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"Chance all, and see where destiny leads."

Nzinga Mbande (c. 1583 – 1663), baptized Ana de Sousa, was ngola of the kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba in northern Angola from 1626 until her death. She is known for her decades-long resistance against the Portuguese to control the slave trade and secure independence for her kingdoms. She leads the Kongolese in Civilization VI.

Staying on her home continent is the key to success with Nzinga Mbande.


Nzinga Mbande, queen of Ndongo and Matamba, warlord of the Imbangala, you know too well that power is not granted, but must be made anew in each instant. Beware those who would seize your lands and your people for their own ends. Strike back against those who would conspire against you, and take what is yours, if not by right, then by grand vision.


Nzinga Mbande's unique agenda is Decolonization. She likes civilizations on continents where she has no cities and dislikes those who have a city on her home continent.

Her leader ability is Queen of Ndongo and Mtamba. All cities on her home continent (including her Capital Capital) receive a 10% bonus to all yields, while cities on other continents receive a 15% penalty to all yields.

Detailed Approach[]

Nzinga Mbande’s Kongo wants to be the preeminent power on her home continent. Her additional yields on her home combined with the Nkisi ability set her up well for a Culture Victory. The Ngao Mbeba helps her conquer any civilization that enters her home continent. The Mbanza will help her cities grow large and prosperous.


Nzinga Mbande is voiced by Warona Setshwaelo. She speaks Kimbundu.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Kimbundu) Notes
Agenda-based Approval Let us exchange ideas, gold, and good... just not land.  ?
Agenda-based Disapproval The divine has granted each of us a land to rule as we see fit. Stay in your corner.  ?
Attacked Go ahead, send your soldiers! We will melt into the trees and strike at you from the stones.  ?
Declares War We come to set your lands and your flags on fire.  ?
Defeated Your swords cleave only flesh. Your chains bind only hands. Our soul remains ours.  ?
Greeting I am Queen Nzinga. Please sit anywhere.  ? This is a reference to her first meeting with the Portuguese governor of Luanda, where she was not offered a chair to sit, but a mere floor mat fit for servants instead. In response, Nzinga ordered one of her attendants to get on all fours and serve as her chair, to speak with the governor face-to-face.[1]
Quote from Civilopedia Chance all, and see where destiny leads.  ? This is an old Angolan proverb.


Delegation: We have here beans with palm oil, okra and toasted grasshopper. Take a handful of funge de bombo and dip it in the sauce!

Accepts Player's Declaration of Friendship: Where friendship grows, there is generosity.

Rejects Player's Declaration of Friendship: So many come offering friendships, but in their eyes I see the glitter of greed.

Requests Declaration of Friendship: A queen must be fierce to her enemies, but cultivate friendships where we can.

Player Accepts Declaration of Friendship: Yes, we can see in your eyes there is no witchcraft there.

Player Rejects Declaration of Friendship: We weigh these issues carefully, and cannot accept that which would be a risk.

Denounced by Player: You choose hostility instead of compromise. You clearly do not know with whom you deal.

Denounces Player: Your wicked customs you bring to us and seek to spread. We cannot allow this.

Too Many Troops Near Her Border: Please. I am no stranger to war. I can see where it is being plotted. Prove me wrong.

Invitation to Capital: Shall I tell you of the beauty of the Kongolese lands? Of Ndongo, of Angola?

Invitation to City: These lands are rich and varied, their wonders must be experienced!

Civilopedia entry[]

An important figure in the Angolan independence movement and in the early history of colonialism in Africa, Nzinga Mbande struggled to establish a voice for herself (and a kingdom to rule), bouncing between various kingdoms and playing the European powers off of each other as she did so.

The Portuguese reached Kongo in the 1480s. What they found there was the Kingdom of Kongo, an elective monarchy that had been in power since the 1300s. Missionaries had established schools and developed a syncretic religious practice in Kongo and, within a decade, had baptized the king. Slavery was a more complicated matter. The Kongolese had long practiced slavery, bringing subjects into the capital from wars and raids and forcing them to settle and work. When the Portuguese established their plantations on Sao Tome, Kongo made an exclusive trade agreement to supply the island with captives for enslaved labor. Over time, Kongo and Portugal forged an uneasy alliance.

The problem was that the Portuguese did not respect Kongo’s monopoly on the slave trade, and Afonso – Mvemba a Nzinga - urged the deal’s end. It should be noted that Mvemba was not advocating an end to slavery or protesting imperial aggression but merely that the Portuguese did not adhere to the terms of their agreement. This issue leads Portugal to set up camps in neighboring kingdoms, both as trading camps as well as raiding camps.

A generation later, areas on Kongo’s frontier that were once targeted by slavers were now potential partners. Ndongo was one of these. In 1590, it was in a state of war against the Portuguese and their Kongolese allies, as well as suffering attacks from a particularly fierce band of mercenaries known as the Imbangala. As this war started going poorly, a noble staged a coup d’etat, ousting many members of the royal court, including Nzinga, who flees to the nearby kingdom of Matamba. But the new leader of Ndongo found a need for her political acumen and connections, and drafted her to negotiate with the Portuguese.

Here is where Nzinga shone. She deliberately defied Portuguese norms. Refusing to take the allotted submissive role in negotiations, she dressed in local finery, presenting herself as a queen, not a subject. When the Portuguese sought to have her sit on the ground, she had her attendant become her chair. She held out on the subject of baptism, using it as an offer in negotiations. In the end, she arrived at a peace.

But this peace didn’t last. The Imbangala desired more territory and acted in defiance of both the Portuguese and Ndongo, keeping up the war. As the crisis deepened at home, the king of Ndongo died, and Nzinga, with her wide-ranging net of political and strategic allies, sought control. The Portuguese, remembering her fire, balked at recognizing her and demanded that she pay obeisance to their own selection of a puppet-king. She refused and escaped to join the rebels – those same Imbangala. She married into that group and rebuilt her forces after the highly militaristic fashion of her new people. With this, she swept over the area, taking Matamba for her own, though not all of Ndongo. From this vantage point, she established independent relations with Dutch traders, with whom she exchanged slaves as a financial lifeline into resistance, and built an alliance with the Dutch and Kongolese against the Portuguese.

She is remembered now as a force against the Portuguese, especially in depictions of the Angolan Civil War.


  • Despite her status as a Kongolese leader, the real life Nzinga never governed over the kingdom of Kongo, although she did rule over the neighboring kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba, and later into her rule established an alliance with the Kongolese against the Portuguese.
  • Historically, Nzinga Mbande converted from the traditional Kongolese religion to Catholicism (though how sincere her conversion was is debatable), but she has no preferred religion in-game.
  • Nzinga Mbande's leader ability references her rulership over the two Ambundu kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba, while her leader agenda is named after the process through which African countries became independent from their colonizers during the Cold War.
  • Nzinga Mbande's European name is used when she appears as a Great General.




Leader Spotlight- Nzinga Mbande - Civilization VI- Leader Pass

Leader Spotlight: Nzinga Mbande

Related achievements[]

The Self-Made Throne
The Self-Made Throne
Win a regular game as Nzinga Mbande.
A reference to Nzinga Mbande using one of her attendants as a chair when she met with the Portuguese governor of Luanda.
City of Kongo
City of Kongo
Playing as Kongo, have a capital city with a population of 30.
The direct translation of M'banza-Kongo.


See also[]

External links[]

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1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.