Nzinga Mbandi - Queen of Angola

04/12/2021


Nzinga Mbandi was the daughter of Ngola Kiluangi and Guenguela Cakombe and came from the Ndongo region. No one knows her except with her exposed breast, which has become her symbol of pride and courage. Together with her brother Ngola Mbandi, she fought against Portuguese colonialism and remained in the hearts of the Angolans forever. She allegedly took part in her first fight as an eight-year-old. The whole kingdom of Ndongo was created by King Ngola, who could not accept the decision of King Nzing Kuvo, who ruled in the kingdom of Bakongo - present-day Congo - to enter into a partnership with the Portuguese, who began sending priests and missionaries to the kingdom to spread Christianity and slavery. The people of the Ambudndo tribe - today the Kimbundo, who speaks the Kimbundo language - were part of the then Congolese kingdom, who became the basis of the new Ndongo kingdom created by Nzinga Mbandi's father. All the kings of this new kingdom bore the name Ngola. However, over time, the Portuguese also wanted to rule the newly formed kingdom of Ndongo and expand and strengthen their domination. However, they knew that King Ngola was very strong, so they wanted to achieve their domination peacefully. They had to ask to negotiate with King Ngola, but they could not pronounce his name. They helped each other by inserting the letter A in front of the king's name, and without knowing and wanting, they gave the name of today's Angola. King Ngola, who agreed to the negotiations, however, had information from his Kimbandeiros - magic gurus and Kurandeiros - herbalists. They regularly informed him about the situation in the Kingdom of Bakongo, about how the Portuguese occupied the country and appropriated land. Based on these rumors, he decided not to enter into any agreements with them and thus protect his people and the whole kingdom. When Nzinga Mbandi was born, there was a huge storm that was unusual and considered a strange phenomenon by the people. One of the oldest men, who was always with King Ngola, said after her birth that she would be very strong, smart and dangerous. King Ngola fought the colonizers for several years, and when he ran out of power, he handed over power and the entire kingdom to her brother Ngola Mbandi. He was a very strong and capable warrior who also had a large and strong army. Likewise, his sister, she was very strong, smart, and equipped with excellent diplomatic skills, with an equally large and strong army. Nevertheless, according to tradition, she could not become queen. Ngola Mbandi, as the new king, continued to fight with Paulo Dias de Novais - the man who founded the city of Luanda, for the freedom of his kingdom, which his father had already begun. At that time, the Portuguese managed to gain part of the territory on which they began to build today's Luanda. The kingdom of Ndongo then included the areas of Kissama, Cacuaco to Malanje, Kwanza Norte and Kwanza Sul. During the fighting, the kingdom gradually weakened and lost its territory. This situation forced the king to connect with his sister, who was not only strong but also very smart, and to invite her to negotiate with the Portuguese. However, they did not want to accept the fact that they should negotiate with a woman and another African woman. Which was incomprehensible and insulting to Africans. Even at that time, women enjoyed the same respect and status as men. As men fought, so did women. However, her brother insisted and did not want to continue the negotiations without his sister's complicity. He did not trust the Portuguese and was afraid that he would be imprisoned, killed or sold as a slave to Brazil. The Portuguese had no choice but to agree and start negotiations with the woman. However, they insisted that Nzinga Mbandi must be baptized and converted to the Christian faith. Zinga Mbandi, because she did not recognize Christianity and considered it only as a story of white people, accepted this demand, but continued to believe in the power of African spirituality. However, thanks to this act, the Portuguese name Ana de Sousa gets it. He comes to the negotiations with his two sisters. In the palace, where all those who were to attend the meeting, headed by the Portuguese governor, were already seated, she is invited to sit down. However, there is not a single vacant chair in the whole hall, and she is offered a place on the floor with ridicule and contempt, thus showing her disrespect and contempt. However, Nzinga behaved very cleverly, she did not allow herself to be distracted. She called one of her soldiers, who arched at four without comment or objection, and she sat on his back. Throughout the negotiations, she sat on the soldier's back, showing her strength, fearlessness, devotion to her people and her diplomatic skills. Nzinga Mbangi spoke several world languages, so the Portuguese in which the talks took place did not make her a problem and made her an equal partner. This negotiation, which took place in 1621, succeeded in obtaining the promise of the Portuguese who undertook to respect the borders of the kingdom of Ndongo, where they could not enter from that moment, to spread their Christianity and to introduce slavery, which the kingdom did not recognize. The Portuguese realized how powerful a rival Nzinga Bandi is and one of their sisters who accompanied her would be captivated. The general truth about white people and their disadvantages Unfortunately, keeping the promises was confirmed at that time, and the Portuguese are