5 Most Powerful African Kings From History

This fact may be oblivious to many Africans, but Africa is indeed the father of civilization. In fact, without the ancient Kemet, there would be no Greek philosophy; and if the Persians had not invaded Egypt or if the Greek had failed to access the ancient Egyptians’ Education, there would be nothing like Alexandria research centre and Aristotle could not have written any book. But these are just but a few of unknown facts about Africa that may form a topic of discussion on another day, but today — In this article, we will be looking at the 5 most powerful African Kings from history. Just to give you a hint, we will be looking at their great achievements, their great story and what exactly makes them formidable. So, if you consider your self a true African with an African blood, then stay put and learn something about your history as we roll the curtain:

Most Powerful African Kings From History

1. Imhotep – Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt from 2200 BC

Imhotep -- Pharaohe of Ancient Egypt

Imhotep is definitely one of the most underrated kings in Africa whose achievements are way above what an average man would term as miracles. To be precise, he was the first genius to ever pop up in the African history, and his intelligence made him the chief-advisor to king Zoster in Ancient Kemet’s third dynasty. Imhotep was an astronomer, an architect, a physicist, a philosopher and a poet. In addition to this, he was the man behind all the great designs in Egypt; for example, the Saqqara complex and the step pyramid.

His achievements earned him a series of titles; for instance, he was referred to as the High-priest of Heliopolis, the-first-after-the-king-of-upper-Kemet and the administrator-of-the-great-palace among a series of other titles. In addition to all that, he is also believed to be the author of the popular Edwin Smith Papyrus–a book with over 90 astronomical terms with 48 healing processes for different injuries. After his death, he was given the name Asclepius, which literally translates to a medicine God. Apparently, his tomb still lies sacredly in Memphis and is considered as a pilgrimage site for anyone who is seeking a cure.

2. Shaka Zulu – King of Zulu, South Africa, 1818 to 1828

Shaka zulu 1

Shaka Zulu is one of the most popular African kings who is well-remembered for turning Zulu warriors into great fighters. His fighters are known for using standardized weapons and great tactics to combat their enemy. As a result, Zulu became a powerful kingdom during the reign of Shaka until his death. From nowhere, Shaka Zulu devised a short stabbing spear called Assegai, as well as the large shields that could protect his regiments from the spears that were being thrown by his opponents.

See Also: 10 Famous South African Tribes

Within a very short time, Shaka Zulu managed to transform his troops into a great fighting machine that made him feared by most of his enemies. In fact, most of them would flee on seeing his troops; and he eventually managed to ethnically unite all groups in South Africa. Up to date, he is globally remembered as a great military innovator as well as one of the most formidable leaders in African history.

3. Tenkamenin – King of Ghana from 1037 AD to 1075 AD

Tenkamenin -- King of GhanaIf it were not for King Tenkamenin, Ghana would not have reached its height of greatness. And up-to-date, King Tenkamenin is widely known as the King who facilitated the Saharan Gold trade. Consequently, his Kingdom became an economic stronghold while his government became an admiration of many African Kings, as per the time. To add to that, he was very social to his own people and he would, on each day, ride on his horse just to listen to their problems and concerns. He insisted on justice and went a step further to give his people a platform to address their grievances and, at the same time, give suggestions.

4. Samore Toure — King of Sudan from 1830 AD to 1900 AD

Samore Toure -- King of Sudan

The rise to greatness of the one and only Samore Toure began when his hometown, Bissandugu, was attacked and several of his family members–including her mom–captured as slaves. Persuasively, he managed to convince King Bitike to allow him to switch places with her mother. He eventually joined the king’s army and quickly rose to hold the highest rank in the army. After serving in Bitike’s army for some time, he was later allowed to go back to his native land where he was instantly made the king.

His first conquest was to unite the whole of West Africa and form a single formidable state. Similarly, he chose to oppose all the French attempts to exploit Africa by fighting them back every time they made a move. The great military training that he had given his troupe and the strategy that his army used during the war, made him one of the most dreaded Kings by the Europeans. His 30 years of ruling earned him nothing but respect among Africans, and he’ll forever be remembered as one of the African rulers who fought hard to prevent Africans from being colonized.

5. Mansa Kankan Mussa –King of Mali from 1306 AD to 1332 AD

Mansa Kankan Mussa --King of Mali

Mansa Kankan Mussa simply known as Mansa Mussa was a great scholar, an economist as well as an art lover. His flamboyant lifestyle actually made him that great King that will live to be admired by many people, several years to come. In 1324, he led a holy pilgrimage of about 72,000 from Timbuktu to the Islamic mecca. This is one of the events that earned him his respect worldwide and is well-remembered by scholars and other people as a great leader who had great business skills. In addition to that, he managed to make Mali the Wealthiest Kingdom at that time. And even up to this time, Mali still has one of the most prestigious universities globally.

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Emeka Chigozie
Emeka Chigozie
Emeka has a keen interest in tech, entertainment, and politics. He likes to stay up to date with global news when he is not thinking about future trends in tech.


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