Mansa Musa: The richest man to ever live

10 comments

The battle for the title of the world’s richest man is so removed from most of our realities that it is almost trivial. Every now and then, there’s a new crowned ‘richest man in the world’ and otherwise we hear the same names constantly swirling around in the mix. Currently the crowned richest man in the world is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon who is worth an estimated $177 billion. But you’d be surprised to know that he isn’t the richest man of all time, just modern history. The richest man of all time is Mansa Musa, the fourteenth century emperor of the Mali empire. He was the 10th mansa which means sultan or emperor to rule and in his 25 years as ruler, Mansa Musa made sizable expansions to the Malian empire. His conquests included countries now known as Senegal, Niger, Ivory Coast and more.

The secret to his wealth? Having such a large empire afforded him access to profitable resources like gold and salt. Under his reign, the Mali empire accounted for almost half of the world’s gold. Although it is hard to imagine such unfathomable wealth, owning almost half of the world’s gold reserve gives a pretty rough idea, historians have even theorised that if he were living today he would be worth $400 billion in modern currency, just under twice the wealth of Jeff Bezos.

Aside for his financial success, he was known for the devotion to the Islamic faith, regularly going on pilgrimages (Hajj) to Mecca, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and Islam. On his famous journeys, he would be accompanied by 60,000 people, 21,000 kilograms of gold, 100 elephants and 80 camels. Whilst he was a somewhat flamboyant leader, he was also known for his generosity, giving so much gold away on his pilgrimage that the value of gold fell drastically!

As far as memorable historical leaders go, he definitely makes the list! He is credited with starting the education tradition in West Africa, and well, you can’t beat being the richest man to have ever lived!



10 comments

  • Posted on by Vee

    Awesome article. I loved reading about our history. I also love bold, bright & unique fabrics.. it was my dream to design bold, beautiful, colorful, modern well made clothing with these kinds of fabrics. Thank you for these beautiful garments they represent me.

  • Posted on by Yesriel

    That’s  so interesting, its very telling that he is an emperor and not a king. History speaks of my direct ancestors as kings. I wonder who his fathers were? I do remember masa Musa. Who were his fathers and how did he become Islamic? Islam comes from Arabs, Ishmael, and his family enslaved and forced their religion on slaves… I wonder how deep Masa Musa roots are. Thank you for this great story. I am motivated to travel down historical lane for answers. Skin fold ain’t always kin folk…. He might be a distant relative but surface says we are not related, and that he comes from Hamites but his religion says something else entirely. Great Story!!!!

  • Posted on by Lurdes Alvarenga

    Wow, amei ler esta historia sobre is nossos anchestrais. E amo a sua collecao. Beijos de Portugal🇵🇹

  • Posted on by Dorothy Odoms

    I enjoyed reading BLACK HISTORY…the old SOCIETY PEOPLE ( white people ) did everything to DESTROY OUR CULTURE AND VERY RICH HISTORY. THEY DIDN’T WANT US TO KNOW THAT WE COME FROM A LONG, LONG LINES OR ROYALTY…STRAIGHT OUT OF AFRICA! WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT A LIE ABOUT OUR HISTORY AND A HUGE LIE ABOUT AFRICA TOO. THESE IN GRAIN OUTRIGHT LIES WAS DESIGNED TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE OF COLOR AND MADE US TO FEEL INFERIOR TO THE WHITE SOCIETY OF PEOPLE… THESE LIES HAS HURT, HARMED AND KILLED US TO THIS VERY DAY! "WE ARE VERY WOUNDED " BY AII THE HATRED THAT WHITE SOCIETY WILL NEVER TOTALLY ADMIT THEIR WRONG DOINGS.

  • Posted on by Fatima

    That you for the vital piece of information. We should never forget that Africans have ruled Africa into greatness!

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