Amina

Amina Sukhera (also called Aminatu) was a Muslim princess of the royal family of Zazzau (now Zaria), in what is now northeast Nigeria. [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/questions/women/ PBS.org - Global Connections: Roles of Muslim Women] ] She was born c. 1533 and is estimated to have died around 1610. The Arabic female name Amina means truthful and trustworthy.

Military career

When Amina was six years old her mother, Bakwa Turunku, became queen. During this point in her life, she became involved in the Zazzau military, earning much admiration for her bravery. Her military achievements brought her great wealth and power.

She is credited as the architect of the earthen walls around the city of Zaria, for which the providence is named. These walls are often referred to as Ganuwar Amina. It is a subject of debate as to whether or not Amina was actually queen, but she was responsible for conquering many of the cities in the area surrounding Zazzau.

According to those who believe that she did ascend to the throne, in her thirty-four year reign she expanded the domain of Zazzau to its largest size. Some sources state that her main focus was not on the annexation of neighboring lands, but on forcing local rulers to accept vassal status and permit Hausa traders safe passage. [ [http://www.distinguishedwomen.com/biographies/zazzua.html Distinguished Women of the Past - Amina Sarauniya Zazzua] ]

Legacy

The introduction of kola nuts into cultivation in the area is attributed to Amina. A statue at the National Arts Theatre in Lagos State honors her, and multiple educational institutions bear her name. [cite book |last=Jones |first=David E |title=Women Warriors: A History |year=2000 |publisher=Brassey's |page=84 |isbn=1574882066 ]

References


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