When you think of the wealthiest human beings ever, historical names like King Solomon from the bible or dynastic rulers like Genghis Khan come to mind. In modern times, Rockerfella, Howard Hughes – even more recently – Elon musk, Bill Gates or the Ambani family dominates the current Zeitgeist.
All these men can’t hold a candle to history’s richest person that ever lived, Mansa Musa, ruler of the Malian empire. What would Africa look like today if only a fraction of his legendary wealth was carried forward?
Just how rich was Mansa Musa?
Mansa Musa is widely regarded as one of the wealthiest individuals in history. His estimated net worth is around $400 billion USD dollars, making him one of the richest people of all time.
This wealth was largely due to the large amounts of gold and salt that were mined in the Mali Empire during his rule. He also owned many large estates and controlled vast amounts of land, which further increased his wealth.
Mansa Musa was so wealthy he nearly collapsed whole economies
He was so wealthy that he was able to give away large amounts of gold and other gifts during his famous pilgrimage to Mecca. His wealth was such that it made him a major figure in the world of 14th century politics and economics.
Mansa Musa: the birth of a legend
Mansa Musa was a 14th century African emperor who is widely regarded as the wealthiest person to have ever lived. He is most famous for his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, during which he famously distributed gold to the people he encountered.
Mansa Musa was born around 1280 in the Mali Empire, an African kingdom located in what is now modern-day Mali. His father, Faga Laye, was the 10th Mansa, or ruler, of the Mali Empire.
Mansa Musa: assumes the throne as absolute leader of the Malian empire
As a young man, Musa was appointed governor of the important trading city of Timbuktu. Under his leadership, the city prospered and became an important center for Islamic learning.
In 1312, Musa succeeded his father as the 11th Mansa of the Mali Empire. As ruler, Musa was known for his great wealth, as well as his generosity. He encouraged agriculture and trade, built mosques and universities, and distributed wealth among the people.
Mansa Musa: the pilgrimage that changed the world
In 1324, Musa embarked on a famous pilgrimage to Mecca. He was accompanied by a large entourage of 60,000 people, including soldiers, sailors, slaves, and a camel train carrying 80 camels laden with gold.
During the journey, Musa famously distributed gold to the people he encountered, and he is said to have built a mosque in every city he visited.
Mansa Musa’s new vision for his empire
Upon his return to Mali, Musa devoted himself to promoting the development of his kingdom. He sponsored the construction of mosques and universities, as well as the development of agriculture and trade.
He also established diplomatic ties with other Islamic nations. Thanks to his efforts, the Mali Empire reached its greatest heights of power and prosperity during his reign.
The slow decline of the Mansa Musa empire
Mansa Musa died in 1337, but his legacy lives on in Mali. He is remembered as one of the greatest rulers of the Mali Empire, and his pilgrimage to Mecca is still celebrated today. He remains one of the wealthiest and most influential figures in African history.
How did Mansa Musa Died?
Mans Musa’s death is shrouded in mystery. He died sometime after his last recorded visit to Timbuktu in 1337. Some say that he died on his way back from his pilgrimage to Mecca, while others claim he died during a battle in Gao, Mali.
It is also possible that he died of natural causes. Whatever the cause, Mans Musa’s death marked the beginning of a decline in the empire he had built. He left behind a powerful and prosperous empire that would eventually disintegrate into small rival kingdoms.