9 Africans Who Define Royalty, Wealth and Power

April 19, 2011  |  

For Americans it can be hard to comprehend other nations’ obsession with royalty.  Though you may not get it, you can hardly avoid it since the media has been focusing on the upcoming nuptials of Kate Middleton and Prince William. As a result, we got to thinking about dynasties with a darker hue and assembled this round up of notable African and African-descended aristocracy.

King Lerou Tshekedi Molotlegi

Lerou Tshekedi Molotlegi was never supposed to be king of the Royal Bofakeng nation, a Setswana-speaking community of roughly 300,000 people located in the North West Province of South Africa. There were two brothers that stood ahead of Molotlegi. But when both brothers faced untimely deaths, Molotlegi’s number was called in 2003. The 36th monarch has had some large shoes to fill to make his vision of enhancing the Bofokeng community’s culture and economy a reality. In the 19th century, upon contact with Europeans, a forward-thinking ruler organized the purchase of land to protect it from outside hands. The deeds to the communally held territory survived white rule. When platinum was discovered, the rural outpost was positioned to share in the profits, which has resulted in schools, roads and a stadium that hosted several World Cup games.

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