Njinga Mbandi (1581–1663), Queen of Ndongo and Matamba, defined much of the history of seventeenth-century Angola. A deft diplomat, skilful negotiator and formidable tactician, Njinga resisted Portugal’s colonial designs tenaciously until her death in 1663.

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Where does the word ‘Angola’ come from?

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The word ‘Angola’ comes from the word ‘Ngola’, which means ‘king’ in Kimbundu.

What did Njinga rely on for support in her resistance struggle?

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Her intelligence, her flair for diplomacy and tactics, enabled her to tenaciously resist the Portuguese and neighbouring kingdoms throughout her life.

In which year was the city of Luanda founded?

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The Portuguese founded the port city of Luanda in 1575. It was originally called São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda. Luanda is the present-day capital of the Republic of Angola.

Why is Njinga often known as "the double Queen"?

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She was, on the one hand, Queen of Ndongo, which she sought to preserve, and, on the other, Queen of the Kingdom of Matamba, which she had conquered to the east.

How old was Queen Njinga when she died?

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Queen Njinga was more than 80 years old when she died on the 17 December 1663. Throughout her life, she valiantly, resolutely and tactically resisted surrendering to her enemies.

In which language did Njinga write the letters that she sent to the Portuguese Crown?

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Queen Njinga had an excellent command of both written and spoken Portuguese. She wrote her own letters when she corresponded with the Portuguese.

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In which year was the city of Luanda founded? In 1575
How old was Queen Njinga when she died? More than 80 years old
Where does the word ‘Angola’ come from? From the word ‘Ngola’
In which language did Njinga write the letters that she sent to the Portuguese Crown? In Portuguese
Why is Njinga often known as "the double Queen"? Because she was queen of both Ndongo and Matamba
What did Njinga rely on for support in her resistance struggle? Her military strategy, espionage and diplomacy