A movie that has greatly been anticipated since 2018 has recently been released with a fast rising South-African star, Thuso Mbedu playing a key role in the movie. 


This movie shone light on the historical women warriors of Dahomey, a kingdom known today as Benin in West Africa. Dahomey was one of the many kingdoms in an area known as Aja-Yoruba, somewhere between present day Togo and South-West Nigeria.


These warriors were exceptionally skillful warriors that were both feared and admired. They inspired fear and curiosity from foreigners that came to explore or colonize their land.


The anti colonial women warriors were referred to as Agoodjies in Fon, one of the many languages of the Benin people. They were also known as the black Amazons of Africa. They constituted up to four thousand of the twelve thousand warriors. 


They were the protectors of the king. They were usually recruited and trained from childhood. This is the fiercest representation of the black womanhood as they have always painted the blackwoman as weak and defenseless against the colonists. They incited awe because of their military prowess and boundary breaking definition of womanhood.


The women warriors of the kingdom were skilled as combatants and feared all the more so when they were seen as transgressively emulating masculine aggression. They always fought as males yet in the royal palace their positions were still similar to other women; wives and concubines.


They fought for the independence of their kingdom. Not only did they fight for their freedom, they also fought whenever the king waged war against their neighbors.


These warriors existed long before the creation of the kingdom. The last war they fought was in 1894. After being neglected for a while, they are now gradually being recognized.


Apart from The Woman king, there were some other movies that had shone light on these women warriors like the popular series “Lovecraft country” where they were featured in one of the episodes. Dora Milaje, the Wakanda warriors, protectors of the Blank Panther in Blank Panther were modeled on the Agoodjies. They show how diverse the feminine strength could be.


The movie premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and was released in Africa on the 24th of September, 2022.


Choose your Reaction!
Leave a Comment