JaJa was born in 1821 in Igboland Nigeria, information suggests that his birth name is Mbanaso Okwaraozurumbaa, and at the age of twelve he was sold to the slave trader Chief Allison of the city of Bonny, Nigeria. Jaja’s name was changed from his birth name to Jubo Jubogha by Chief Allison. He would be sold again to Chief Madu, the head of the Poubo Annie Pepple Royal House; because he was an imported slave he was regarded as a lower class slave. Jaja was the name the British gave him and it is also the name that would stick with him to longest. The slave systems of Bonny were classified as socio-political institutions where a person can be a slave and work their way to becoming the head of state; this slave system was vastly different from the chattel slave systems of North America. Jaja began working as a peddler on the trade canoes of Chief Madu, he would also show how knowledgeable he was about business and trade. Chief Madu was so impressed that he promoted Jaja from a peddler on the trade canoe to an actual successful tradesman.
Jaja was well versed in politics and trade but at this time he focused more on trading to build a solid financial foundation. With the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 palm oil became the number one item for trade in the Bonny region. Jaja was able to amass a small fortune for himself that would set him up for his next move. Chief Madu would die and was succeeded by his son Chief Alali who would die in 1863 leaving a $10,000 debt to Europe and a no leader for the people of Bonny. All of the Chiefs who were eligible to become the head of state of Bonny declined because they did not want to inherit any the debt. Jaja stepped to the plate and became the next head of the Poubo Annie Pepple Royal House in Bonny. Jaja was able to reorganize the finances of his house and clear all debt to Europe within two years; the former slave was able to create wealth within his city-state. He was doing such a wonderful job revitalizing his house that other competing houses decided to merge with his Annie Pepple Royal House. Jaja was also able to extend and increase his houses operations within Bonny and he also decreased the number of European trading contacts. Infighting ensued within the Annie Pepple Royal House, Jaja would leave the house to create his own house which became Opobo; he was now recognized as King Jaja of Opobo. Bonny and Opobo were now two independent houses but Jaja maintained control of the trade and politics in the area. Because of Jaja’s control fourteen of the eighteen houses of Bonny became houses of Opobo.
Jaja was able to monopolize the palm oil trade and began trading directly with the city of Liverpool, England; his power and influence was beginning to be seen as a threat by the Europeans. He was quickly offered a “treaty of protection” by his fellow chiefs in return for their complete sovereignty; he denied the treaty and continued his business as usual. With his power increasing steadily over time Jaja was able to directly deny trade in the area until a single British firm paid their dues. The British wanted the cessation of trade to stop by threating Jaja, but he continued with his plans. Unbeknownst to Jaja and many African people, European countries divided Africa into regions they were going to conquer which was called the “scrable for Africa”. The area of Opobo was designated for the British and they were armed with one of the most powerful Navy’s in the world. Jaja was asked to meet with the British leadership upon one of their warships, this meeting was a trap for Jaja where he was arrested, tried and convicted of treaty breaking and blacking highways of trade. He was exiled and shipped to live on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean for four years. After his time in exile he was on a ship returning to Nigeria but he would die before his return. The death of Jaja would expose the true intentions of the British which were to only monopolize and control the resources in the area. King Jaja was able to turn a life of misfortune to a life of success and abundance despite him being sold into slavery. King Jaja of Opobo, we proudly stand on your shoulders.
Ahmose Nefetari was the Granddaughter Pharaoh Senakhtenre and Queen Tetisheri, and the Daughter of Pharaoh Tao the Brave and Queen Mother Ahhotep I. It is said that she was born in Thebes around the end of the seventeenth dynasty of Kemet between 1562 BC and 1570 BC when her Grandfather Senankhtenre was Pharaoh. During the reign of her father Pharaoh Tao the Brave Kemet was invaded by the Hyksos and Pharaoh Tao was killed in battle. Tao was succeeded by Pharaoh Kamose who was also killed defending Kemet against the Hyksos, Ahmose I would then ascended to the throne of Kemet, because of his young age Queen Mother Ahhotep I would become Regent of Kemet. When Ahmose I became of age he was crowned Pharaoh of Kemet, founder of the 18th Dynasty, and he would take Ahmose Nefetari as his wife. She was a queen of many titles and was highly revered throughout the history of Kemet, her many titles included but were not limited to hereditary princess, great of grace, great of praises, king’s mother, great king’s wife, god’s wife, united with the white crown, king’s daughter, king’s sister, and “Goddess of Resurrection”.
Ahmose I used his power and influence to purchase the Office of the Second Profit of Amun for his beloved Ahmose Nefetari, this position gave her control of the administration staff, workshops, the family estate, royal property and treasures; she was also bestowed with the title of Divine Adoratrix which reinforced her responsibilities and power as Queen of Kemet. Ahmose I and Ahmose Nefetari would have three sons from their union Ahmose-Ankh, Saimun and Amenhotep I, it is said that Ahmose Nefetari also had daughters Ahmose-Meritamun and Ahmose-Sitamun; it is speculation that she may be the mother of the wife of Thutmose I. After the death of Ahmose I, Amenhotep I would rise to the throne of Kemet but he was too young to rule, Ahmose Nefetari became the regent of Kemet until Amenhotep I was old enough to rule.
Ahmose Nefetari’s life and influence would be extended through the time of the rule of Thutmose I, it is recorded that she died around 1495 BC and was recorded on the stela of a wab-priest named Nefer. Her burial place was located at Dra Abu el-Naga before her body was removed from her tomb. She was depicted as a beautiful woman with very dark skin and believed that she was a descendent of the Nubian’s. She was also the first queen of Kemet to be considered the wife of the God Amun. She stood at her husband’s side as he ruled Kemet and defended his land against the Hyksos, after the death of her husband the wife of god was able to help keep her kingdom from falling apart and from falling to the Hyksos. Queen Ahmose Nefetari the “Wife of God”, we proudly stand on your shoulders.
Click Here to join our mailing list