The Northern Nigerian Kingdom of Kumbwada Where Men Can’t Rule

Updated: Oct 4, 2021
By Abdullahi Malumfashi
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Men mostly rule most northern kingdoms. The kingdom of Kumbwada is one exception. Only females can sit on the ancestral throne.

No one dared sit on the throne. The only ones who did so died mysteriously within weeks of ascending the throne.

Kumbwada is Located in Which state?

Kumbwada is located in Sabon Kabula in Munya Local Government Area of Niger state. The throne is situated in Dangunu Emirate Council. Kumbwada is an ancient town with a rich history.

The ancient city was conquered by Princess Magajiya Maimuna of Zaria two centuries ago. That is when the curse on male rulers started.

Why Men Can’t Rule in Kumbwada

When Maimuna left her brother in charge of Kumbwada as the ruler, he immediately fell sick and died within weeks. The same happened with another brother. That was when princess Magajiya decided to stay and rule herself. She reigned for 83 years.

Many believe this to be a curse placed on any man who dared sit on the throne. The mere thought of doing such is enough to cause great harm to one.

According to late Sheikh Aminudden Abubakar, a popular Islamic scholar in Kano and founder of the Da’awah Foundation; “Once there is evidence of the use of black magic in any situation, Islam considers it a deviation which must be reversed,”

This seems to be the only explanation in a region where it is alien to see females rule.

Who is the Current Queen of Kumbwada?

Hajiya Hadiza Ahmed is the current queen of the Kumbwada Kingdom. She has been on the throne for over 20 years.

Queen Hadiza, fondly called ‘Magjiyan Kumbwada ‘ by her subjects inherited the throne from her late grandmother, who reigned for 73 years. She died aged 113. That is quite impressive for a monarch in northern Nigeria.

Currently married, she, however, still discharges her marital duties.

I’m the chief here but I discharge my domestic duties as a wife and mother. However my husband knows his limits, royalty is royalty,” Magajiya was quoted to have said.

How The People of Kumbwada React to a Female Queen

The people of Kumbwada have no trouble accepting Hajiya Hadiza as a ruler. In fact, to many, it is a divine act that can’t be changed.

We can’t live without a leader, and the fact that any male rulers that ascend the throne die quickly and mysteriously while female rulers reign for many years makes our case a peculiar one. This is an exceptional situation none of us can change.

Musa Muhammad, the chief imam of Kumbwada

The queen performs all the duties normally entrusted to the male rulers. She settles disputes over farmlands and petty theft, and marital disputes. She doesn’t take lightly cases of domestic violence. The queen once threatened to imprison a man for beating his wife.

“Men sometimes say the women provoke them, so that is why they beat them,” she says. “I tell them that there’s no justification, whatever happens.”

This apparently worked, as there are no longer domestic abuse cases in Kumbwada.

The Heir Apparent to the Kumbwada Throne

Magajiya had five children, three of which are girls. It is widely believed that a queen becomes barren immediately after she ascends the throne. Now married to a businessman, Magajiya had 5 children from her previous marriage, three girls.

Idris, the oldest child, is also the heir apparent to the throne of Kumbwada. While her oldest son is still alive and pays his courtesy daily at the court, he has no intention of succeeding his mother.

“He won’t survive it”, his mother says.

Instead, the oldest daughter is always at her side, grooming her for the task ahead of her.

Magajiya also believed there had been a failure of leadership in Nigeria, specifically by men.

It’s my most ardent wish. I think the problems in Nigeria have become intractable. Let’s try a woman. Men have failed.


Even though the queen of Kumbwada is successful and well-loved by her citizen, she still has some regrets.

My only handicap is that I don’t have a Western education, because, in my time, people didn’t educate their daughters. I’m not educated in a modern way, but in the traditional way, I have wisdom in my dealings with people. I’m proud to say that it would be hard to find someone educated who could rule as well as I can.

The queen, currently in her late seventies, is still hale and going strong. What do you think of the ancient kingdom of Kumbwada? Tell me in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. Thaalith A. G

    This article left me “wowed”. I totally find this land mysterious. Curses. Deaths. Women rulers. They’ve kept me thinking.


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