In today’s episode of Female African Leaders, we bring you Queen Makeda of Sheba, also known as the Queen of Sheba or Bilqis, who has continuously captured the imaginations of people for centuries with her legendary beauty, wealth, and intellect.
Queen Makeda is an iconic ruler who left an indelible mark on Ethiopian culture. According to Ethiopian historical events, she was a renowned queen who ruled the kingdom of Sheba around 1000 BC.
Scholars believe that Sheba may have been located in what is now modern-day Ethiopia or Yemen. While historical documentation about her reign is limited, the Queen of Sheba’s story has been passed down through generations, blending facts and myths to create a captivating narrative.
Whereas her beauty precedes her reputation, she is also known for her intellect, cultural exchange, and regal demeanor, following her encounter with the biblical King Solomon.
Drawn by his reputation for wisdom, Queen Makeda embarked on a journey to meet King Solomon, and it has been recorded in history as a meeting between two legendary rulers. It is said that the meeting resulted in a mutual exchange of knowledge, wealth, and trade that left an indelible mark on both Ethiopian and Hebrew traditions.
One of the most significant aspects of Queen Makeda’s story is her alleged relationship to the Ark of the Covenant, a revered symbol of religious and cultural significance in Ethiopia. Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia believe that the Ark of the Covenant was brought by Menelik I, believed to be Queen Makeda’s son with King Solomon. They took it as a sign from God, indicating they were a chosen land. This belief strengthens the spiritual connection between Queen Makeda and the Ethiopian people. Menelik I later became the first Emperor of Ethiopia.
In a time when male rulers dominated, Queen Makeda’s reign is seen as a testament to the power and effectiveness of feminine leadership, as she proved that women could govern with wisdom, grace, and strength.
Her leadership qualities continue to inspire and empower women in Ethiopia and beyond, encouraging them to embrace their own capabilities and become agents of change in their respective societies.
Queen Makeda’s legacy as the Queen of Sheba continues to resonate through the ages, and her story stands as a reminder of the richness of Ethiopian culture and the enduring power of extraordinary women in shaping history.