He Understood That Sharing The Wealth Made His Kingdom Better

Illustration of Mansa Musa
Alyssa Guzik
October 31, 2022

When we hear about the wealthiest people in the world, white people like Elon Musk and Jeff Besos are brought up. It's common practice these days to conveniently forget or ignore that long before white moguls, Black people did it first and better.

Mansa Musa was and still is the world's richest man. Coming to power in 1312 C.E., he ruled the empire of Mali until 1337 C. E. Already a wealthy kingdom - founded by his great uncle Sundiata Keita - Musa sought to strengthen its trade and economy.

European nations struggled and fought amongst themselves, but the Mali empire thrived under Musa. He expanded trade routes and grew the kingdom from the Atlantic Ocean to inland Timbuktu. Soon, his wealth and power would become known outside his realm as he journeyed to Mecca.

On his pilgrimage, Musa and his 60,000-strong entourage gave away gold. His generosity was legendary. He was so rich he controlled the price of gold during his entire reign.

Mansa Musa's legacy is generosity, purity, wealth, and incredible administration. Parts of Western Africa today can still link their status to his rule. He had all the money and power and STILL used both to benefit his people and those around him.

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