March 19, 2014

6 More Fearless Black Female Warriors You Should Know

warriors taitu

Empress Taitu Bitul of Ethiopia (1851 – February 11, 1918)

Empress Taitu was the loyal wife of Emperor Menelik II. She was considered a brilliant military strategist, a commander and an advisor to her husband. Taitu’s relationship with Emperor Menelik was one of mutual respect, independence, trust and reciprocity. Taitu played a key role in halting European’s plot to colonize Ethiopia when she advised her husband to reject the Treaty of Wuchale (May 2, 1889) between Italy and Ethiopia.

The Italian translation of article 17 of the treaty would have made Ethiopia Italy’s protectorate. In contrast, the Amharic version recognized the sovereignty of Ethiopia and its relationship with Italy as just a diplomatic partnership.

Taitu’s advice lead to Menelik tearing up the Wuchale Treaty, which then lead to Italy waging war in what became know as the First Italo–Ethiopian War or the 1896 Battle of Adwa. Taitu reportedly marched north with the Emperor and the Imperial Army, commanding a force of cannoneers.

According to the research of Profesor Ayele Bekerie, Taitu’s strategy helped Ethiopia soundly defeat Italy during the Battle of Mekelle.

“At the Battle of Mekelle, she advised Ras Mekonen to cut off the water supply to the Italians in order to disgorge them from their entrenched and heavily fortified positions at Endeyesus Hill on the eastern part of Mekelle City. Taitu was also the receiver and analyzer of intelligence information collected by spies, such as Basha Awalom Haregot and Gebre Igziabher. Historians characterize the intelligence data obtained by Awalom and Gebre Igzabher as crucial importance to the Ethiopian victory at the battle.”

warrior amina

Amina Queen of Zaria (d. 1610)

Amina was a Hausa Muslim warrior queen of  Zazzua, a province of Nigeria now known as Zaria. Amina became queen after her younger brother Karama died. During her brother’s rule, it was believed that Amina was honing her military skills.

Three months after taking power, Amina set off on her first military expedition. In her thirty-four year reign, she expanded the domain of Zazzua to its largest size ever. Her focus, however, was not on the annexation of neighboring lands, but on forcing local rulers to accept vassal status and permit Hausa traders safe passage.

Amina according to is “credited with popularizing the earthen city wall fortifications,” which became characteristic of Hausa city-states since then. She ordered building of a defensive wall around each military camp that she established.

“Later, towns grew within these protective walls, many of which are still in existence. They’re known as ‘ganuwar Amina,’ or Amina’s walls. She is mostly remembered as “Amina, Yar Bakwa ta san rana,” meaning ‘Amina, daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man.’”

warrior kuti

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (October 25, 1900 – April 13, 1978

Kuti was a teacher, political campaigner, and women’s rights activist who headed the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU) in southwest Nigeria. The purpose of the union was to organize the working class market woman and the middle class women against both colonial rule and the patriarchal structure.

In Abeokuta, located in southwest Nigeria, colonial taxation by the British emerged as an unfair practice that predominantly targeted women. Nearly a year after numerous proposals to the Egba King (Alake of Egbaland), Oba Ademola II were met with little change, Kuti lead thousands of women in protest in the Abeokuta Women’s Revolt outside of the king’s palace.

The response from the colonial authorities was brutal. The police force utilized tear gas and beatings on the women.

Despite the dangerous circumstances, the AWU continued to protest and released a document called the AWU’s Grievances in 1947 that detailed all their accusations against the Alake and the SNA. Following the list of grievances, the women once again held a demonstration outside the Alake’s palace from November 29, 1947, until the morning of November 30. There were over ten thousand women in attendance.

In the end, their demands were met, leading to the abdication of the King in 1949, the SNA system was changed, and four women had positions in the new system of administration.

Ransome-Kuti’s political activism led to her being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria and was regarded as “The Mother of Africa.”  These uprisings were among the earliest campaigns against British rule in Nigeria and West Africa during the colonial era.

