Eight Greatest African Women You Weren’t Taught About in School

by Joseph Omoniyi
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African history is rich with the stories of remarkable women whose contributions have shaped societies and inspired generations. From fearless warriors to wise rulers, these African women have made indelible marks on their societies and beyond. Despite making enormous contributions to African and world history, education, politics, literature, and the sciences, many of these women still fly under the radar.

At times these contributions were made under unusual circumstances, such as providing sanctuary to freedom fighters in their homes at the risk of arrest and incarceration while doing their white-collar government jobs by day. Their life stories can serve as inspiration to the daughters and granddaughters of our world today. In this piece, we study the lives of 8 immensely fascinating African women whose contributions had a far-reaching impact both at the time they lived and for generations that have followed.

At some point in time, women were underrepresented in historical records all over the world. This happened to them despite their incredible achievements and contributions that have advanced multiple fields of knowledge and provided several other benefits to society. More recently though, there has been a concerted and ongoing global effort to remedy this disparity. Today, we are the beneficiaries of the efforts of those who make it their goal to let our children and the rest of us know of the brilliant and pioneering women of history, of the past, and of the present.

This weekend, in Duchess International Magazine’s special feature series, prepare to meet these incredible African women who should have been part of your history lessons but somehow got left out:

Amina of Zaria, Nigeria
Queen Makeda of sheba, Ethiopia
Joyce Ntila Banda, Malawi
Queen Kandake, Ethiopia
Nefertiti of ancient kemet, Egypt
Yaa Asantewa of Ashanti kingdom, Ghana
Queen Nandi of Zulu kingdom, South Africa>
Moremi of lle-Ife kingdom, Nigeria

These trailblazers refused to be confined by societal norms and made a lasting impact on their communities and the world at large.

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