother, Yaa Aberefi, was a royal of the Golden Stool of Asante and the Oyoko clan of Kumasi.

Mamponhene Asumgyima Penemo’s marriage to Yaa Aberefi is viewed by historians of Asante as one of the series of strategic political engagements by rulers of the Bretuo clan to secure their place in the otherwise Oyoko-dominated Asante union of states. In a similar fashion, Konadu Yaadom was given as a child bride (c. 1760) in an arranged marriage to the ruler of the Mampon village of Apa, but she was claimed by Mamponhene Safo Katanka (d. 1767 who became successor ruler to the Mampon throne Upon rejecting another marriage after the death of Safo Katanka Konadu Yaadom moved to Kumasi where ...