Kuti was the mother of the world’s celebrated musician, King of Afrobeats and political activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

warrior nehanda

Nehanda Mbuya Nehanda a.k.a Charwe Nyakasikana (c. 1840-1898)

Charwe Nyakasikana was a Shona spirit medium also called Mbuya Nehanda, meaning grandmother Nehanda. She played an important role in mobilizing the Black masses against white rule in what is now popularly referred to as the First Chimurenga which took place between 1886 and 1897. Along with her messengers, Nehanda traveled from village to village encouraging the people to rise up and fight against the colonizers. While predicting that the people would not conquer the colonial masters at this time, she still called for a stand to be taken against the colonizers’ curtailment of rights and freedoms.

Upon realizing her influence, the colonial forces decided to take action against Nehanda. A death warrant issued against her states that during a criminal session of the High Court, held on March 2 1898, Nehanda was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. The warrant goes on to give the scheduled date of Nehanda’s execution as the 27th of April 1898. The execution is said to have taken place at the Gaol (Jail) of Salisbury.

It is claimed that it took three attempts before Nehanda eventually succumbed to her death. But before she did, she prophesied that her bones would rise again; a reference used by the guerrillas in resistance songs during the war for independence, commonly referred to as the Second Chimurenga. Some researchers state that the British forces immediately buried the bodies at an undisclosed site to avoid their being exhumed and reburied.


THE THREE QUEENS OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS – Queen Mary, Agnes & Matilda (1800s)

Three former enslaved Blacks led a labor revolt in the Danish Virgin Islands, now the U.S. Virgin Islands in the late 1800s. Queen Mary, Queen Agnes and Queen Matilda were immortalized as sculptors on a fountain located on a hill above the city of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. The women are shown standing back to back forming a triangle.

A plaque below the statue reads:

“In 1878 three former slave ladies on St. Croix led an insurrection against the Danish Government for improved working and living conditions. During this action a major portion of Frederiksted was destroyed by fire. This revolt is known today as ‘FIREBURN’ and the ladies are renowned as “Queen Mary, Queen Agnes and Queen Matilda” – The Three Queens of the Virgin Islands.”

warrior kenya

Mekatilili wa Menza (d. 1925)

Mekatilili wa Menza may have been in the freedom struggle scene for a short time, but her contribution in raising the African consciousness among the Giriama people of the Coastal Kenya was immense.

Mekatilili was one of the first women in Kenya to rise up against the British in 1913. Her bravery, oratorical power and charisma earned her a huge following and saw her mobilize the Giriama to take oaths and offer sacrifices to restore their sovereignty.

Initially, her concern was the breakdown of the Giriama culture amid British influence and she pushed for a return to the traditional Giriama governance system. By extension, it created resistance to the authority of the British and the appointed headmen, the latter whom she accused of betraying the Giriama for rewards.

Mekatilili was particularly against the issue of labor recruitment. At the time, the British were putting increasing economic pressure on the Giriama, through taxation, attempts to control trade in palm wine and ivory, and by the recruitment of young men to work on plantations and public works projects.

Mekatilili’s anguish was over the growing disintegration of the Giriama, so she called upon her people to save their sons and daughters from getting lost in the British ways.

While her rebellion lasted for only one year, from 1913 to 1914, it had considerable impact on the relations between the British and the locals.

Despite her exploits, Mekatilili, who died in 1925 at the age of 70, was not recognized among Kenyan freedom fighters until October 20, 2010, the first ‘Mashujaa’ (Heroes) Day, when her statue was unveiled at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi — renamed Mekatilili wa Menza Garden — in her honor.


March 11, 2014

Which dictator killed the most?

Filed under: Dictators — ethiopiantimes @ 11:15 pm
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They say that it takes compassion for humanity, love for country, and a strong pursuit of justice and mercy to become a strong and respected leader of the masses. Every once in a while, however, there are those politicians or generals that decide to do things their own way. These cold-blooded dictators do not care for the value of life as much as they do achieving their selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality.

Thios infographic shows worldwide dictators ordered by the number of killings, one drop, one million dead.

Of course, the winner is Mao, followed by Stalin and then Hitler. I really hope hell exists and all of them are in there in some major eternal pain.



