Daughters of Africa
UCI ~ I See You
Copyright © 2011-2017  UMOJA Connection, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Nothing is hidden from God's view!...
excerpts from the book...
Daughters of Africa
Edited and with an Introduction by Margaret Busby
 
An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent:  From the
Ancient Egyptian to the Present
Contents
Chap
Title
Excerpt
 
MAKEDA,
QUEEN OF
SHEBA
Makeda, Queen of Sheba
fl. 10th century BC

Ruler of the kingdom of Saba', she is claimed by Ethiopians to be their
Queen Makeda, from whom descended their monarchs.  Hearing of the
wisdom of Solomon, King of Israel, she travelled to Jerusalem, as the
Old Testament of the Bible records:  "and she said to the king, It was a
true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thine
wisdom: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine
own eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of they
wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I hear.  
Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand
continually before thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the Lord
thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish thou for ever,
therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.  
And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of
spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any
such spice as the queen of Sheba give king Solomon.  ...And king
Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she
asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king.  So she turned,
and went away to her own land, she and her servants" (Chronicles II,
9).  According to the Kebra Nagast (The Glory of Kings), and ancient
work venerated in Ethiopia for centuries, Makeda returned home
carrying the child of her union with Solomon.  Her words, translated by
Sir E.A. Wallis Budge (from manuscript of Ishak's version in the British
Museum)
in The Queen of Sheba and her Only Son Menyelek (1922),
illuminate her feelings before her journey to Solomon -- "I love him
merely on hearing concerning him and without seeing him, and the
whole story of him that hath been told me is to me as the desire of my
heart, and like water to the thirsty man" -- and afterwards.

I am smitten with the love of wisdom, and I am constrained by the
cords of understanding; for wisdom is far better than treasure of
gold and silver, and wisdom is the best of everything that hath been
created on the earth. ...It is sweeter than honey, and it maketh one
to rejoice more than wine, and it illumineth more than the sun, and
it is to be loved more than precious stones.  ...Wisdom is an exalted
thing and a rich thing; I will love her like a mother, and she will
embrace me like her child. ....

Through wisdom I have dived down into the great sea, and have
seized in the place of her depths a pearl whereby I am rich.  I went
down like the great iron anchor whereby men anchor ships for the
night on the high seas, and I received a lamp which lighteth me, and
I came up by the ropes of the boat of understanding.  I went to sleep
in the depths of the sea, and not being overwhelmed with the water
I dreamed a dream.  And it seemed to me that there was a star in my
womb, and I marvelled thereat, and I laid hold upon it and made it
strong in the splendour of the sun. ...I went in through the doors of
the treasury of wisdom and I drew for myself the waters of
understanding.  I went into the blaze of the flame of the sun, and it
lighted me with the splendour thereof, and I made of it a shield for
myself, and I saved myself by confidence therein, and not myself
only but all those who travel in the footprints of wisdom, and not
myself only but all the men of my country, the kingdom of Ethiopia,
and not only those but those who travel in their ways, the nations
that are round about.
 
Inside Back
Cover
Margaret Busby is a leading figure in Black and literary cultural
forums in Britain.  Born in Ghana, she gained an Honours degree in
English from London University, after which she co-founded
publishers Allison & Busby and was Editorial Director from 1967 to
1987.  She was Editorial Director of Earthscan Publications from
1987 to 1990.  She broadcasts on radio and television and has
written articles and reviews for many publications, including the
Guardian, New Statesman & Society, Africa Forum, West Africa, Third
World Quarterly and South.