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HISTORY & CULTURE

Iron Lady of The Senegambian Dynasty

07 Jun 2021

Losing her dad at age 16 was the first blow and losing her elder sister was another blow. On the 1st of October 1846, Ndaté became the queen of the Waalo kingdom in the Wolof empire. As stubborn as always, Queen Ndaté stood against the French over free passage through her lands. She collected 60 oxen from the 160 oxen that belonged to a French resident of St. Louis as tax for passage through her land. The French retaliated in 1855 when General Faidherbe attacked the Waalo people with an army of over 1500 men and defeated the Queen. In 1860, Queen Ndaté died. She remains a symbol of resistance in Senegal to date.
Once upon a kingdom, there was a queen called Ndaté Yalla Mbodj who was born into the royal powerful family of the controversial king Amar Fatim Borso Mbodj and queen Fatim Yamar Khuri Yaye Mbodj in the year 1810. Ndaté was the youngest of all the daughters the king and queen had. Ndaté had a beautiful elder sister that was so loved by men in the kingdom. Her sister always had expensive pearls around her neck and waist, which made men drool over her every time but she later got married to the Emir of Trarza.   Before Ndaté became the queen of the Waalo kingdom of the Wolof empire, her father the king ruled the kingdom with all dignity and power. He died when Ndaté was just 16 years old and her elder sister took over the throne of rulership of the kingdom. Ndaté was later married out to her cousin Brak Yerim Mbanyik Tigereleh Mbodj. This marriage was only an arranged political marriage to advance Tedyek power and the marriage was later dissolved. Her sister who was the Queen of the empire had an awesome reign and the kingdom flourished during her reign. She met death in 1846 and the mantle fell on Queen Ndate to continue her legacy.   Women could easily ascend a throne during this era because women had the same rights and privileges as men so by 1 October 1846, Ndaté was crowned the Lingeer (Queen) of the Waalo kingdom. A year into her reign as queen of the Waalo kingdom, she stood against the French over free passage through her lands by the Sarakoles (this is a West African Mande-speaking ethnic group found in the east side of Senegal and its capital Dakar) who supplied the cattle to the island of Saint-Louis (a French colony). In Queen Ndate's opinion, the French were to pay homage to the land on which their goods passed. Queen Ndaté known for her stubbornness, stopped and collected 60 oxen from the 160 oxen which a French resident of Saint-Louis bought from the Sarakoles. This upset the French and they threatened the Queen but she wasn’t moved by their threats but saw the threats as a challenge to her sovereignty and the sovereignty of the people of Waalo. She wrote the French governor on 18 June 1847 in the following terms:   We have wronged no one. Waalo belongs to us, that is why we give guarantee the passage of livestock in our country. For this reason, we charge one-tenth and we shall never accept any other thing. Saint-Louis belongs to the Governor, Cayor to the Damel, Djollof to the Bourba, Fouta to the Almamy, and Walo to the Brak. Each of these chiefs governs his country the way he deems fit. – Ndaté Yalla Mbodj (18 June 1847)   In 1855, the General decided to attack the people of Waalo with an army of over 1500 men, because the queen placed a ban on all trading activities in the backwaters. The brave army of the queen was not able to withstand the army of the French this time. The queen was able to fight off the Arabs that led to the creation of Senegambia but was not able to battle the French as they came in large numbers with a total of over 1500 army and 400 horsemen under the command of the French General. General Faidherbe defeated the queen and gained control of Waalo. Queen Ndaté Yalla Mbodj died in 1860 and she remains a symbol of resistance in Senegal. A statue of the queen can be found in Dagana and a primary school bears her name, as well as one of the taxi boats that run from Dakar to Rufisque.

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Haunted Places in South Africa

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28 Apr 2021

Rwanda, so Interesting

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28 Apr 2021

African Dance STyles

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02 May 2021

Africa Mathematical Games

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02 May 2021