Soyo originally spelled "Sonho" and pronounced Sonyo was a province of the Kingdom of Kongo , which stretched south from the mouth of the Congo River to the River Loze, and inland from about kilometers. It was already an administrative entity whose ruler or governor bore the title mwene Soyo or "lord of Soyo" when the Portuguese arrived in The ruler was the first Kongo lord to be baptized when Christian missionaries came to the kingdom of Kongo in Soyo was typically ruled in the sixteenth century by a member of Kongo's royal family, presumably appointed by the king and serving for a limited term.
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