breaking these conventions very soon. They use their abilities and possibilities, which have and influence a large part of the traditional African chiefs - Soba, to whom they promise protection and the opportunity to be part of Luanda, which was created under their baton and entirely in its power, to their side. At this moment, huge battles break out and the kingdom loses its territory. Ngola Mbandi is forced to flee to safety and after some time commits suicide because he cannot bear the loss of his power, the fact that he cannot defend his kingdom and is also subject to the fear of falling into slavery. The Portuguese version claims to have been killed by his sister Nzinga Mbangi, a poison she prepared not only for him but also for her son and all the African chiefs who betrayed him. The purpose of this theory was to plunge Nzig Mbandi into the displeasure of her people for witchcraft and black magic and for killing her own child. However, the people of her kingdom did not believe and, on the contrary, were convinced that the Portuguese, fearing the union of the strong and powerful Nzing Mbandi and her brother, infiltrated the royal family of one of the manipulated African chiefs and poisoned the king and son Nzing Mbandi. In the union of these two leaders and their armies, their plans to control the entire kingdom would probably not be feasible. Nzinga Mbandi was endowed not only with cleverness, strength and diplomacy, but also with very strong supernatural abilities. After her brother's death, Nzinga Mbandi became queen, but the Portuguese did not accept this fact and appointed one African chief, whom they had acquired on their side, as the new king of Ndongo. They deliberately choose the weakest to have an easier way to negotiate the territory, sell slaves and other plans to rule the kingdom. However, Nzinga Mbandi and her people do not accept the new king, and the moment her other people, who considered her dead and submitted to the colonizers, found her alive, they returned to her with the determination to regain the kingdom. Together they seized the territory of Matamba, which also belonged to the people of Kindumbo and bordered the kingdom of Ndongo, and Nzinga Mbandi thus became the queen of Ndongo and Matamba. The moment she understood how insidious the Portuguese were, she decided to send out messages in which she communicated to her people the threat of loss of identity, freedom and slavery that the Portuguese had planned. Based on these reports, many people who believed the Portuguese stories about the death of Nzinga Mbandi and fled returned and took part in the fighting under their queen. The Portuguese again felt how strong and dangerous Nzinga Mbandi was, and together with the king they appointed from among the traitors, they tried to kill Nzinga. They almost succeeded. Nzinga lost several hundred soldiers and was forced to flee to Malanja, where she hid in the mountains of Punda Mogo. Despite losing her influence and power and fighting the Imbangala group in the past, which were nomads who did not have a kingdom but wandered all their lives, she decided to contact them and ask for help. She accepted all the demands and King Imbangala appointed her the new queen of the area. Thus she became the queen of Ndongo, Matamba and Imbangala and regained her power. Imbangala was a very large and strong group and at that time people called them cannibals. Which probably stemmed from her strength and fear of them. Together, they regained the territory of Matamba, which she had previously lost and rebuilt her palace there. At a time when the Dutch had fought over the Portuguese over Brazil and were preparing for a trip to Angola, Nzinga Mbandi allied with the Dutch and agreed on a joint fight against the Portuguese. She succeeded in this and, in cooperation with them, managed to expel the Portuguese from the country for several years and thus gain freedom for their people. However, the Portuguese did not give up and returned to Angola after a few years. Equipped with better military technology, they unleashed an unequal struggle. While the Angolans fought with machetes and handmade weapons - kajangolo, which were only for one round and could not be provided to all soldiers, the Portuguese army had cannons and sophisticated weapons. The Dutch did not maintain their position and lost Luanda, Nzinga Mbandi lost the Kissama area and took refuge back in the Malanje area. Nzinga Mbandi fought for independence, freedom and equality for forty years. She fought to preserve the traditions, indigenous languages ​​and dignity of the Angolan people. She tried to drive Europeans away from her country and preserve African soil for her people. It remains a symbol of the fight against oppression. Her body was never found, no one ever spoke of her funeral, which certainly did not take place in secret, but on the contrary with all the honors that such a strong warrior deserves. That's why African legends believe he's still alive. They will send you to the Punguo Angongo Mountains in Malanje, where she has lost her strength in battle, and lead you to a black stone showing the footprint and paws of her faithful dog, whom she loved and who was always by her side. This African legend also says that from the moment it rose to this the stone had never been seen before. I met a woman who claims to have gone to Zambia. And that's why you can meet many women in Zambia who bear her name. Portuguese legends claim that she died in her eighties, trying to break the traditional African legend of her immortality.