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Enocent Msindo

founder of the Rozvi state in present day Zimbabwe is also known as Dombo 1 Changamire Dombolakonachingwango Chikurawadyembeu or Chikura Although Changamire was Dombo s surname it became a dynastic title for successive Rozvi kings hence the mistaken belief that Changamire was just an honorific title and not an individual s name His parents and family members like his date of birth are unknown The entirety of Dombo s early history is unclear Although he seems to have been a descendant of an earlier leader of an indigenous polity called the Torwa who built his political career through cattle wealth Dombo at one point served as one of the Mutapa king s herdsmen a magician and a renowned rainmaker Mutapa being a postmedieval Shona kingdom When he seceded and became king Dombo became a prominent political figure not only in the region that was once dominated by the Mutapa but ...


Linda M. Carter

missionary and founding father of the state of Liberia, was born in Hicksford, Greensville County, Virginia, the elder son of John Day Sr., an affluent furniture maker, farmer, and landowner, and Mourning Stewart Day. The Days were free African Americans, and Day's father, as early as the 1789 election, was accorded voting status.

In an era when formal education for African Americans was rare, Day reaped the benefits of being the offspring of two prominent families. His father arranged for him to board in Edward Whitehorne's home, and Day, along with the Whitehorne children, attended Jonathan Bailey's school. While residing with the family, Day received some level of religious instruction from Whitehorne. In 1807 Day's father, who had been residing in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, purchased a plantation in Sussex County, Virginia, near the Whitehorne residence, and Day then attended William Northcross's school.

At the age of nineteen ...


Born in Menkwaneng the son of a Sotho leader Moshoeshoe began to gather together refugees from the upheaval in southeastern Africa known as the Mfecane in the early 1820s Retiring to an impregnable mountaintop known as Thaba Bosiu Sotho for Mountain of the Night he fought off several attacks but more often used his formidable diplomatic skills to defend his growing number of Basotho people In the early 1830s French missionaries arrived in the region While continuing to support the traditional customs and religion of the Sotho Moshoeshoe welcomed the missionaries and sought their advice in dealing with the British and the Afrikaner groups or Boers who were seeking to colonize southern Africa Fearing Afrikaner settlement on his lands he asked for British protection but an alliance with the government of the Cape Colony was not enough to prevent armed incursions by settlers into Basotho territory Fighting between the Basotho ...



Jeremy Rich

also known as Ruganza Ndori king and probable founder of the kingdom of Rwanda was born sometime in the sixteenth century A wide range of oral traditions about his rule collected in the first half of the twentieth century are the only sources available on his life so all dates are approximate Rwandan and foreign scholars generally agree that he was a real person even if later stories may have combined narratives associated with several kings onto Ndori His mother Ndori was said to be a stranger from the north who came with many cattle into the region that is now central Rwanda A number of traditions identify Ndori as a member of the Hima community associated with cattle herding in many parts of the Great Lakes region Before the appearance of Ndori there was no single kingdom Instead there were many different autonomous lineages Ndori s father Ndahiro Cyamatare ...


Akwasi Osei

King Osei Tutu I (c. c.e.1660–c. 1712), a king, states-man, warrior, and empire builder, was the most famous of a long line of warrior-kings who created the largest and most organized Akan state, the Asante Kingdom. Under his rule, the Asante confederation was established and grew to cover much of contemporary West Africa, including all of present-day Ghana, parts of the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Togo. This area had by the fifteenth century become a center of commerce and economic activity, mainly in gold and salt. There were also important trade routes that connected major trading centers from north to south, east to west. By the middle of the seventeenth century, many small Akan states had reached maturity and, like the Denkyira and Akyem, were active in consolidating their power.

It was then that some clan groups found themselves subjected to Denkyira then the largest Akan ...


David P. Johnson

Osei Tutu followed a model established by the earlier Akan military states of Denkyira and Akwamu. He forged Asante into a powerful state that dominated most of present-day Ghana for 200 years. Osei Tutu tripled the area under Asante control and gained the Asante access to, though not control of, the seacoast. There they could trade directly with the Europeans to exchange slaves and gold for firearms.

According to legend Osei Tutu was named after the shrine of Otutu where his mother had prayed for a child Obiri Yeboa Osei Tutu s uncle and ruler of the Asante chiefdom of Kwaman sent the young man as his heir for training at the court of Denkyira the state that then ruled over the Asante A love affair with the Denkyira king s sister forced Osei Tutu to flee to Akwamu a neighboring state to the east There he met Okomfo Anokye ...


Nana Yaw B. Sapong

Ruler of Kwaman and founder of the Asante Empire, also known as Osei Kofi Tutu, was probably born in Kwaman in present- day Ghana. His mother, Manu Kotosii, was the sister of Oti Akenten, ruler of Kwaman, and Obiri Yeboa, future ruler of Kwaman. Not much is known about his father, who was called Owusu Panin. In any case, the mother of a child is of more importance among the Asante because of the matrilineal system of inheritance. Legend has it that before Osei’s birth, Manu Kotosii was unable to have any children so Obiri Yeboa sent her to the powerful shrine of Otutu in Akwapim (Akwamu territory). There, the shrine interceded for her, and she later gave birth to Osei. In thankfulness to the shrine and to show her appreciation, Osei was named Tutu after the deity of the shrine.

As custom demands Osei was sent to the court ...