African Queens: Njinga review: Significantly educational but moderately portrayed

African Queens: Njinga is a docuseries chronicling the rise of Queen Njinga of Ndongo, the fearless warrior who led her people with great distinction. The series is streaming on Netflix.


Njinga was the oldest daughter of the king of Ndongo or modern-day Angola. Her father believed that she was the future of Ndongo and she eventually rose to power and fulfilled that belief while facing many obstacles along the way.

Njinga had to deal with the murder of her infant son, the death of several family members, and constant setbacks in her fight against the Portuguese invaders who established a slave trade in western and central Africa.

She was a formidable warrior and an efficient diplomat who made many sacrifices and key deals with other tribes and the Portuguese themselves to ensure the independence of her Kingdom.


The series shines a light on a prominent figure in the history of African civilization and is told from the perspective of the people who were inspired by her and benefited from her struggle. It’s a story that isn’t heard as often as it should be.

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The panel of experts brought in to speak in this series are the most appropriate people for the subject matter, including a real-life Queen in modern-day Congo. Their words hold weight due to their credentials and there is authenticity in the information that they are imparting.


The dramatic sequences are uninspired and fail to truly raise the status of such an influential person in history. Adesuwa Oni’s performance as Njinga is adequate but it isn’t enough to carry the entire series.

While Njinga’s character and journey are covered to an extent, there isn’t much else explored about the Ndongo people or their society and culture. The attempt to highlight African heritage is only half achieved in this aspect.


African Queens: Njinga is an encouraging docu-series with an important subject matter but it fails to make that information feel truly impactful or must-watch. The dramatic recreations of the African royal is half-hearted and do not capture the audiences’ attention sufficiently.

African Queens: Njinga
African Queens: Njinga review: Significantly educational but moderately portrayed 1

Director: Ethosheia Hylton

Date Created: 2023-02-15 13:30

Editor's Rating:

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