From the recordings 400: An Afrikan Epic and Four Women
The first Queen of the Mbundu people of present day Angola, central Afrika, Queen Nzinga successfully led her people in a 30 year war against Portuguese colonization showcasing both her military prow- ess and high-stakes diplomacy. In 1627, after forming alliances with former rival states, she led her army against the Portuguese, initiat- ing a thirty-year war against them. She exploited European rivalry by forging an alliance with the Dutch who had conquered Luanda in 1641. With their help, Nzinga defeated a Portuguese army in 1647. When the Dutch were in turn defeated by the Portuguese the following year and withdrew from Central Africa, Nzinga continued her struggle against the Portuguese. Now in her 60s she still personally led troops in battle. She also orchestrated guerilla attacks on the Portuguese which would continue long after her death and inspire the ultimately successful 20th Century armed resistance against the Portuguese that resulted in independent Angola in 1975. Despite repeated attempts by the Portuguese and their allies to capture or kill Queen Nzinga, she died peacefully in her eighties on December 17, 1663.