Queen Nzinga was one of the most clever women rulers of 17th century Africa fighting against the slave trade.
|Warrior African Queen Nzinga|
Born in 1583, Queen Nzinga Mbande was the 17th-century queen of the Ndongo Kingdom and the newly established Matamba Kingdom. Her brother King Ngola Mbande realized the Portuguese established a settlement in 1617, invading Mbundu land in order to imprison its people into slavery.
In 1626 Princess Nzinga became Queen of the Mbundu succeeding her brother King Ngola Mbande. In the same year, the Matamba Kingdom was established after Queen Nzinga and her Mbundu citizens were forced from their ancestral lands by raiding Portuguese slave traders.
In the newly established Matamba Kingdom, Queen Nzinga established a "Mocambo" settlement offering sanctuary to runaway slaves and those who experienced oppression by the Portuguese, Dutch and other colonial and African powers. Mocambo is an Mbundu word of the Bantu people living in Angola's North-West area; Mocambo means hideout.
By the time of her death in 1661 at the age of 81, Queen Nzinga converted to Christianity, adopted the name Dona Anna de Souza, and made the Matamba Kingdom a formidable military state that dealt with the Portuguese traders on an equal footing.