Ganga Zumbi: African Man Who Created His Own Kingdom in Present Day Brazil

12th October 2022

Nganga Nzumbi also know as Ganga Zumbi, is known by many as the African Spartacus. Was born in Kongo in 163O, enslaved and shipped to Brazil to work as a plantation slave. Managed to escape, raised an army of eslaved Africans and founded his own kingdom of Palmares, with a palace and court.

He was born in Kongo in 1630. Historians believe Ganga was the son of Princess Aqualtune, the daughter of an unknown king in Kongo.  The princess led a battalion at the Battle of Mbwila but ultimately the Portuguese won the battle. The Portuguese killed at least 5,000 men who captured the king, his family, court officials, titleholders, more than 400 other nobles who were put on ships and sold as slaves in the Americas. He managed to escape, raised an army of enslaved Africans and founded his own kingdom of Palmares with a palace and court.

Image: The African History

Ganga Zumba is remembered by historians as the warrior, Black hero and freedom fighter who was central to the history and modern-day struggle of the Brazilian Black Movement, having led an alliance of “independent settlements”– Quilombo dos Palmares. Located between the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil, Quilombo dos Palmares was founded by early Brazilian Africans in the late 16th century as resistance to European colonizers and enslavers.

It is one of the first places, in the Americas, where Black people, who were brought to the New World enslaved, found freedom. For almost a hundred years, Black people in Quilombo fought against their enslavers, particularly the Portuguese who attempted to colonize Brazil.

Zumba, as king of Quilombo in the 1670s, led these attacks against the enslavers, and despite repeated threats from the colonial authorities, Quilombo thrived as fugitive slaves set up a collective economy based upon subsistence agriculture, trade, and communal land ownership, according to accounts. And all these were largely thanks to the leadership of Zumba.

Written by checkoutafrica

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