Heroic Vignettes, Book 2: Feminine West Africans

Before getting started with W. Africa, a shout-out to these young Kenyans.

This is a map of the Trans-Saharan trade route used from pre-history to the 17th century.

A dedication to Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, the Nigerian novelist and activist who will likely be the introductory Heroic Vignette for the book.

Contemporary figures for the sixteen countries of West Africa:

Benin. Fremch Language, Population: 9 million

A wonderful little children’s book about the heyday of Benin is Metropolis Ancient African Town by Fiona Macdonald, illustrated by Gerald Wood. This is a sample page:

The likely Heroic Vignette for Benin will be Queen Idia, 16th Century, who ruled Benin from 1504 to 1550.

The Amazons are interesting, but I don’t think I’m going to include them in the book.

Burkina Faso. French language, Population: 17 mil.

12th Century; Yennenga, is to be the featured vignette

The Dagomba tribe of Northern Ghana in West Africa has a longstanding tradition of oral histories. Often these exciting tales of heroes and heroines are told against the backdrop of pounding drums and dancing revelers, galvanizing the story within the hearts of all who hear it. One such narrative record is the tale of Yennenga, founding mother of Burkina Faso.

Cape Verde, Portugese, 600,000

The Gambia, English, 27 mil.

The Heroic Vignette for The Gambia may be about Nyimasata Sanneh-Bojang, first female elected member of parliament and leading activist against FGM (female genital mutilation). There’s a wonderful article on a few heroic ladies of The Gambia here.

Ghana, English, 27 mil

Yaa Asantewaa is to be the vignette for Ghana.

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. George Orwell.

One of the most heroic attributes of a citizenry is their ability to reclaim their history after the letters, artifacts, and all things sacred have long been hauled away to fill the coffers and landfills of those who would enslave them. Subverting attempts of thievery at the onset can be considered equally epic. In 1900, the Ashanti people of Ghana would rise up and prevent the loss of their history with dauntless courage. The leader of their uprising was a sixty year old grandmother by the name of Yaa Asantewaa.

Guinea, FR, 11 mil

Guinea-Bissau, Port. 2 mil Am hoping to locate more information on the warrior women of Guinea-Bissau.

Ivory Coast (Cote Divoire) Fr. 20.6 mil

Queen Abla Pokou

Liberia, Eng. 4.2 mil

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first elected female president in all of Africa will be the vignette for Liberia.

Mali, FR. 15 mil

Mauritania, Arabic, 3.7 mil

Niger, FR. 1.27 million,

Nigeria, Eng. 175 million Zaharau Babangida could be the profile for the country of Nigeria, or it may be Amina Sukhera. A 13 year old who was forced to be a suicide bomber but defies her orders, or a fierce warrior princess? Maybe it will be Moremi Ajasoro. Nigeria has many women heroes to choose from for inclusion in Heroic Vignettes, Book 2, Feminine West Africans.

But it is likely we will be telling the heroic stories of stolen girls, much like in the same titled book by Wolfgang Bauer. An excerpt:

Senegal, FR, 13.3 mil

Sierra Leone, Eng. 6.5 mil

Togo, FR. 6.7 mil.

I’m going to finish the book with a heroic vignette about Buchi Emecheta, a Nigerian born author.

This video demonstrates a stark history of West Africa:



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