An Ideal “King”. BEGIN. Nzinga (“Ginga”) Mbande was a seventeenth-century African ruler. . AFRICA. She led the nation of Ndongo, in the western part of what is now Angola.
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An Ideal “King”
Nzinga (“Ginga”) Mbande
was a seventeenth-century African ruler.
She led the nation of Ndongo, in the western part of what is now Angola.
Ginga’s father was the king of Ndongo and fought three wars against Portugal. The Portuguese were invading the area, capturing people for slavery.
When Ginga’s father died, her brother became king. She began to take on his responsibilitiesbecause he was not a strong king.
When Ginga’s brother died, she became the country’s ruler. To get her people’s respect, she had them call her King instead of Queen.
She also showed that women could be strong in other ways.
Ginga met with the Portuguese governor to make a treaty. Even though he provided no chair for her to sit on, she showed that she was equal to him by having one of her followers kneel on the ground to become a seat for her.
Due to this show of authority, Ginga was able to negotiate a good treaty for her people.
All of Ginga’s bodyguards were female, and she formed three regiments of women in her army.
Ginga showed her skill as a war leader when Portugal invaded again. Her tactics included hiding her warriors in the jungle and staging ambushes.
Ginga personally led her troops into battle!
Ginga made many attempts to help her people. She ended up moving everyone to the highlands of Matamba in order to save them from the Portuguese.
Ginga made deals with other African nations and with the Dutch for help. She even married the chief of a neighboring tribe to gain their aid.
Ndongo remained strong due to Ginga’s influence, even after she died. Eventually, the country became part of modern Angola.
Today Ginga is a hero to many Africans because of her struggle to keep Portugal from conquering all of West Africa.
A great diplomat, a fierce war leader, and a strong ruler, Ginga showed that, for a leader, being male or female really doesn’t matter.