- Nicolette M. Kostiw
also known as Zoki Azata, freed African slave from the Mahi nation who became a slave trader in Brazil and then resettled on coastal West Africa in the Dahomey kingdom, part of the modern-day Republic of Benin. Details of his early life, under the name Zoki Azata, are virtually unknown, but d’Almeida’s later career is well documented. Born to the Azima family from Hoko, north of Dahomey, it is believed Azata was captured by the Fon and enslaved at a young age. He was sent to Brazil and purchased by slave trader Captain Manuel Joaquim d’Almeida, who later freed him. Azata took the name of his Brazilian master after he was emancipated and baptized. D’Almeida is remembered as one of the most prominent slave traffickers of African descent during the nineteenth century and a retornado, or freed slave who emigrated “back” to Africa.
After receiving his freedom d Almeida ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.