Mwami Theresa Ntare IV of Heru, Tanzania

Mwami (female King) /Queen Theresa Ntare IV (TERESIA JOSEPH NDALICHAKO) was the monarch of the Heru kingdom of Ha people, Kasulu District, Tanzania . The Ha people were organised into different kingdoms namely: Heru, Manyovu/Nkalinzi, Kunkada, Bushingo, Banyingu, Kunkanda and Muhambwe kingdoms.

Born in 1922, she was the eldest child of late Mwami (chief) oseph Ndalichako Rwasa III of the Heru Kingdom. She studied law abroad and succeeded her father in 1946 as there was no male heir.

Now being the monarch, tradition demanded that a king marries and not married so a suitable royal male member was chosen from the family of another monarch Mwami Lusimbi of Kalinzi. Tradition demanded that the Queens family paid dowry for the man, George shinyanga who became her prince consort or chief consort dropping his name shinyanga and adopting his wife’s name Ntare. This ensured their children took their mother’s lineage. He left his compound to live with his wife. The marriage ended and she later married her fellow monarch Mwami Louis Dantes Ngua of Fipa people.

Photos; Shutterstock

Queen Theresa Ntare iv was selected head of all tribal monarchs or chiefs of Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1958 also the only female monarch. She also was among the few monarchs selected for the committee for legislation and fighting for the independence of Tanzania under TANU.

After Tanzania attained independence, the government abolished all royal institutions ending her official reign in 1962. She however continued being a member of Parliament until 1980.

Queen Theresa Ntare iv of the Heru of Tanzania died in 1999, the same year as first president Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. Her eldest son Costa Shinyanga is currently the Mwami or monarch of the Heru, Tanzania. (today they are called chiefs).

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