Queen Yargoje was ruler of the Zamfara Kingdom between the years 1310-1350, and she was the first daughter of Dakka, the fifth King of Zamfara.
One thing you quickly notice in the literature is the variation in the spelling of her name. One school of thought spells it as Yargoje. Another spells the name as Algoje. But why this is done, is not immediately clear. She was not only Queen, she was also head of the Bori cult, which was a pre-Islamic mode of worship in parts of Hausa Land.
Sanusi Gusau, Director, Monuments of the Zamfara State History Bureau says of her “Yargoje, like Queen Amina of Zaria, was endowed with courage akin to that of a man. This was why it was possible for her to become a Queen at that time she reigned in the fourteenth century.”
Another source adds “Yargoje was an amazon, a Queen. I think she flourished in Hausa Land at a time before the coming of Bayajidda. Probably, women were the rulers at that time.”
Hajara Sadiq, formerly of the History Bureau Gusau, says “She was the Queen of Zamfara Kindgdom, and ruled from 1310-1350. She was the first daughter of Dakka, who was the first ruler of Zamfara.”
Initially, the capital of the Kingdom was at Dutsi, but she moved it to Birnin Zamfara, at a point on the river Gagare.She explains why this movement was necessary. Her words “There was also the foresight of getting a greener environment with fertile land and fertile soil. The new city was located at the confluence of two rivers.”
Hajara Sadiq says that during the reign of Yargoje there were female chiefs appointed for the first time in the Kingdom. Hear her “She surrounded herself with such female chiefs, who were not known before the time of her reign. Her rule was not characterised by warfare.It was a peaceful and prosperous era.”
The original Zamfarawa were said to be giants, beautiful and talented. In fact large mounds of earth can be found in Dutsi believed to be the graves of the early pre historic rulers of Zamfara. One of the mounds is said to be that of Yargoje.”
The site also adds “She also encouraged science and technology. Archaeological excavations revealed a highly organised society with relative advancement in technology. In fact the Yargoje lamp which she used for council meetings is a beautiful piece of indigenous technology.”
The lamp of Queen Yargoje can be seen at the Sokoto Museum. The Zamfara State Culture &Tourism Guide 2008 draws attention to her court. It says “She moved the capital of Zamfara from Dutsi to Kuyambana…
The ruins of her palace where she used to hold court are still visible in Kuyambana village 60 km south of Gusau.” At Dutsi, can be seen many mounds of past rulers of the Zamfara Kingdom. These include Dakka, the first ruler, and Jimir Dakka, another ruler. Each mound is named after a previous ruler of the kingdom.