Mansa Musa is also famously known as Musa I of Mali and also the first African king.
The 'King of Kings' was the 10th sultan of the Mali Empire, an Islamic West African state.
Born in 1280, he has been said to be the richest person during the Middle Ages and the richest man to date. Apart from wealth, he is also famous for his 6500 km trip to Mecca accompanied by a caravan of 60,000 people. This took them a full day for the entire caravan to pass a place.
He became a ruler of the Mali Empire in 1312 after getting the throne for the king before and his predecessor Abu-Bakr II. Musa became a ruler during the most troubled times when the European nation was facing a lack of resources and a civil war. But during those horrible times, he was becoming rich because of the flourishing natural resources his estate had. The humongous amount of gold and salt was the main ground for his net worth.
An interesting fact is that even his servants/Caravan wore gold, fine Persian silk, and brocades while on the trips.
He had 12,000 slaves. When Mansa Musa took a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 he reportedly was accompanied by 60,000 men and 12,000 slaves.
Under his rulership, the Empire of Mali became the biggest gold producer in the world. His net worth/wealth was around $400 billion, when converted to Indian Rupees the wealth will turn out to be around INR 3 million crores (officially, nothing has been confirmed). But an economist named John D. Rockefeller researched about him and found out that the wealth of Mansa Musa was $336 billion.
Mansa Musa loved to travel, and he was known for not traveling on a budget. Whenever he used to travel, he used to donate a lot of gold and money to the poor. One time during his halt in Cairo while traveling he donated so much money and gold to the poor that the city went through mass inflation that would take many years to recover for Cairo because of the currency crisis.
Because of the way he traveled, with big caravan's and distribution of gold along the path, he was put on the Map, he was a part of the 1375 Catalan Atlas, which is said to be one of the most important world maps of Medieval Europe.
He conquered a total of 24 cities, with their surrounding districts, and because of that, during his reign, the Empire of Mali was flourishing like never before, along with being an emperor, he was given many other titles like 'Emir of Melle', 'Conqueror of Ghanata' and 'Lord of the Mines of Wangara'. He acquired a total of 2000 miles of land and was in charge of lands like modern-day Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Chad, and Niger.
He was not a materialistic person at all, he also took interest in places like Timbuktu a city that was backward and had nothing in it, he urbanized the city by building schools, famous universities, and mosques in it which include the still standing famous Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu and the place became a hub for trade and knowledge. His most famous and legendary travel was his pilgrimage to Mecca that he took in 1324 when he was in his 17th year of being a ruler. This was when the world first witnessed his wealth and made him a popular figure among people.
Due to his sharing of his wealth with people when he traveled it used to cause inflation in many cities. Many famous structures like the University of Sankore, the Goa mosque which was made by burnt bricks that were used for the first time in West Africa all of this was done during his rule. Due to his lavish lifestyle and ruling skills, the Mali Empire became the world's largest empire of the world. He to date is considered the greatest ruler of all time.
The fictional character called King T'Challa famously known as Black Panther and his story created by Marvel Studios is said to be based on the life of Mansa Musa, though nothing is said to be sure of that.
After ruling the Mali Empire for 25 years, he died in 1337 (his age was 56-57 by that time).
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