Kandake Queens, latinised “Candace”of Kush

Forty generation of Kushite royals were buried in the pyramids.

There were several female rulers of Ethiopia or Kush. When it comes to African rulers in Africa women or more commonly warrior queens entertained no nonsense when it comes to enemies of states, be it internal or external aggressions. Queen Asantewa and Badass Queen Nzinga are good examples.

The ancient kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia is often called Ethiopia in the Bible. The Kushitic kingdom is today’s Sudan stretching slightly to today’s Ethiopia with Meroe as its capital.

Kandake (kendake or kentake) which means “great woman”, was used as a royal title or dynastic name for the queens of Meroe, the capital of Kush. Some Kandakes ruled with their own right. Others ruled with their husbands and seems to have had an equal power with the king. Some of these kandakes were worrior queens who led their armies into the battles.

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban writes, “Meroë claims at least ten regnant queens during the 500-year period between 260 BC and 320 AD, and no fewer than six during the 140-year period between 60 BC and 80 AD.”[4] The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts chapter 8 may have been in charge of the treasury of the kandake Amantitere who ruled in 25–41 CE.

The Meroitic state flourished at around the same time as the Greek Ptolemies and then the Romans (300 BCE–350 CE). There is a legend that in 332 BCE one kandake pushed back Alexander the Great, who was intent on advancing into Kush, so that he and his army had to retreat to Egypt. A more credible story is that Meroitic forces, led by the kandake Amanirenas, clashed with Roman forces in the first century BCE.

You can also read about Queen Nandi the mother of Shaka Zulu


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