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After many weary weeks of matching . Nzinga and her attendants arrived at the wh...


After many weary weeks of matching . Nzinga and her attendants arrived at the white wall of Luanda. The guards at the city gates led them through the winding streets and up to the governor’s palace. A pompous courtier, sweating and dirty in his thick clothes ordered them to wait amongst a crowd of people who had come to beg favours of the governor.

Nzinga waited patiently, ignoring this insult to her royal dignity. She knew that her chance would come. The hot sun beat down on the white walls of the palace, yet Nzinga stood straight and proud as the crowd of Portuguese merchants mopped their sweating faces with damp lace handkerchiefs.

Much later the courtier came back. He knocked on the floor with his staff, and then announced in a loud voice, ‘His Excellency Joao Correia de Souza, the Governor in Angola of His Most Royal and Catholic Majesty, the king of Portugal’. The tired soldiers stood to attention and the courtiers and merchants bowed.

Nzinga became very impatient. Was she to stand here like a servant all day, waiting for this man to make up his mind to hear her? She stepped forward, walked into the middle of the room and faced the governor. The guards and the courtiers were so amazed that they could o nothing but gasp in amazement at this boldness. ‘Well, ‘murmured one of the merchants to his neighbor. ‘Now she will learn what trouble is! Don Joao will be very angry. It is an insult to his dignity’. ‘What do you mean by this, asked the governor when he had recovered from his surprise. ‘Who are you? Come, woman, state your business!’

But Nzinga was not afraid. In a clear, calm voice she answered him. ‘My first business is a chair,’ she said. The governor laughed. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked. ‘You are seated, ‘she replied, ‘And you are only a governor, a slave of your king. I am a princess and men do not sit where I stand. I will state my business seated!’

But Nzinga had learnt the strength of her enemy. She knew that she was already winning this contest of wills. E

Whatever happens now, this man would not think that she has been sent by a beaten people to beg favours. Without another word, she turned and made a sign to her maid. When the girl came to her, Nzinga ordered her to kneel down. Then, with a flash or triumph in her eyes, Nzinga sat down on the girl’s back, Nzinga got her treaty. Pride in herself and in her people had saved the day for the Mbundu.

Why were the courtiers amazed?


A) none of them would have dared to speak to the Governor like the she did

B) Nzinga made the governor too suprised to speak

C) Nzinga showed she feared nobody

D) because Nzinga wanted to sit down

E) because Nzinga dared to sit down in the presence of the Governor

The correct answer is C.

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