african queen

Anna Nzinga in her time (1583 – 1663)was all powerful. Queen of Ndongo and Matamba in modern day Angola, she was a dedicated sadist who preached and practiced the delights of sapphism, and encouraged sodomy amongst her subjects – this in keeping with the early laws she enacted forbidding pregnancy and childbirth. She desired the population of her realm to remain static. In this way, she believed, peace could be maintained with the Portuguese and Dutch colonists, interlopers in her world who regularly raided for slaves.

No less a personage than the Marquis de Sade makes mention of Anna in his works; de Sade deriving his information, probably, from Jean-Louis Castilhon’s “Zingha, reine d’Angola: Histoire africane en deux partes”:

‘Singha, reine d’Angola, avait fait une loi qui établissait la vulgivaguibilité des femmes. Cette même loi leur enjoignait de se garantir de grossesse, sous peine d’être pilées dans un mortier : loi sévère, mais utile, et qui doit toujours suivre la défense des liens et la communauté, afin de mettre des bornes à une population dont la trop grande abondance pourrait devenir dangereuse.’

(Nzinga, Queen of Angola, made a law preventing the childbearing of women. The same law enjoined them to ensure they did not become pregnant, for fear of being crushed in a mortar: a severe law, but useful in maintaining the defense of the country and community, setting limits to a population whose overabundance could become dangerous.)

Early Dutch emissaries wrote that Anna Nzinga maintained a Harem of male slaves all dressed as women. These poor unfortunates would on occasion engage in gladiatorial-type combat, fighting to the death, in the hope of sharing the queen’s bed for the night. Those who survived to enjoy this sleepless night of passion with her, would, come the dawn, be dragged from her bed and burned alive for her further amusement.

They say that to secure her throne Nzinga murdered her brother and his son, and that she eat the son’s still beating heart to obtain his power.

They say, also, Nzinga liked to watch the flaying Alive of wrongdoers, and, on occasion, would use the flaying knife herself, skillfully removing strips of bloody skin from her victims most intimate parts.

Without doubt, Anna Nzinga was a bisexual monster, who, according to Eulenberg in his work Sadism and Masochism, ‘raged against men and women equally and without differentiation.’ But in a world full of male monsters, Nzinga survived, ruled her people and fought off all interlopers.

Today, of course, Anna Nzinga is a national hero in Angola. Her sexual violence is dismissed as legend or the propaganda of her many enemies. And while to a point this may be true, there can be no denying her merciless treatment of her enemies or the fact that she enriched herself through the provision of slaves to the Dutch and Portuguese. Nor can there be any denying of the draconian laws she promulgated subjecting her people to her iron will.