As a Black man and an African historian, I have found that one of the most inspiring aspects in the annals of humankind is the outstanding role of African women and their contributions to history. In this brief article, we highlight and pay tribute to some of the greatest of these women.
Queen Ahmose-Nefertari (circa 1570-1530 B.C.) was an active participant, along with her husband King Ahmose, in the final defeat and ejection from Africa of the hated Hyksos invaders and occupiers. As such, she was regarded as a national hero and one of the outstanding figures in African history. Indeed, she was a co-founder of the glorious 18th dynasty of Kmt — called “The greatest royal family that ever mounted a throne.”
Ahmose-Nefertari was born a royal heiress to the thone and became one of Kmt’s most beloved and audacious women. After her husband’s brilliant reign, she ruled the land with her son, King Amenhotep I.
It would not be inaccurate to say that Ahmose-Nefertari was venerated, a practice that continued for more than 600 years after her death. To her memory was attached a special priesthood, who recited in her honor a prayer only used in addressing the pantheon of the most powerful deities in the land. Ahmose-Nefertari was titled “God’s Wife of Amen” and held a position as a priestess in the national religious center. It is interesting too that the surviving portraits of Ahmose-Nefertari are all painted Black — a sign further illustrating her great prominence.