Warrior Women – Actor Lupita Nyong’o travels to West Africa to search for a formidable female army that history chose to forget

Lupita Nyong’o is famous for her onscreen and theatre roles as awe-inspiring women. The acting skills she has honed have made her an award winning actor. She is most well known as Adelaide/Red in Us and Nakia in Black Panther. Together with SandStone Global Productions, Lupita brings to our screens a documentary that allows us to follow her journey to find the forgotten female army that inspired the warrior women of the cinematic world of Wakanda.

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We follow Lupita as she takes a trip to Benin, West Africa. It is there that she finds the history of the incredible Agojie women. The all-female army that fought against both African and European foes during the 17th century through to the 19th century. The Agojie women were recruited by their kings across three centuries and fought in huge numbers in highly-trained battalions commanded by women. The army had a variety of different roles. There was a regiment of riflewomen who, at one point, were armed with Winchester rifles. Along with highly trained archers and gunners, women were also skilled in hand to hand combat. Each regiment had different uniforms, weapons and commanders. They became known in western culture as Amazons.

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Although the Agojie women do inspire characters in a movie that had phenomenal box office success the true story of these women is not widely known.  This documentary offers the chance to explore the history of the Agojie women authentically. To see the story without the cloud of a colonial western bias. With Lupita as our guide we also get to give the narrative a female voice.

This documentary, Warrior women, offers the chance to think about how we learn history. It creates discussion around how women seem to have been scrubbed out of popular history. It raise questions about who gets the power to tell history and who controls the framing of story narratives.

Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o is on channel 4 @10pm on Wednesday 23rd October 2019. It will then be available to view on All4.

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