Winner, 2012 Gita Chaudhuri Prize (The Western Association of Women Historians)Winner, 2012 Barbara "Penny" Kanner Prize (Western Association of Women Historians)Winner, 2013 Aidoo-Snyder Book Award, African Studies Association Women’s Caucus
Nwando Achebe presents the fascinating history of an Igbo woman, Ahebi Ugbabe, who became king in colonial Nigeria. Ugbabe was exiled from Igboland, became a prostitute, traveled widely, and learned to speak many languages. She became a close companion of Nigerian Igala kings and the British officers who supported her claim to the office of headman, warrant chief, and later, king. In this unique biography, Achebe traces the roots of Ugbabe's rise to fame and fortune. While providing critical perspectives on women, gender, sex and sexuality, and the colonial encounter, she also considers how it was possible for this woman to take on the office and responsibilities of a traditionally male role.