Africa History Who was...?

Who was…this warrior woman

‘Who was…?’ a series that explores the African women who pop up in history yet remain mysterious.

The quote below this image says enough, “A warrior woman near Kambole insisted on fighting with the men”. Abeg, what’s her story?

Image source, USC Libraries Digital Collection via Tumblr

I did a quick search and it seems there’s a Kambolé in modern-day Togo. However, according to the image source, this photo is part of an album entitled, “Scenes of daily life of natives and a foreign missionary in Malawi”. As a result of the search, I came across several people with the name “Kambole”.

Before I get distracted, back to the topic of this warrior woman. If you’re like me, you’re wondering how many asses she kicked. Why did she have to insist on fighting with men? Was it that they didn’t welcome her when she wanted to fight initially? Did she go to wars/raids/campaigns? We’ll probably never know.


  1. I don’t know if you want suggestions on different “Who was…” ideas but if you are, here are some women I would definitely like to know more about but probably will never get to.

    Khreduonkh (Imhotep’s Mom) – Who is she? She certainly seems like an important figure in this carving, even though Imhotep is thought to be a commoner who pulled himself up by his bootstraps to become the “first known multi-genius.” She looks badass.

    The Crest of the House of Daunscourt/Morfyn – Is she the founder of a powerful house of European nobility? She was certainly not a slave or any type of degraded individual in this crest. The batwings makes me think of African totemism and it may be a key to finding out (at least) where she may ultimately have came from.

    Walatta Petros – An Ethiopian nun who has a biography written in Ge’ez. May have been a woman who desired women (or at least in a very intimate relationship with a particular woman) and was definitely exposed to such behavior in her ancient Ethiopian convent.

    Laura Adorkor Kofi – Supposingly an African princess from modern day Ghana (or a nurse from Georgia) who was went to America by her family to reconnect African Americans back to Africa. Her power rivaled Marcus Mosiah Garvey in the southern US. She and the Garveyites had a falling out over her possibly forging her background and she was assassinated in Florida. Really interestingly lady who not much is known about in history.

    Leaders of the Women’s War in Nigeria – They may be famous to you but I don’t know much about any of the individuals who instigated and maintained the rebellion. And this is such a badass picture.

    These (modern) ladies – They made a electrical generator that runs on pee. They should be world famous. Why the fuck aren’t they?

    1. Suggestions are always welcome, thanks for sharing these names!

      I can definitely do an in-depth post (or series of posts) on Walatta Petros. I have a copy of her biography in English. It’s HUGE though and that’s what’s holding me back from reading it. Leaders of the Nigerian Women’s War and Laura Adorkor Kofi are also very interesting to me.

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