“Can you see the Pride in the Panther? As she grows in splendor and grace. Topling obstacles placed in the way, of the progression of her race. Can you see the Pride in the Panther? As she nurtures her young all alone. The seed must grow regardless, of the fact that it is planted in stone. Can you see the Pride in the Panthers? As they unify as one. The flower blooms with brilliance, and outshines the rays of the sun.” -Tupac Amaru Shakur
Queen Sarraounia Mangou was a Queen of the Azna’s, a subgroup of the Hausa, who ruled in the Niger Republic, during the late 19th century. According to legend, she was born with yellow eyes, like those of a panther. Her people recognized this as the sign of the panther, and the panther became the symbol of the Azna’s. She was 20 years old, when she became Queen, due to her father’s death.
Sarraounia means “Queen” or “Chiefess”, and among the Azna people of Lougou and surrounding Hausa town and villages, the term refers to a lineage of female rulers, who exercised political and religious power. Sarraounia fought the French colonial troops at the Battle of Lougou in 1899. She mobilized her people and resources to confront the French forces of the Violet- Chanoine Mission, which launched a fierce attack on her fortress capital of Lougou. Overwhelmed by the firepower of the French, she and her fighters retreated tactically from the fortress, and engaged in a protracted guerilla battle which eventually forced the French to abandon their project.