Last month Nick Cannon expressed his disdain for movies such as “Django Unchained” and “12 Years a Slave,” saying he’s tired of seeing Black people portrayed as slaves on film. Recognizing that African people’s history started prior to being enslaved, the actor tweeted that he would like to see Blacks portray kings and queens in films instead.
“Why don’t they make movies about our African kings & queens? #OurHistory I would love to see a film about Akhenaton and his beautiful wife Queen Nefertiti! Or Cetewayo, a king who was a war hero. Im about to drive to my office right now and start the development! New Hollywood Trend, Black king and queen films! Starring Black people!!”
Below are 10 kings and queens whose extraordinary accomplishments would make great storylines for films.
King Hannibal is said to be the greatest military leader and strategist of all time. Hannibal was born in 247 B.C., during the beginning of the decline of Carthage, then a maritime power near present-day Tunis in North Africa. The Carthage population was a mix of Africans and Phoenicians who were great merchants, trading with India, the people of the Mediterranean and the Scilly Isles.
When he was very young, about 8 or 9, Hannibal accompanied his father Hamilclar in a battle against the Romans. Seventeen years later in 221 B.C., he succeeded his brother-in-law Hasdrubal, and became supreme commander of the peninsula.
Hannibal had 80,000 infantry, 12,000 cavalry, and 40 African war elephants. He conquered major portions of Spain and France, and all of Italy, except for Rome.
Hannibal marched his army and war elephants through the Alps to surprise and conquer his enemies. In one battle, the Romans put 80,000 men on the field led by Scipio to defeat Hannibal. When Scipio attacked with his entire army, Hannibal had so studied the grounds that he arranged his African swordsmen and elephants to trampled and slaughter them.
After killing thousands of Roman soilders in lengthy battle, Hannibal took his own life rather than surrender when he was overwhelmed by the larger Roman army.
King Mansa Musa I
King Mansa Musa I (Emperor Moses) was an important Malian king, ruling from 1312 to 1337 and expanding the Mali influence over the Niger city-states of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djenne.
Musa ruled the Mali Empire and was estimated to have been worth the equivalent of $400 billion in today’s currency, which makes him the richest man to ever walk this earth. The emperor was a master businessman and economist, and gained his wealth through Mali’s supply of gold, salt and ivory, the main commodities for most of the world during that time.
Musa maintained a huge army that kept peace and policed the trade routes for his businesses. His armies pushed the borders of Mali from the Atlantic coast in the west; beyond the cities of Timbuktu and Gao in the east; and from the salt mines of Taghaza in the north to the gold mines of Wangar in the south.
Musa was also a major influence on the University of Timbuktu, the world’s first university and the major learning institution for not just of Africa but the world. Timbuktu became a meeting place of poets, scholars and artists of Africa and the Middle East. Even after Mali declined, Timbuktu remained the major learning center of Africa for many years.
Near the end of the 19th century, the British exiled King Prempeh from the hinterlands of the Gold Coast (present day Ghana), in an attempt to take over. By 1900, still not gaining control, the British sent a governor to the city of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti, to demand the Golden Stool, the Ark of the Covenant for the Ashanti people.
The Golden Stool was the supreme symbol of the sovereignty and the independence of the Ashanti, a people who inhabited dense rain forests of what is now the central portion of Ghana. The governor in no way understood the sacred significance of the Golden Stool, which according to tradition, contained the soul of the Ashanti.
Nana Yaa Asantewa was present at the meeting with the governor and chiefs. When the meeting ended, and she was alone with the Ashanti chiefs, she said: “Now I have seen that some of you fear to fight for our king. If it were in the brave days of old, the days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anoyke and Opulu Ware, Ashanti chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared speak to Ashanti chiefs in the way the governor spoke to you chiefs this morning.”
Nana Yaa Asantewa’s speech stirred the men. She said, “If you men will not go forward, then we the women will. I will call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men until the last of us falls in the battlefields.”
The Ashantis, led by Nana Yaa Asantewa, fought very bravely.
Check the rest of the list out over at Atlanta Black Star.