Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

African History, DRC, Feminism

Kimpa Vita – a profile of courage

Today is the anniversary of the death of Kimpa Vita who together with her baby (Kembo Dianzenza va Kintete) and her boyfriend, were burned to death on July 2nd 1706 by the Catholic church. I only just found out about Kimpa Vita — there is so much of our African and Diaspora history that is unknown to the majority of African people. Who was Kimpa Vita? Information is scarce but Kimpa Vita is one of a long lines of courageous politicised Queens of the Kongo (parts of present day Angola and Congo) who fought against slavery and colonialists as early as the 15century. Women such as Ndona Nzinga, Ndona Mafuta and Ndona Dondwa. The importance of Kimpa Vita is that she fought against slavery and exposed the racism and misogyny of the Catholic church and also incorporated traditional religions with Christianity.

Beatrice Kimpa Vita was born in 1684 in the kingdom of Kongo. In 1704, at the age of 20 years, she started her non-violent mission of the liberation and the restoration of the kingdom, destroyed by the Portuguese. She fought all the forms of slavery, from of the local practices as well that linked to the European domination; she adapted the Christianity to the African realities, teaching people that there are also Blacks saints in the paradise, contradicting the catholic priests who taught that there should ONLY be WHITE SAINTS; she led thousands of people to rebuild and to repopulate Mbanza Kongo, the capital, whereas the King Pedro IV, imposed by the catholic church, had taken refuge in the mountains. That is a rare phenomenon, in a social context where the women were supposed being submissive to the men.

Today she is remembered in “Kanda commune, northern Zaire Province” of Angola

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I would really be interested in finding out more about these African Queens so if any one knows anything please do leave a comment

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4 Comments

  1. i don't have anything to offer but my intrigue. i only learned of her through this blog entry. but then of course i have yet to begin my complete journeys into and through the Afrikan Diaspora. her story is wonderful and powerful. thank you for sharing this. truly enjoy the new information i receive from your blogs.

    if i find more info, i will surely pass it on.

    thanks again!

    peace

    jaymeson

  2. Sokari

    Thanks for taking time to comment. Yes it is an amazing story and I am sure there are many others like hers that we are yet to find. Please do pass on anything / any other heroines of Africa you find.

  3. Dan WIBG

    Thanks for this. We've reposted it at Women In and Beyond the Global: http://www.kenyaimagine.com/Social-Issues/The-s…. Two places to go for more on Kimpa Vita. John K. Thornton wrote a book entitled The Kongolese Saint Anthony: Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita and the Antonian Movement, 1684-1706. If you feel like reading some of it online, it's here: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9f_l…. And in Angola there's a theater group, Elinga Teatro, who have a production called “Kimpa Vita: A Profetisa Ardente” written and directed by Jose Mena Abrentes. Their website is here: http://elingateatro-in.blogspot.com/. And here's a video report, with some good shots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsj-_Q1JWFI. See ya, Dan

  4. Tunga Francisco

    unfortly even in angola whre this great woman was born she is not counted, because the rulling party ‘ MPLA ‘ does not want the truth about Banto people to be known.
    all they glamourise is white people or mixt race deeds, which is wrong, up to now black people are looked down at. but one they people and the world will know that this country called Angola is actually not Angola, but KONGO Ndyia Ntotela