Queen Anna Nzinga
Queen Anna Nzinga was a 17th-century ruler of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdom. (This is modern-day Angola.) Her reign is considered a turning point in the history of the region. Queen Nzinga was born into a royal family, and she became queen after the death of her brother, King Kiluanji. She faced many challenges during her reign, including resistance from rival factions, invasions from the Portuguese empire, and efforts to enslave her people. Despite these challenges, Queen Nzinga proved to be a formidable leader, known for her political savvy, military tactics, and diplomatic skills. She formed alliances with other African states. And she successfully defended her kingdom against Portuguese attempts to conquer it. Her reign saw a flourishing of culture and the arts in her kingdom. She was known for her wisdom, compassion, and strong sense of justice.