Meet Mansa Musa, the Wealthiest Man in History

Posted: April 8, 2020 in Amazing and Interesting Stories, Fun Facts, History, Things I Love
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Mansa Musa became the King of Mali in 1312. This was well before European Colonization of Africa and the slave trade. Africa was free to live unimpeded at that time and the Kingdom Of Mali was rolling in resources, specifically gold and salt.

The Kingdom was doing well and the then King of Mali decided to go on a pilgrimage, so he told Musa to run the kingdom until he came back. It being the 1300s and whatnot traveling anywhere was a gamble. No cell phones to call for help, exposure to storms, marauding headhunters, dysentery, typhoid, smallpox, leprosy, no Fortnite or NBA 2K20, you get the drift. Tough world back in the day.

So, something happened and the real king never came back. Nobody ever knew for certain why, but one of those reasons above is as good a guess as any. Anywho, because of this Musa ruled Mali for the rest of his life. He built upon the empire by acquiring Timbuktu and Gao, and that allowed him to dominate trade routes all over Africa during the middle ages. This was huge because the world needed Mali’s salt, of which it had in abundance. Salt back then was a big deal because it was used to preserve food. No refridgeration in the 1300s, kids. Salt was so important, in fact, that at that time that you could trade it for it’s weight in gold, and that is exactly what Musa did. He amassed so much gold that he was worth an estimated $400-billion in today’s money. That’s more than John Rockefeller, who topped out at a measly $336-billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos? A paltry $120-billion. That’s chicken feed to Mansa Musi. He probably carried half that under the cool turban he sported.

The thing is, nobody really knew about Musa because he was down in Africa. It wasn’t until he took his own pilgrimage to Mecca that people learned about him internationally. That said, he wasn’t going to make the same mistakes as the King before him. Nope. My man traveled in style. He traveled across Africa to Cairo and then on to Mecca with an entourage of 60,000 people and thousands of animals, and they would throw gold at people on the streets along the way. Amazingly, they brought so much gold with them that it messed up the world’s economy for a while. Mansa Musa alone increased the amount of gold in circulation by giving so much away. Good Lord, man.

Mansa Musa died in 1337 after ruling for 25-years and had continued to give money away for his entire life. He built so many mosques across Africa that the legend is he constructed one every single Friday.

So there’s your history lesson, my loyal readers. Mansa Musa, the richest man who ever lived.

PS- Mansa Musa roughly translates to “King Of Kings” and that’s certainly fitting.

 

Note: Shoutout to Barstool Sports, where I got a lot of this information.

 

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