African history is extremely Rich – it’s where the human species evolved. It’s where the great pyramids were built. It’s where Shaka Zulu built a mighty kingdom. People tend to forget about Africa’s rich history partly because colonial rule in Africa destroyed some historical record – and partly because people associate Africa with it’s current state. There was a time not too long ago when African Kingdoms were known for their sophisticated organization and mighty military strength. The kingdom of Kongo was one of them, with an embassy in Italy. With that in mind, this is a list of 10 African Empires You’ve never heard of.
1. Oyo Empire 1400 – 1896
The Oyo Empire was established during the 1400s in what is now Nigeria. For over 400 years, it’s military and civilians organised themselves carefully to become the most powerful of the West African empires. By the 1800s, Oyo was the most powerful and wealthy kingdom in the region to the point where it felt no threat from even it’s worst enemies. The empire was famously involved in the Atlantic slave trade. They acted as a middleman, selling prisoners of war to European traders. Oyo soon started to split into different factions each wanting to win control. The British empire took advantage of this by colonising the region and Oyo soon faded into nothing.