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Some of Africa's Most Powerful Kings, Queens, Warriors and Legends

Africa is a region with a long and glorious history, with hundreds of distinct cultures and traditions. From the Egyptians to Zulus, each culture produced some of the greatest warriors and most powerful leaders in the world.

From discerning tradesmen to distinguished scholars, here are just a few of the fascinating figures from African history of legendary African rulers.

Shaka Zulu

Even today, people know that the Zulu warriors were exceptionally skilled in combat. The military innovations adopted by Shaka Zulu helped to cultivate their warrior culture and was often able to negotiate with his adversaries. At the height of his ten-year reign, Shaka ruled more than 250,000 people and commanded more than 50,000 warriors.

The King Shark

Behanzin(Gbehanzin) HossuBowelle, which translates to the "the egg of the world" or the son the shark," he became known colloquially as 'The King Shark' and he was arguably the most powerful ruler of West Africa at the end of the 19th Century. As commander of a powerful army served by both 150,000 male and 5000 infamous Amazon women, those attempting to take over his kingdom made him the victim of a great deal of propaganda, portrayinghim as a vicious man who ruled over savages.

Warrior Queen Amina

Amina, or Aminatu, was a warrior queen of the Zaria Emirate, which is in modern day Nigeria. She is the subject of many legends and ruled at some point in the 15th century, though the dates are uncertain. She conquered many cities and ruled for 34 years.

Mansa Kankan Musa - The Richest African Warrior

Musa was the tenth Mansa (sultan or king) of Mali, His reign was between 1312 and 1337 AD. He was an extremely powerful leader and under his leadership, Mali was able to conquer 24 cities. One of his nicknames, 'Lord of the Mines of Wangara', was due to his control of all the gold mines there. This contributed to the fact he was exceptionally rich. His contemporaries described him as inconceivably wealthy.