In the wake of Marvel Comics‘ movie Black Panther‘s commercial and critical success, one of the breakout characters were the Dora Milaje; an all-women special fighting force, based on the 17th century Dahomey Amazons- a group of fierce female soldiers in West Africa.
In 2018, American entertainment company SONY Pictures is collaborating with the Mo Abudu owned Ebony Life TV to produce a television series on the historical women.
While talking to CNN’s Isha Sesay, Abudu said that she found out about the Dahomey Warriors and searched for a global partner to create the series. The elite female unit who were also bodyguards to the king (similar to the Black Panther depiction) lived in Dahomey, present-day Benin Republic and was feared for its military strength and numbers: at their peak, more than six thousand women were part of the group.
‘..This existed in 1645!’ said Abudu. ‘They actually started as elephant hunters, and from elephant hunters …they became the trusted protection unit of the king.’
Promising to stay true to the historical aesthetics and location of the story, Mo Abudu said the cast of The Dahomey Warriors would look exactly like the women of that period.
After reigning for nearly four hundred years, the group was disbanded around 1900 after the country became a French colony. The last surviving member of the group died in 1978