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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Amina of Zaria- The pink heeled girl who defended the Hausa people

Between the Niger River and Lake Chad stretches a fertile region: Hausa country. Thousands of years ago when the Sahara was not yet a desert but a vast oasis populated mostly by Blacks, the Hausa lived in a mountainous zone now called Air. The desertification pushed them towards the Niger river while their neighbours went towards the banks of the Nile where they founded a new civilisation. Many specialists now admit that the Hausa language and that of ancient Egypt are related.
In the 15th century Africans who were recent Muslim converts invaded the land of Hausa. City after city fell under their rule and everyone thought that the land of Hausa was about to fall into foreign hands. That is when a pink heeled woman, Princess Amina of Zaria showed her true colours to the world, the ancestors and God. In no time everyone realized that she was the best rider and finest archer in Hausaland. Her arrows reached the most distant targets off in the hills, and on her horse, Demon, she charged towards advancing enemy troops. One year after that first assault, to the day, she had re-conquered all of the lost territory where many fortified towns still carry her name. The horses of this fearless amazon charged beyond the border of her land. Her domain stretched towards the source of the Niger; town after town, kingdom after kingdom, during the 34 years of her reign.A legend tells us that she took a lover in each city and then abandoned him when she thought it was time to conquer the next town. Every city was a lover and every lover was a city, thus says the legend of Amina of Zaria.

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