5 African Royals Who Were Captured and Sold Into Slavery

Many of the Western slave traders respected African kings and their families and always made sure not to sell any royal off, however, a few royals someway somehow found themselves being sold off into slavery.

Here are 5 Africans who experienced the luxuries of life in Africa but were suddenly stripped of their birth rites and had to work on plantations as slaves.

1. Prince William Ansah Sessarakoo

Sessarakoo was born in 1736 in Annamaboe, Gold Coast, modern day Ghana in West Africa. He was a born a royal prince and heir to the throne of Annamaboe in the central region of Ghana. His father, Chief Eno Baise Kurentsi who later became known as John Corrente was a slave trader and an important ally for any trader in the city.

When William Ansah Sessarakoo was old enough, his father sent him to England in an attempt for him to gain quality education and to build a partnership with the English to gain accurate information about the happenings in Europe. Sessarakoo was sent aboard a ship and entrusted to the captain for transport. Instead, the ship’s captain sold Sessarakoo into slavery in Barbados.

He was discovered in Barbados years later by a free Fante trader who alerted John Corrente. Corrente petitioned the British to free his son. The Royal African Company, the English company operating the slave trade freed him and transported him to England before he was later sent home.

2. Prince Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Prince Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo was born in 1701 in Bundu; present-day Senegal. Also known as Job Ben Solomon, Diallo was a descendant of Muslim Fulbe religious leaders. His grandfather was the founder of Bundu. Diallo was also a merchant and scholar. In 1730, Diallo and his interpreter Loumein Yoas also referred to as Lamine Jay, Lahamin Joy, Lahmin Jay, Lamine Ndiaye and Loumein Ybai were captured by members of the Mandinka tribe. This occurred by the Gambia river. They were subsequently sold to the Royal African Company.

Diallo was settled in Annapolis, Maryland. In 1733, Diallo was sent to England. It was there he learned to communicate in English. He was also able to infiltrate the clique of the London elite. In July of 1734, Diallo was finally able to return to the Gambia. His newfound homeland had been destroyed by war, his wives were remarried and his father had already died.

3. Princess Anta Madjiguene Ndiaye

Princess Anta was born in 1793 in the powerful Wolof Kingdom in modern day Senegal, West Africa. She lived a royal life and had guards and servants that followed her to protect her from the many raids by the Tyeddo raiders from the nearby Foula Tooro Kingdom. Unfortunately, in 1806 she was captured by the raiders along with two young girls who could have been her servants from the Wolof Kingdom, popularly known as Jolof Kingdom of Ancient Senegal.

Anta was only 13 years old at the time of her capture, and it is very unlikely that the raiders were aware of her social status. She was taken away to Goree Island along with other slaves and kept hostage until slave merchants purchased her after being displayed at the slave market.

Princess Anta was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley, a wealthy plantation owner, businessman and slave ship captain from Florida. The two got married and she became a rich plantation owner in Florida. More than two centuries would elapse before the residents of Senegal would learn from the book, Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley: African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Slaveowner, that she survived her tragic ordeal, was emancipated by Kingsley, and became his principal wife and the mother of four children—and that she too became a land and slave owner.

4. Prince Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori

Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori was born in 1762 in Timbo, modern-day Guinea, of noble blood more specifically, of the Torodbe Fulani Muslim tribe and also held the title of commander. In 1788 at the age of 26, his father bestowed upon him the title of Emir. He was in charge of a 2000-man army. During one of their military operations, he was captured and enslaved, eventually he was sold to the British. The British subsequently sold him to Thomas Foster, a slave master located in Natchez, Mississippi. Sori was enslaved and owned by Foster for 40 years. In 1826, Sori sent a letter to his family members in Africa. The letter didnt get to its destination, but it found itself in the hands of the Sultan of Morocco, Abderrahmane who read the letter and asked then-President John Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay to release Sori. In 1829, Foster agreed to the release of Sori for no payment in return. The caveat was that Sori had to leave the U.S. immediately and return to Africa. He embarked for Monrovia, Liberia. After living in Liberia for four months, Sori contracted a fever and died at the age of 67.

5. King Takyi

King Takyi was a Fanti king from Gold Coast, now modern Ghana. There are no records of which group of Fantis he ruled over before becoming a slave but research indicates that he might have been the ruler of a settlement in Kommenda or Koromantse in the central region of Ghana. Takyi was also a wealthy merchant and slave trader himself until he was captured during the Kommender Wars and sold off into slavery when his state was defeated. In May of 1760, Takyi and his followers started the revolt in the early hours of the morning, starting at the plantation where they worked, killing the owners and thus freeing all the slaves. The rebellion lasted until July when Takyi was gunned down and killed. After he was shot, his head was cut and displayed in the centre of the town to indicate that the rebellion had been stopped and the freed slaves and Takyi’s army were now in danger.

Culled from Face2faceafrica

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter today and start exploring the vibrant world of African history and culture!

Just In

South Carolina Negro Act of 1740: The Code that Prohibited Enslaved Africans from Learning to Read

Passed by the South Carolina Assembly on the 10th of May, 1740, the Negro Act was a comprehensive set...

More Articles Like This