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Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba
Queen Anna Nzinga -- also known as Ana de Sousa Nzinga Mbande -- was the queen of both the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms, which today form Angola and the southern part of Africa. After her brother committed suicide, she took over his kingdom and became known for her political intelligence and skill as an ambassador. When the Portuguese began to colonize the area, Nzinga was sent to offer a peace treaty. When she arrived at the meeting, the Portuguese delegates were amazed by her self-confidence. The governor did not offer Nzinga a chair during the negotiations, but instead expected her to sit on a floor mat (used only for subordinates), but Nzinga asked one of her servants to get down on all fours and she sat on the servant's back during negotiations. Queen Nzinga is remembered for her fierce fight against the Portuguese and for freeing her people from slavery. Nzinga converted to Catholicism in the 1600s and was baptized.

© François Villain | Wikipedia PD