December 12, 2011

Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda open a training camp in Ethiopia,

Filed under: Ethiopia,Nigeria — ethiopiantimes @ 9:55 am
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IT emerged, at the weekend, that security operatives have been having a hard time extracting information from many of the arrested members of the dreaded

Boko Haram sect, as a result of the revelations that many of the sect’s operatives are placed on oath.

Sources said, at the weekend, that with the number of members of the sect so far arrested, all the details surrounding the operations of the sect are were still a mystery.

A source stated that most of the arrested sects operatives are on oath and are made to believe that if they divulge information about the operational structure of the sect, they would die.

“Those arrested so far swear that they were made to swear some oaths and that if they talk, they will die. So they have largely kept sealed lips,” a source said, adding that the fact that many of them had not sacked had on air of mystery crated around the sect’s operations.

The source further added that intelligence operatives expected that with the number of suspects from the sect, information about their operations should not be scanty.

However, it was gathered that security agencies was able to uncover one of the closely guarded secrets of the sect.

A source revealed that the Boko Haram, in conjunction with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Magreb opened training camps in Ethiopia, besides the usual training grounds of Al-Qaeda in Sudan and Somalia.

It was gathered that the heat coming from Western nations and the discovery of the links between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda especially by the United States of America, informed the decision to open a camp in Ethiopia, where fresh operatives are being trained.

It was further learnt that the sect has also devised means of easily transporting its trained operatives back to Nigeria.

One of the ways it was learnt is to ensure that such trainees are sent to Europe after their training exercise and then made to find their ways back to Nigeria through the European countries.

“One of the new strategies is to ensure that the stereotypes about dressing in Arabian ways are removed, while the operative is sent to Dubai and then Europe. They expect that they would easily avoid psychological tests of the nation’s security operatives if their passports show they are coming from Europe and not Somalia, or any of the Eastern or Arabian countries,” a source stated.

“Police not yet on Boko Haram issue”

Nigerians may have to wait a little longer to get the desired reprieve from the menace of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, following the submission of the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (retd), that the security agencies were not yet on top of the security situation.

Olubolade, while speaking with newsmen at his home in Ipoti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State at the weekend during the House of Representatives rerun in Ekiti Central II Federal Constituency, explained that the Boko Haram crisis was new and that it was yet to be mastered by the security agencies.

The minister, who was giving the assessment of the performance of the police and other relevant agencies in the bid to tackle the security situation in the country, said he would not say that the police had done well so far.

Olubolade said: “I will not say that we have done marvellously well on the Boko Haram. This is because it is a new dimension and Nigerians like to import foreign things. It is alien to Nigerians. Because it is new, we cannot say we are on top of it yet.

“However, the current security situation has given us the opportunity to re-appraise our security apparatus and it is teaching us a new way to approach it. It has also shown us that we should be our brothers’ keepers. It has also taught us that we should give information to the police, because without information, even the best trained police force or security outfit cannot function well.”

He said the Federal Government was still expanding the capacity of the security agencies, through new technologies, to be able to effectively tackle the security situation.

March 27, 2011

Nigeria beat Ethiopia in their Nations Cup qualifier

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 10:32 pm
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Peter Utaka and Ikechukwu Uche scored two goals each to lead Nigeria to a 4-0 win over Ethiopia in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.

Utaka made it 1-0 inside the opening 35 seconds in Abuja.

He doubled the lead in the 53rd minute after a clear shot at goalkeeper Zerihun Derese’s net.

Utaka was replaced in the second half by Uche, who found the net in the 78th minute and then sealed the win in injury time.

Ethiopia had chances but their profligacy in front of goal cost them dearly with Abebaw Bune, Fekru Tefera and Yared Showaatir the biggest culprits.

It was not a convincing, assuring and authoritative performance from Nigeria but Siasia will be happy with the three points gained.

In the other Group B match, Guinea salvaged a 1-1 draw against Madagascar in Antananarivo that keeps them top of the group with seven points.

The Bulls look set for a upset victory after Yvan Rajaonarimana gave the home side the lead 17 minutes into the game, but Djoulde Bah struck with ten minutes to go to earn the West Africans the draw.

Guinea top the group with seven points, while Nigeria are just behind with six.

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