History has recorded Mansa Musa, a once lived ancient Mali Emperor as the ever lived richest or wealthy man through out generations. The question still remains who was really Mansa Musa, his source of power and wealth. Well, relax and continue reading this article because that is exactly we are about to discover.
Musa Keita, the birth name of Mansa Musa became the emperor of the ancient wealthy Mali Empire. The name Musa is translated “Sultan” that is “King”. Musa held many titles which some included Emir of Melle, Lord of the Mines of Wangara, and Conquerer of Ghanata. His power continued to expand in territorial geographical areas of Africa. It is believe Mansa Musa in his time conquered 24 cities of which each with surrounding districts of villages and districts.
History says during his time, Ancient Mali was the renowned empire for gold production and since he was the emperor, gathered to himself riches beyond imagination. His wealth was so enormous to be compared to any person that has ever lived in Africa and the world at large.
Musa Keita as he was referred to whose name also appeared as Kanku Musa or Kankam Musa. According to Ibn-Khaldun’s comprehensive history of the Malian kings, Mansa Musa’s grandfather was Abu-Bakr Keita a brother of Sundiata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire as recorded through oral histories. Abu-Bakr did not ascend the throne, and his son, Musa’s father, Faga Laye, has no significance in the history of Mali. So how then did Mansu Musa became so notable in Mali history with that power and wealth.
Mansa Musa grew closer the royal throne of Mali through deputy appointment that was practiced by the people of Mali. It was the deputy who replaced the King whenever he travels and most of the King’s travel was a pilgrimage to Mecca. According to history, Mansa was fortunate serve as the deputy to Abubakari Keita II. The King Abubakari Keita II never returned to Mali when he embarked on an expedition to explore the Atlantic Ocean. Mansa Musa then ascended onto the throne of Mali as the Emperor.
Oral history says this were the words of Mansa Muse after he succeeded Abubakari Keita II
“The ruler who preceded me did not believe that it was impossible to reach the extremity of the ocean that encircles the earth (the Atlantic Ocean). He wanted to reach that (end) and was determined to pursue his plan. So he equipped two hundred boats full of men, and many others full of gold, water and provisions sufficient for several years. He ordered the captain not to return until they had reached the other end of the ocean, or until he had exhausted the provisions and water. So they set out on their journey. They were absent for a long period, and, at last just one boat returned. When questioned the captain replied: “O Prince, we navigated for a long period, until we saw in the midst of the ocean a great river which was flowing massively.. My boat was the last one; others were ahead of me, and they were drowned in the great whirlpool and never came out again. I sailed back to escape this current.” But the Sultan would not believe him. He ordered two thousand boats to be equipped for him and his men, and one thousand more for water and provisions. Then he conferred the regency on me for the term of his absence, and departed with his men, never to return nor to give a sign of life”
Emperor Mansa Musa did worked himself out to reach the peek of wealth and power, he did not meet the gold laid already on the plate. He undertook building program, to construct Ancient Mali Empire. He rose mosques and madrasas in Timbuktu and Gao. One of his famous building was the Sankore Mandrasah (the university of Sankore) was build during his reign,
Emperor Mansa Musah also contributed greatly to education and economy of Ancient Mali. It is recorded that, during his return form Mecca around 1325, he brought architectures from Andalusia, which was a region of Spain, and Cairo to help him build his marvelous palace in Timbuktu. Timbuktu soon was the center for trade, culture and religion; Islam. Merchants began to trade on the lands of Mali Empire. By the end of Mansa Musa’s reign, the Sankoré University had been converted into a fully staffed University with the largest collections of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandria. The Sankoré University was capable of housing 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with roughly 1,000,000 manuscripts,