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Queen Amina Of Zaria And Her Marvels As Warlord

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Queen Amina Of Zaria And Her Marvels As War Loard

Queen Amina (also known as Queen Aminatu), was the elder daughter of Queen Bakwa Turunku, the founder of the Zazzau Kingdom in 1536. Some scholars date Queen Amina’s reign to about 1549, as her apparent after the death of her mother.

This medieval African kingdom was located in the region now known as the Kaduna State in the north-central region of Nigeria, capital at the modern city of Zaria.

Zaria (aka Birnin Zaria) was named after Queen Amina’s younger sister Zariya, and is where the Royal Palace of Zaria resided.

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Queen Amina of Zazzau was born around 1533 in the province of Zazzau, in modern-day Nigeria. Zazzau refers to the Zaria emirate which is a traditional state with headquarters in the city of Zariain Kaduna state in Nigeria.

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Zazzau was one of the seven Hausa city-states which dominated the subsaharan trade after the collapse of the Songhai Empireat the end of the 16th century.

Its wealth was due to the commerce of leather, textile, horses, salt, kola, cloth, and metals imported from the East.

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As a toddler, Amina was already attending state business on her grandfather, the king’s laps. At the age of 16, Amina was seen as a potential contender to her mother’s throne (Magajiya), the queen Bakwa of Turunku.

Amina started to learn the responsibilities of a queen from her mother: taking part in daily assemblies with high dignitaries of the kingdom. Even though her mother’s reign had been one of peace and prosperity, Amina chose to learn military skills from the warriors.

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Queen Bakwa died around 1566, and the Zazzau kingdom was governed by her youngest brother Karama. During the reign of her brother, Amina emerged as principal warrior of the kingdom’s cavalry.

Her military successes brought her wealth and power. When her brother died after ten years of reign, Amina was crowned queen of Zazzau in 1576.

During her reign, which lasted 34 years, she expanded her kingdom’s boundaries down to the Atlantic coast, she founded several cities, and personally led an army of 20,000 soldiers to numerous battles.

However, her focus was not on annexation of neighboring lands, but on forcing local rulers to accept vassal status and allow Hausa traders safe passage.

During her reign, she commanded the construction of a defensive mural around each military camp that she established.

Later, those camps evolved into prosperous cities within those walls, and some can still be seen today in northern Nigeria. Those cities are known as walls ‘ganuwar of Amina’ or ‘Amina’s walls‘.

It is believed that Amina died in the town of Altagara in1610. Today, Amina is remembered in Nigeria as ‘Amina, rana de Yar Bakwa ta San’ (Amina, daughter of Nikatau, woman as capable as a man).

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The introduction of kola nuts into the region is often attributed to Amina. Amina is celebrated across the Hausaland as a great warrior queen who was born to rule, and led thousands of soldiers to war.

Amina’s achievement was the closest that any ruler had come in bringing the region now known as Nigeria under a single authority.

Zaria is home to Ahmadu Bello University, the largest university in Nigeria and the second largest university on the African continent. The university is very prominent in the fields of Agriculture, Science, Finance, Medicine and Law.

Hammed Tajudeen is the Editor-In-Chief of Blaze Newz Nigeria, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication.

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