Endless Money…How A Black Man Became The Richest Human
In every culture since the beginning of mankind, people have amassed wealth in some form or another. Whether it’s Floyd Mayweather depositing a hundred million dollars on Instagram, or the treasures from King Tut’s burial tomb on a never-ending museum tour, we see that gold and money excites.
Money ain’t a thing
The imprint on the world that a legacy of vast wealth leaves is undeniable. Sometimes we forget “Carnegie Hall”, isn’t just some building that as they claim to be “an inspiring beacon, sharing the most amazing music and musicians from all around the world,” but that it was built by Andrew Carnegie.
The Scottish immigrant born in 1891 who started as a telegrapher, ended up in the U.S with a steel monopoly and a fortune of 310 billion dollars in today’s numbers. The hall that adorns his name in Manhattan is still framed by Carnegie steel. He gave away over 350 million dollars over the last years of his life.
Too much money to count
Fast forward to modern times and names like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos sit atop the list of the richest humans on the planet. Jeff Bezos’ net worth increases by about $9,000,000 per hour. That’s Lebron James’ NBA salary about every 5 hours or so. Pretty impressive, but still not on the level of human kinds biggest baller…Mansa Musa.
Mansa Musa or Musa Keita became king of the Mali empire in the 14th century by chance, after an emperor left for a journey and never returned. He was far from a nobody, as his uncle founded the Mali empire. After 26 successful military expeditions, his empire would stretch for 2,000 miles.
Ballin’ out of control
Musa’s main hustle was trading gold and salt, which were found in abundance in West Africa during those times. When he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, be brought an entourage of 60,000 people, each carrying 4 pounds of gold. He gave away so much gold on the way he destabilized the world’s economy. There was such an influx of gold in Cairo that extreme inflation occurred. How did he fix it? Mansa Musa borrowed from lenders in Cairo at a high interest rate and single-handedly controlled the price of gold in the Mediterranean.
During his legendary reign it is said he built a mosque every Friday, and some along with his universities, still stand. The famous Djinguereber Mosque is intact after 700 years. His wealth was so legendary, Italian mapmakers at the time started including the Mali empire with an image of Mansa Musa holding a gold nugget.
By the end of his reign, one of his universities Sankoré was a fully staffed University with the largest book collection since the Library of Alexandria. The learning center could hold 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with nearly 1,000,000 manuscripts.
There have been many high rollers throughout history. Whether it’s entertainment, technology, gold, or oil, the mega-wealthy will continue to leave us in awe, as they leave a lasting mark on society. With an incalculable net worth- that historians estimate on the low end to be 400 Billion current U.S Dollars, nobody ever did it bigger than Mansa Musa from Mali.