Women in African Comics: Role Models for all

African comics have a rich and diverse history that spans decades and genres. From superheroes to historical figures, from sci-fi to fantasy, African comics have created memorable female characters who are role models for readers of all ages and backgrounds. African comics are a powerful medium for expressing the diverse voices and experiences of women in Africa and beyond. From webtoons to graphic novels, from Zebra Comics to Marvel Comics, African comics showcase a variety of female characters who embody feminism and inspire readers.


One of the most iconic female characters in comics is Queenie, a gangster queen who ruled the streets of Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s. Queenie was inspired by the real-life Stephanie St. Clair, a Martinican immigrant who became a successful crime boss and activist in New York.

Queenie on the Zebra Comics blog

Queenie’s story was so compelling that she got her own series, Queenie: Godmother of Harlem, by Elizabeth Colomba (drawing and script) and Aurélie Lévy (script). The series chronicles Queenie’s shocking and terrible life in comics as she established herself in “the underworld,” the center of an extremely vicious society. Queenie is a role model for her courage, intelligence, charisma, and resilience in the face of adversity.


Another female character who is a role model in African comics is Ngozi, a Nigerian teenager who becomes the host of an alien symbiote that grants her superpowers. Ngozi is the protagonist of Blessing in Disguise, a comic book created by Nnedi Okorafor (writer) and Tana Ford (artist) for Marvel’s Venomverse anthology. Ngozi is one of the first African female superheroes to appear in a Marvel comic, and she represents a positive and realistic portrayal of Nigerian culture and society.

Ngozi on the Zebra Comics blog

Ngozi is a role model for her bravery, compassion, curiosity, and sense of justice. She uses her powers to protect her city from a terrorist group called Boko Haram, while also dealing with the challenges of being a teenage girl in the society. Ngozi is inspired by the real-life Chibok girls, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and who showed remarkable strength and courage in their ordeal.


Lunella Lafayette (Moon Girl), a 10-year-old Black girl super genius who is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. Moon Girl is the protagonist of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, a comic book series by Amy Reeder (writer), Brandon Montclare (writer), and Natacha Bustos (artist). Moon Girl is an Afrofuturist character who uses her intellect and inventions to fight crime and explore the multiverse with her best friend, a red Tyrannosaurus rex named Devil Dinosaur.

Moon Girl on the Zebra Comics blog

Moon Girl is a role model for her creativity, curiosity, intelligence, and confidence. She is also one of the few Black female characters in comics who are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Moon Girl is inspired by the real-life Black women scientists and mathematicians who have contributed to the advancement of science and technology.


Kwezi, a South African teenager who discovers that he has superpowers and that he is part of a group of ancient guardians who protect the continent from evil forces. Kwezi is the main character of Kwezi, a comic book series by Loyiso Mkize (writer and artist), Clyde Beech (artist), and Mohale Mashigo (writer). Kwezi is joined by a female character who is also role a model: Azania, a Zulu warrior princess who can manipulate fire.

Azania on the Zebra Comics blog

Azania is a model for her strength, courage, loyalty, and wisdom. She is also representative of the diversity and richness of African cultures and languages. Azania helps Kwezi to learn about his heritage and his responsibilities as a guardian of Africa.


Another one of these female characters is Anaki, the protagonist of a Zebra Comics book series by Ejob Nathanael (writer, illustrator, and colourist). Anaki is a young girl, who lives in Kameku a fictional Afrofuturistic city, and who discovers that she is the last of a long line of powerful witches. She embarks on an adventure to learn about her magic and her history, with the help of her friends Khufuti and Nubed.

Anaki on the Zebra Comics blog

Anaki is a feminist role model for several reasons. First, she is a strong, brave, and curious character willing to face dangers and challenges to achieve her goals; intelligent and resourceful, using her knowledge and skills to solve problems and overcome obstacles; and also a compassionate and loyal character who cares about her friends and allies.

Anaki is one of the many female characters who are role models in African comics. She represents the potential and the power of women in Africa and beyond. She inspires readers to be courageous, compassionate, creative, and feminist.

There are many more female role models in African comics. These are just a few that stand out from the horde. So next time you need some feminine motivation to get you by, check out these characters and get inspired by their journey.

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