Real Name: Zola

Identity/Class: Human;
citizen of Wakanda

Occupation: Combat instructor

Group Membership: Dora Milaje (Aneka, Ayo, Dalia, Failah, Lulu Nailah, Onyeka, others)

Affiliations: Black Panther (T'Challa), Queen Ramonda, Princess Shuri

Enemies: Folami

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Wakanda

First Appearance: Black Panther: World of Wakanda#1 (January, 2017)

Powers/Abilities: Mistress Zola is a highly trained warrior, in the use of hand-to-hand combat and certain weapons. She is an effective teacher of these skills to others, and has helped train the Dora Milaje for years.

Height: Unrevealed (6'3"; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed (220 lbs.; by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

(Wakanda Forever: X-Men#1 (fb) - BTS) - As part of her training as a member of the Dora Milaje, Zola had to face a challenge in the Echo Chamber, where she saw herself as an old woman. Years later, she told Okoye of her experience in the chamber.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#1 (fb)) - Mistress Zola welcomed a group of new trainees to the Dora Milaje, young women who were considered the finest warriors from their individual tribes, and she promised them that they would face hard days ahead as they went through training. Zola departed, leaving the trainees in the hands of Captain Aneka. Zola watched as Aneka appeared to be particularly tough on trainee Ayo and later confronted her about it.

   Weeks later Zola summoned initiate Folami to tell her she was not giving her all in training, and Folami stated that other initiates, like Nailah and Lulu, were cheating. Zola tasked Folami with watching the others and reporting back to her. Later, as the Dora Milaje trainees were graduating, Namor attacked Wakanda.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#2 (fb) - BTS) - After the battle with Namor ended, Zola guided the Dora Milaje in clearing the dead from Wakanda. Zola began to realize that Aneka and Ayo had feelings for each other, but that they wrestled with those feelings.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#2) - Aneka and Zola discussed the trials they were facing, and Zola hinted that Aneka had more to learn about Ayo. She assigned Aneka and Ayo to watch over Princess Shuri, and assigned Folami and Dalia to watch Ramonda, hoping that Ramonda's influence would help Folami find peace and purpose. When a man showed up seeking an audience with Black Panther, Zola assigned the Dora Milaje to question him. Later, Zola sent Aneka, Ayo, Folami, and Dalia to protect Black Panther in the city of Necropolis.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Dora Milaje, as an institution, broke ranks with the Black Panther for the first time in centuries, when the Black Panther seemed no longer worthy of their trust and service.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#3) - Zola addressed the Dora Milaje, reminding them of their duty to the royal family even during these times of change, and Zola grew concerned when Folami argued that the decision to no longer trust the Black Panther were wrong. Aneka and Ayo asked for some time off, and Zola granted it, though she was said the two women would not admit their relationship with each other. Later, Ramonda called Zola, telling her that Folami had come to Ramonda with complaints of the Dora Milaje. Ramonda warned Zola to watch out for Folami. Zola later witnessed Folami with some enhanced skills, and she realized Folami had done something drastic to enhance her abilities. As Zola worried over what to do about Folami, she got a call from Asha that Thanos and the Black Order were attacking Wakanda. Zola summoned Ayo and Aneka, saying they were needed.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Order was defeated, but Shuri was believed killed.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#4) - As Ramonda addressed the nation, Zola encouraged Aneka and Ayo to not waste time with guilt and then assigned them to accompany Black Panther as he joined a new team, the Ultimates. Folami met with Zola, confessing that she'd received nanites from Aoko that increased her strength, and she encouraged Zola to join her in seeking vengeance on the foes of Wakanda. Zola, furious, took Folami to meet with Dr. Ekeh for examination, and ordered her to remain in the headquarters until she said otherwise. A woman named Lesedi showed up to ask the Dora Milaje for help, claiming her chieftan, Diya, who happened to be Folami's father, was raping women in her tribe. Zola summoned Folami, who grew furious when Zola believed Lesedi. After overthrowing a desk, Folami punched through the wall and left. Zola ordered the Dora Milaje to go after her. Later, the Dora Milaje met to reconfirm their commitment to the royal family, and they agreed to serve Queen Shuri (who was alive and now appointed as the leader of Wakanda). Zola remained behind to allocate the resources of the Dora Milaje to wherever they were needed. When Aneka chided Ayo, Zola reminded her to treat her love gently, then she informed her about the complications of Diya and Folami.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#5 (fb) - BTS) - Zola got word that Aneka had killed Diya during a conflict. Aneka was arrested and there was talk of her being put to death for the murder.

(Black Panther: World of Wakanda#5) - Onyeka and Failah delivered word to Zola that many reports of women across the country were coming in of having been subjected to sexual violence. Zola stated that although Aneka did the right thing, the Dora Milaje could not help these other women without breaking Wakanda's laws. After thinking things through, Zola authorized the Dora Milaje to aid the women asking for help, then she encouraged Ayo to break Aneka out of prison. Zola sought out Folami, determined to bring her in, but Folami overpowered her, stabbing Zola in the heart and seemingly killing her.

Comments: Created by Roxane Gay and Alitha Martinez.

This profile was completed 06/30/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.

Profile by Chadman.

Mistress Zola has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Black Panther: World of Wakanda#4, p9, pan1 (main)
Black Panther: World of Wakanda#1, p11, pan2 (face)

Black Panther: World of Wakanda#1/1 (January, 2017) - Roxane Gay (writer), Alitha Martinez (artist), Wil Moss (editor)
Black Panther: World of Wakanda#2-5 (February-May, 2017) - Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates (writers), Alitha Martinez (penciler), Roberto Poggi (inker), Wil moss (editor)
Wakanda Forever: X-Men#1 (September, 2018) - Nnedi Okorafor (writer), Ray Anthony-Height & Alberto Alburquerque (artists), Juan Vlasco & Keith Champagne (inkers), Wil Moss (editor)

First Posted: 09/28/2021
Last updated: 09/27/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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