Mansa Musa is recorded in history as being the richest man in the world, he was born in 1280 in West Africa into the Mali Empire. It wasn’t until he became king, that he was given the name Mansa, which means ruler.  At birth, he was given the name Musa which means Moses. Once, King Mansa Musa was referred to as “The African Ruler, Moses.”He was truly loved and was utmost admired by his people.

He was a man of honor and integrity, with an insatiable appetite for the well-being all his people.  He was well schooled and understood the importance of education as well as trade.  These were vital resources in the growth of the Mali Empire.

Mansa Musa was the brainchild behind the construction and completion of the University of Timbuktu, which was and still is referred to as the University of Sankore”.  To this day, Sankore attracts more foreign students from around the world including top universities from England.  The university Sankore is ranked as one of the most prestigious top 3 West African ancient universities.  Mansa Musa also built many extraordinarily beautiful mosques during his reign.

So! with his incredible foresight and ingenuity with regards to education, trade schools, and mosques, Mansa Musa made Mali one of the richest and most powerful empires in the continent of Africa, but of course, he didn’t stop there.

Mali Empire west Africa

In 1342, Mansa Musa traveled 3000 miles’ with more than 600,000 million dollars in gold bars, no one will ever know the exact amount but this is only an estimated guess. He also traveled with more than 60,000 men, 100’s of camels, cows, and goats, they used the animals to carry the gold and then later the animals were used for food.

While on his journey he would stop every Friday in different cities to pay for and build the construction of Mosques.  Islam spread like wildfire throughout West Africa. While on his journey, Mansa Musa gave gold to the poor and by the time he reached Cairo Egypt he continued to give out millions of gold coins to the poor locals and bought everything with gold coins for himself and the people traveling with him. He disrupted the class system and because he distributed so much wealth, this caused severe inflation which took decades to stabilize.

Mansa Musa became a legend in his own right, while on his pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, this is where people took notice and the name Mansa Musa resonated in Western Africa and beyond.

Isn’t this a beautiful thing? One man, who didn’t see class, color or creed, all he saw were human beings and he followed true Islam, all men are created equal in the eyes of Allah and or God, which is what he believed and showed with his actions of sheer kindness and love for all.Map of Mali Empire

It is believed that because Mansa Musa allowed others to see and taste the wealth of his empire, this is what enticed the greedy, ruthless foreign invaders to show an interest in West Africa, the invaders believed that the continent was laden with massive amounts of gold and other natural resources and wealth. This in and of itself encouraged the invaders to exploit the people and the land, therefore, causing colonization.

One can never be 100% accurate with all the information documented in books or online, but one thing for sure, Mansa Musa left behind a rich legacy behind and is recorded as the richest man in history. He truly had a beautiful heart and love for all his people and well as others. What a legendary and prolific King.  One could learn and take notes from a man such as this, not only did he speak the words of love but he also practiced it in his actions.

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