Ancient African Warriors

Throughout the centuries, Africa has had many unique cultures, producing some of the most powerful leaders and warriors in history.

Since most of their methods of communication has often been verbal, it has taken years to find out the stories and legends.

Some civilizations, such as the Egyptians have given us insight into the incredible sophistication of ancient Africa.

Legendary African Warriors


Ancient Egypt brought many powerful pharaohs, but only a few had the incredible accomplishments as Hatshepsut.

One of the only women that acted in the part of pharaoh, she was originally the queen consort until her husband died. Hatshepsut was Pharaoh Thutmose’s only child and was well-educated and trained in the abilities of how to be a successful pharaoh.

Hatshepsut took the role of pharaoh including warrior, engineer, architect, and even their belief that the pharaoh was a direct god.

She negotiated treaties and established trade routes, and some of her building projects remain the most advanced today.

Little was previously known about Hatshepsut due to the fact that the pharaohs that came after her tried to wipe her name out of their historic records, because she was a woman.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that archeologists uncovered her history and some of the incredible architecture that remains unique today.

Mansa Kankan Musa

Also known as Musa I, he was the 10th Mansa (king or sultan) within the Mali Kingdom. He wielded his power as leader from 1312-1337 AD and was called the “Lion of Mali and Conqueror of Ghanata.”

Conquering 24 cities, he was one of the most dominant warriors in ancient African history. Mansa Kankan Musa also controlled the vast gold mines in his kingdom and earn the additional title of the richest African warrior.

Current archeologists have examined the amount of wealth that he had and it has been estimated that he may have been the richest man in all of time.

Warrior Queen Amina

There are only a few leaders of Africa held the kind of loyalty from her subjects as the Queen Amina.

She ruled over the Zaria Emirate which is known today as Nigeria, during the 15th century. Known for her prowess on the battlefield, it’s said that she was just a child when her grandmother discovered that she could wield a dagger as well as any of the warriors.

Warrior Queen Amina

Queen Amina ruled for 34 years, conquering many cities to add to their culture. She brought success to her people, including the introduction of kola nut cultivation to the kingdom.

Ewuare I – the Great

As king of the Benin Empire during the last portion of the 15th century AD, Ewuare I rose to power due to an uprising against his brother. During the battled, they destroyed a lot of the Benin capital.

Once his reign began, Ewuare rebuilt Benin City, became a supporter of the arts, reformed their political structures, and expanded the kingdom’s territories. He earned the title “The Great” as a powerful king and warrior that brought prosperity to his land.

Ewuare was also known for increasing trade with a variety of other nations.  The people were in such awe of Ewuare that they believed he had some magical power, and they devoted years in creating artwork to honor him.

To this day, there is a festival held each year called the Igue festival that was originally designed to renew Ewuare’s magical powers and celebrate him.

Shaka Zulu

There is probably no other African warrior group as skilled in combat as the Zulus, and their prowess continues even to this day.

Shaka Zulu ruled over 250,000 people with 50,000 warriors and his military changes allowed him to help cultivate the true Zulu warrior culture.

His and his warriors maintained a reputation of being fearsome, killing massive numbers of people on his command.

Books and movies have been devoted to Shaka Zulu, as he had a successful reign, acted as a powerful warrior, and even negotiated with his enemies. His rule covered ten years, but ended when he was about 40 years old, killed by one of his brothers.

While there were Zulu leaders before and after Shaka, few have carried the kind of warrior legends as Shaka Zulu.


Which African warrior king has had both books and a movie devoted to his life?

Shaka Zulu

Which African warrior queen was wielding a dagger like the adult male warriors when she was a child?

Warrior Queen Amina

The African king Ewuare I – the Great was thought to have what kind of power that gave him such a reign of success?


What were two other names that Mansa Kankan Musa was known by?

“Lion of Mali and Conqueror of Ghanata.”

Why was so little known about Hatshepsut?

pharaohs that came after her tried to destroy any reference due to the fact that she was a woman

What warrior group is known as the most powerful for their skill in combat?