Story of the powerful warrior Amina of Zaria who became ruler in a male dominated society
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When naming powerful women that impacted on Nigeria greatly, Queen Amina of Zaria would undoubtedly be mentioned. The powerful northern leader commanded an army of men and she also conquered several territories among other great things. According to reports, the warrior queen was born to a wealthy ruler, Bakwa of Turunku, in the year 1533 and they lived in the city state of Zazzau. Her family made a fortune from trading in cloths, salt, kola, imported metal and horses. During her father’s reign, Amina spent time training with the soldiers of the Zazzau cavalry as she honed her fighting skills. She eventually emerged as the leader of their army. The Bakwa of Turunku later died in 1566 and his throne was conferred on his son, Karama. He also died after successfully ruling for 10 years. During his tenure, Amina had become a well-known warrior and she was able to emerge as the ruler after his death. Queen Amina led her first military expedition only a few months after she became ruler and during her reign she led an army of about 20,000 men as she conquered many territories. The warrior queen brought numerous wealth to her kingdom as she also introduced metal armour to her army. It has been said that Amina refused to get married but always took a temporary husband from the enemies she conquered. Her great achievements earned her several praises as people described her as a woman who had the strength of any man.
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