Nzingha Mbande

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Nzingha Mbande was Queen of the Ambundu Kingdoms of Ndongo (1624–1663) and Matamba (1631–1663), located in present-day northern Angola. She fought for the Independence and stature of her kingdoms against the Portuguese in a reign that lasted 37 years.


Nzingha Mbande (1583–1663) was Queen of the Ambundu Kingdoms of Ndongo (1624–1663) and Matamba (1631–1663), located in present-day northern Angola.

 Born into the ruling family of Ndongo, Nzinga received military and political training as a child, and she demonstrated an aptitude for defusing political crises as an ambassador to the Portuguese Empire.

She later assumed power over the kingdoms after the death of her father and brother, who both served as kings. She ruled during a period of rapid growth in the African slave trade and encroachment of the Portuguese Empire into South West Africa, in attempts to control the slave trade. Nzinga fought for the Independence and stature of her kingdoms against the Portuguese in a reign that lasted 37 years.

In the years following her death, Nzinga has become a historical figure in Angola. She is remembered for her intelligence, her political and diplomatic wisdom, and her brilliant military tactics. A major street in Luanda is named after her. In 2002, a statue of her in Largo do Kinaxixi, Luanda, Angola, was dedicated by then-President Santos to celebrate the 27th anniversary of independence.

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