Nzingha, also known as Ann Nzingha, is the great national figure of precolonical Angola. The extraordinary scholar John Henrik Clarke referenced her as the “greatest military strategist that ever confronted the armed forces of Portugal.” Nzingha was born in Central Africa around 1582 and her brilliance was recognized early on. The fact that she was a woman was not an impediment to her ability to lead. Toward the middle of her life, she became increasingly aggressive in her desire to maintain the power and dignity of the people of Central Africa. Indeed, her military campaigns kept the Portuguese in Africa at bay for more than four decades. Her goal was the final and complete eradication of the Portuguese capture and enslavement of African people.
Nzingha sent ambassadors and representatives throughout West and Central Africa with the goal of building a massive coalition of Africans to eject the Portuguese.
Nzingha died fighting for her people in 1663 at the ripe old age of 81.