Female Warrior Names – In most cultures around the world, only the men folks are usually referred to as warriors and the most popular warriors from history tend to be men. This is not true though, as there are so many women warriors all over the world, as a matter of fact, “badass” female warriors whose stories of conquest has remained somewhat overshadowed by the victories of their male counterpart. In African history, however, there seems to be an equal recognition of both male and female historical figures in the field of war and combat.
These African women fighters include the Dahomey Amazons – an all-women army during the reign of King Ghezo of Benin, led by Seh-Dong-Hong-Be; Queen Nzinga Mbande of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (part of present-day Angola) during the 17th-century, who defeated the Portuguese army on different occasions; Nandi – Although she is best known as the mother of Shaka Zulu, history has it that this South African icon was a great warrior in her own right, fighting slave traders and bandits by herself.
Another of these female warriors is Kandake Amanirenas, the queen of the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush and Yaa Asantewaa from the old Gold coast (now Ghana), who was the queen mother of the Edweso tribe in Ashanti empire. Yaa led the Ashanti rebellion against colonialists who wanted to take the golden stool of the Ashanti, a symbol and spiritual personification of the Ashanti Nation.
In Nigeria, the Hausa people had a number of warrior queens, notably Amina. She was the daughter of Queen Bakwa Turunku, founder of the ZauZau kingdom (modern-day Zaria). Amina was reportedly a fierce warrior with an intense love for the art of war, which developed right from the time she was a child.
After the death of her mother in 1566, Amina’s younger brother took over the reins of power while she brushed up her military skills from the warriors of the Zazzau. Upon the death of her brother after a ten-year-rule, Amina who had already earned the respect of the Zazzau military as she had become a ferocious warrior, became the ruler of the kingdom. Three months into her reign, Amina led her first military warfare. She ruled for 34 years within which she fought and conquered as far as Nupe and Kwarafa, collecting tribute from far and wide. According to history, she had no children as she never got married in order not to lose power to a man.
Also in Nigeria, a group of women from the Igbo tribe (the southeastern part of the country) also became popular after they staged a war known as the “Aba Rebellion of 1929 or war of the women”, against the plan of the colonial rulers to tax women, “the trees that bear fruits”. In protest, thousands of these women marched on the District Office dressed in loincloths and carrying sacred sticks with palm frond wreaths. Their faces were painted with ash and their heads bound with ferns as they danced, singing angry songs while demanding the cap of office of the colonial chief Okugo.
By the second week of December 1929, the trouble had spread to Aba, an important trading centre on the railway. Here, about 10,000 women converged and proceeded to attack and loot the European trading shops, stores, and Barclay’s Bank, and to break into the prison and set the prisoners free. In some other part of the southeast, women protesters burned down the British “Native Courts” and cut telegraph wires, causing panic among British officials. The Colonials shot at the women, killing over fifty of them and inflicting injuries on many more. However, marches lasted sporadically into 1930. This was one of the most outstanding revolts against colonialism in Africa of that day and although the women involved in the protest may simply be described as protesters, it is obvious they are better described as warriors, having staked their lives to gain freedom from colonial oppression.
Below is a list of some of the female warrior names you may not have heard:
Warrior Female Names