5 most powerful African rulers who change the perception of “black” continent

Although this fact has already been relatively forgotten even by the Africans, Africa is indeed the place where civilization started. In fact, without ancient Kemet, there would have been no Greek philosophy.

If the Persians had not invaded Egypt, or if the Greeks had not been able to gain access to the education of the ancient Egyptians, nothing like the Library of Alexandria would have appeared. Aristotle could not have written a single book. But these are just a few unknown facts about Africa, and today we will consider the five most powerful African rulers in history.

1. Imhotep – the first vizier of the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt

How the sage Imhotep became a god in Ancient Egypt

Imhotep is one of the most underrated rulers in Africa, whose accomplishments far exceed what the average person would call a miracle. He was the first genius to ever appear in African history, and his intellect made him the chief advisor to Pharaoh Djoser in the third dynasty of Ancient Kemet. Imhotep was an astronomer, architect, physicist, philosopher, and poet. Besides that, he was the man behind all the significant buildings in Egypt; for example, the Saqqara necropolis and the step pyramid of Djoser.

His achievements earned him several titles: for example, he was mentioned as the high priest of Heliopolis, as the first person after the ruler of Upper Kemet, manager of the grand palace, etc. In addition to everything, he is also considered the author of the famous “Edwin Smith Papyrus” – books with more than 90 astronomical terms and 48 descriptions of the treatment of various injuries. After his death, Imhotep began to be identified with the healing deity Asclepius. His grave is still in Memphis and is considered a place of pilgrimage for all who seek healing.

2. Shaka – King of the Zulu Country, South Africa


Shaka is one of the most popular African rulers, who is remembered for turning the Zulu warriors into great fighters. His fighters became famous for using classic South African weapons (Assegai) and excellent tactics when fighting their enemies. The Zulu country became a powerful kingdom during the reign of Shaka until his death.

It is believed that Shaka invented a shortened version of the Assegai and large shields capable of protecting his warriors from spears thrown by opponents. In a short time, Shaka managed to turn his troops into a real war machine that terrified most of his enemies.

In fact, most of the enemies fled when they saw the Zulu troops, and in the end, he succeeded in uniting all the Zulu groups in South Africa. Today, he is internationally renowned as a great military innovator and one of the most formidable leaders in African history.

3. Tenkamenin – King of Ghana

5 most powerful African rulers who change the perception of “black” continent

If not for King Tenkamenin, Ghana would not have reached its greatness. Today this ruler is usually referred to as the king who established the gold trade of the Sahara. Consequently, his kingdom had a solid economic base, and many African kings admired his government. Tenkamenin constantly communicated with his people, and every day he rode a horse through the villages to listen to residents’ problems. He has always been a champion of justice.

4. Samori Toure – King of Sudan

Samori Toure

The rise to greatness of Samori Toure began when his hometown of Bissandugu was attacked and several members of his family, including his mother, were taken into slavery. He managed to convince the invading king Berete to let him switch places with his mother. In the end, he joined the army of this ruler and quickly climbed the “career ladder.”

After serving for some time in the Berete military, he was later allowed to return to his homeland, where he was immediately king. His first conquest was the unification of all of West Africa and forming a single formidable state. And that’s not all – Samori Touré decided to resist all attempts by the French to exploit Africa.

The excellent military training he provided for his troops and the strategy his army employed during the war made him one of the most feared kings of Africa for Europeans. Throughout his 30 years of reign, he has consistently enjoyed respect among Africans and will forever be remembered as one of the African rulers who fought against colonization.

5. Mansa Kankan Musa – King of Mali

Mansa Kankan Musa

Mansa Kankan Musa, known simply as Mansa Musa, was a great scientist, economist, and art lover. His flamboyant lifestyle made him a great king that people will remember for many years. In 1324, he led a sacred pilgrimage of about 72,000 people from Timbuktu to Islamic Mecca.

There are just one of the events thanks to which Mansa Musa has earned respect throughout the world. Scientists and others remember him well as a great leader with excellent business skills. In addition, he managed to make Mali the most prosperous kingdom at the time.

Even today, Mali still has one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

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