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Queen Amina of Zaria, The Warrior Queen
Queen Amina of Zaria is also known as the “Warrior Queen or Warrior Princess”. Whether she was actually a queen at the time of her reign is disputable but what is not is her contribution or her conquests.
According to Online Nigeria, Amina was
The elder daughter of Bakwa Turunku, who founded the Zazzau Kingdom in 1536, Queen Amina came to power between 1588 and 1589 A.D. Unlike her younger sister, Zariya (from whom the city of Zaria derives its name), Amina is generally remembered for her fierce military exploits. Many wars she fought, and all she won. And through her conquests, she expanded the area under her reign southward to the great River Niger – including Idah and Nupeland – and up the Kano on the north.
A brilliant military strategist, Amina erected great walled camps during her various campaigns, and is generally credited with the building of the famous Zaria wall. She is today remembered – by some fondly, by others less so – as “Amina, Yar Bakwa ta san rana”, meaning “Amina, daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man”.
Queen Amina’s legend eventually would become the model for the popular 1990’s television series, Xena: The Warrior Princess.