If you’re familiar with Mansa Musa you might expect the headline to read, ‘Mansa Musa – the wealthiest person that ever lived.’ But in reality, he was more than just a rich person. Every source or article would either emphasize the subject of Mansa Musa and his wealth, or his famous pilgrimage to Mecca. Even though his Hajj expedition was fascinating due to the numerous events that occurred during the journey, there are many more interesting stories about his life.
This book is about how he took over the throne, how his rule influenced the economy of the Mali Empire, and how his empire accumulated more wealth after his return. The book also covers the grandeur of cities like Timbuktu and Djenne that were converted into cultural and educational centers.
Mansa Musa was a generous king who contributed a lot of his wealth and efforts towards the development of the Empire of Mali. He brought a lot of people with him to build universities, schools, and mosques to spread educational values and make Timbuktu a learning center. He also played an important part in spreading the religion of Islam. If you’re intrigued about his life tales and his impact on West Africa and the world, this book is the right source for you.
It’s kind of hard to write a proper review of this book that will be useful to other readers because I didn’t completely love it but altogether it wasn’t a bad book either. So you see, I’m a little torn up about it all. Was it an okay read? Yes. Would I re-read it? No. Would I recommend it? Not really, unless you’re already fascinating by this kind of history.
This book is about Musa I a.k.a. Mansa Musa, who was th tenth ruler of the Mali Empire. To be honest I thought I’d be more interested in the subject and everything but I’ve got to admit it couldn’t entirely hook me. But at the same time this doesn’t mean that there weren’t intriguing things that I learned from the book. I will list those below.
So again I’m going back and forth with it all. So let’s just say that it was an okay read with some interesting facts about the history of the Mali Empire and leave it at that. I also want to say that although I didn’t entirely love this book that doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it more. West African history is a fascinating subject for sure, but it isn’t something I’m drawn to naturally. Others might be, though.
Some interesting facts I learned from the book:
- It’s believe that Mansa Musa’s total worth was around $400 billion, which is a lot more than any billionaire in today’s world.
- He is known for his praiseworthy devotion to Islam and how he inspired trade, economic growth, and culture in Timbuktu.
- The main religion of the Malian people was Islam, but everyone has the choice to follow the religion and belief system that they preferred.
- The Mali Empire started to regress in the 1400s and was completely ruined around 1600 CE