KING MANSA MUSA OF OLD MALI EMPIRE - ONE OF THE RICHEST MEN WHO EVER LIVED
Mansa Kankan Musa(1312-1337 AD) , ‘The Lion of Mali’ was the tenth mansa, better known as “king of kings” or “emperor”, of the Malian Empire of Mali West Africa. He became one of the most powerful and wealthiest leaders of his time. He made Mali’s name renowned in the imaginations of European and Islamic countries In the 14th century.
The wealth he commanded, social customs and grandeur of his court, led to the kingdom of Mali being internationally revered (Cheney 2004)
He is most noted for his pilgrimage to Mecca which put Mali on the map, Degraft-Johnson (1998) noted, ‘It was in 1324 … that the world awoke to the splendour and grandeur of Mali. There across the African desert, and making its way to Mecca, was a caravan of a size which had never before been seen, a caravan consisting of 60,000 men. They were Mansa Musa’s men, and Mansa Musa was with them. He was not going to war: he was merely going to worship at Mecca. The huge caravan included a personal retinue of 12,000 servants, all dressed in brocade and Persian silk. Mansa Musa himself rode on horseback, and directly preceding him were 500 servants, each carrying a staff of gold weighing about six pounds (500 mitkal). In Egypt, Musa spent so much money in gold that he devastated that nation’s economy. For years after Mansa Musa’s visit, ordinary people in the streets of Cairo, Mecca, and Baghdad talked about this wonderful pilgrimage - a pilgrimage which led to the devaluation of gold in the Middle East for several years.”