An Assoiciate Professor and Pyscian writer Ndagi Abdullahi has said that Queen Amina of Zaria never existed, raising a controversial discussion on the woman once considered to be the most powerful female in the 16th century that lived in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Abdullahi in his article said he was ready to prove his assertion citing 20 reason why he has chosen to say the powerful Queen Amina never existed in history.
Historians have described Queen Amina as an Hausa warrior queen of the city-state Zazzau, in what is now in the north-west region of Nigeria,mahogany commanded a lot of influence even among men when it was not common to have women participate openly and strongly in the society.
She ruled in the mid-sixteenth century even though according to history her biography has been somewhat obscured by subsequent legends and folk tales.
This owing mainly to the absence of dependable oral traditional sources who were supposed to be in charge of passing historical and memorable information from one generation to another using a dedicated custodian of such history.
But Abdullahi in his article listed these 20 reason which he says proves that she never existed, which may just mean that has regarded the story as one of those fiction told by older source to immortalise the strength and abilities of a strong woman in an ancient African setting
He gave the list as follows;
1 – The earliest Zaria traditions never mentioned Queen Amina of Zaria.
2 – The people of Zaria first heard of Queen Amina of Zaria from two non-Zaria sources, namely, the Kano Chronicle from Kano & the Infakul Maisuri from Sokoto
3 – The utterly Islamic name Amina was not a Hausa name in the 16th century that Queen Amina was supposed to have lived.
4 – The Queen Amina of Zaria described by the Kano Chronicle is completely different from the Queen Amina of Zaria described by the Infakul Maisuri.
5 – Apart from the Kano Chronicle and the Infakul Maisuri no any other primary source document in history ever mentioned Queen Amina of Zaria.
6 – No contemporary source, written or oral, ever mentioned Queen Amina of Zaria.
7 – None of the pre-Colonial European explorers, including Mungo Park, Captain Hugh Clapperton, the Lander brothers, Dr. Heinrich Barth, Dr. William Baikie, etc., heard about Queen Amina of Zaria.
8 – Queen Amina of Zaria was completely unknown to native griots until European Colonial historians popularized her at the beginning of the 20th century.
9 – The Northern Nigerian story of Queen Amina of Zaria is evidently a rehashing of the Middle Belt story of Kisra.
10 – The Original Zaria Province or State is the ancient Nupe Province of Old Gbara formerly known as Gunguma or Kangoma and now known as Wushishi or Dunguru (Zungeru).
11 – Al Sadi’s ‘Tarikh Al Sudan’ of 1655 and al-Mukhtar’s Tarikh Al Fattash of the 1660s both are completely unaware of the existence of a Queen Amina of Zaria who was supposed to have been born in 1533.
12 – The earliest of the Arab historians to write on West Africa, including the celebrated El Bakri, wrote that today’s Nigerian Middle Belt was known as Mina or Al Mina.
13 – Gigantic idols and massifs bearing the name the ‘Goddess of Mina’ or the ‘Goddess of Al Mina’ replete the plains of prehistoric Central Nigeria centuries before the supposed birth of Queen Amina of Zaria in 1533.
14 – Lady Flora Shaw Lugard wrote that the people of the Nigerian Middle Belt used to worship the idol of a fertility Goddess referred to as the ‘Queen of Al Mina’.
15 – It was Hausa city chroniclers who unprofessionally transcribed the ‘Queen of Al Mina’ as ‘Queen Amina’.
16 – The Hausa city chroniclers then hijacked the well-known history of Kisra the Nupe King of Zozo and rehashed it as the story of Amina the ‘Queen of Zazzau’.
17 – The official royal history of early Zaria written by professional palace historians and titled the ‘Abuja Chronicle’, published in 1952, tellingly did not include Queen Amina on the Zaria king-list.
18 – The detailed biography of Queen Amina of Zaria we see today was fabricated by the playwright Umar Ahmed in 1954 in his drama play titled ‘Amina Sarauniyar Zazzau’.
19 – It was unsuspecting scholars, including the Colonial historian S.J. Hogben and the post-Independence academician Professor Abubakar Sa’ad who unwittingly gave scholarly credence to the Queen Amina of Zaria myth.
20 – World renowned historians, including Professor Abdullahi Smith and Professor Murray Last, have conclusively demonstrated that Queen Amina of Zaria never existed.