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Celebrating Regal Kings of Africa: Mansa Musa of Mali Empire

by Shane Thomas

 

RegalMag.com continues its series celebrating kings of ancient Africa.

 

Honoring the Regal Kings of Africa—Part Three


RegalMag.com received its name from the fact that Black men descended from African kings, not just African-American slaves.


The name Regal came from the royal lineage of those African forefathers.


With that being said, it is only the right thing to do for RegalMag.com to honor some of the African kings that helped give birth to its name.



Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire—1312-1337


Rapper Kanye West once said, “it’s in a Black person’s soul to rock the gold; spend your whole life trying to get that ice.”


“Yeezy” must have had Mansa Musa in mind when writing the aforementioned rhyme because to this date, Mansa Musa is considered the richest man to have ever lived.


According to Business Insider, “He ruled the Mali Empire in the 14th century and his land was laden with lucrative natural resources, most notably gold.”


The African king, born Musa Keita I, came into power in 1312 and was given the name Mansa, which translates to king.


During the 14th century, much of Europe experienced a famine, but many African nations thrived.  And Mansa Musa’s African empire was sprawling and extremely wealthy.


According to Business Insider, “Mansa Musa was in charge of a lot of land.  To put it into perspective, he ruled all (or parts) of modern day Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad.”


The rest of the world became infatuated with Mansa Musa and his wealth and power when he made his 4,000-mile Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324.  He brought with him approximately 10,000 soldiers, civilians and slaves, multiple camels and horses and a plethora of gold bars and other fine jewels.


According to BlackPast.org, “Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca brought Mali to the attention of Europe.  For the next two centuries Italian, German and Spanish cartographers produced maps of the world which showed Mali and which often referenced Mansa Musa.  The first of these maps appeared in 1339 with Mansa Musa’s name and likeness.”


Not just a man wanting to personally shine, Mansa Musa wanted others to shine and enjoy his wealth as well.


During the trip to Mecca, he donated much of his gold to the people of Cairo, which brought a lot of inflation to Egypt for years to come.


Furthermore, Mansa Musa is credited with modernizing the country Timbuktu, erecting schools, universities and mosques like the Djinguereber Mosque, which still exists to this day.


Mansa Musa’s reign ended when the king died after 25 years on the throne.  His son Magham I succeeded him as the king of the Mali Empire.


Current Mali is a far cry from the reign of Mansa Musa.


According to the BBC, “After independence from France in 1960, Mali suffered droughts, rebellions, a coup and 23 years of military dictatorship until democratic elections in 1992.”


France took over Mali in 1898.


The population of Mali is now 14.8 million people, with the languages French, Bambara, Berber and Arabic being the most common.


Mali’s major religions are Islam and indigenous beliefs.


The life expectancy for men in Mali is 51 years and 53 years for women.

 

“Radio is the top medium,” according to the BBC.  “There are hundreds of stations, run by the state as well as by private and community operators.”


This article was published on Friday 30 June, 2017.
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