11. Askia The Great
AFRICANGLOBE – The African history is among the oldest history in the world. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the place is full of some great leaders and kings working their ways in to building a better world. Even though some of them may not be very well known, that doesn’t count them off from being some of the greatest African kings. Here are 10 known and little-known African Kings:
Askia The Great
Askia the great was born as Muhammad Ture and went on to make the Songhai Empire the greatest and largest empire that West Africa ever saw. He gained the name Askia meaning ‘the forceful one’, after the battle at Aghoke where he defeated Sunni Ali and took the throne from Sunni Ber’s would be successor.
Once he took power he consolidated it by dividing the state into four principal provinces, each run by a viceroy of his choosing. To ensure their loyalty, he took a daughter from each of his vassal chiefs as wives and married off each of his own daughters to governors and dignitaries to ensure that each high-placed official was in some way related to him which tied his fate with theirs.
Sudan flourished under his rule however he went blind in his old age. He kept it a secret by spreading rumours that if anyone looked him in the eye they would be cursed and had his brother act as a spokesman in his stead. Unfortunately, word of his blindness got out eventually. One of his sons named Faria Mousa found out and forced him to abdicate his throne. Another of his sons eventually took the throne and forced Askia, one of the greatest African kings, into exile. Fortunately for him he had one loyal son. Together they retook the throne of the Songhai and moved back into the capital. Askia saw out the rest of his days in his palace, living to the ripe old age of 80. He was buried in Gao and his grave is now a World Heritage Site.