If you were asked who the richest man in history was, who would you name, perhaps a billionaire Bankers or corporate Mogul like Bill Gates, John D Rockefeller or Biblical beings like King Solomon?
How about an African King, Musa Keita the first?
When Mansa Musa came to power in 1312 much of Eu
Ruling the mail Empires in the 14th century CE, Mansa Musa or the Kings of kings amassed a fortune that possibly made him the most wealthiest people who ever lived, but his wealth was the only piece of his rich legacy.
When Musa came to power in 1312 much of Europe was wracked by civil war and famine, but many African kingdoms and the Islamic worlds were flourishings, and Mansa Musa played a great roles in bringing the fruits of this flourishing to his own realms.
By strategically annexing the cities of Timbuktu and re-establishing power over the city of Geo, he gained controls over the most important trade routes between the Mediterranean sea and the West African Coast containing a period of Expansion which dramatically increased Mali sizes.
The territories of Mali’s Empire was rich in natural resources that include gold and salts.
The world first witnessed the extents of Mansa Musa’s wealth in 1324 when he took his pilgrimage to Mecca, not even one travel on a budget; he brought a caravan stretching as the eye can see.
Stopping at the cities of Cairo, Mansa Musa is said to have spent massive quantities of gold, giving away to the poor ones, buying souvenirs and even mosques built along the way.
In fact, Mansa Musa’s spending has destabilizes the regionals economy, causing mass inflations.
This Journey reportedly took about a year, and by the time Mansa returned tales of his amazing wealths had spreads to the ports of the Mediterranean, Mali and its King were elevated to near-legendary status centred by their inclusion on the 1375 Catalan Atlas, one of the most important world maps of medieval Europe, it depicted the King holding a sceptre and gleaming gold Nugget.
King Mansa had literally put his Empire and himself on the map; nut material riches weren’t the Kings only concern as a devout Muslim, he took a particular interest in Timbuktu, already a centre of religion and learning before its annexation.
Upon returning from his pilgrimage, he had the great sankore mosque built there with the help of an Andalusian architect whom he paid about 200kg of gold; he also established a major university further elevating the city’s reputation and attracting scholars and students from all over the Islamic world.
Under Mansa’s Empire became urbanized with schools and mosques in hundreds of densely populated towns, the King’s Rich Legacy persisted for generations. And to this day there are Mausoleum libraries and mosques that stand as a statement to his golden age of Mali’s history.