It is difficult to find the precise details about Mansa Musa’s wealth, but we can get a general idea by looking at the legacy he left behind. The African emperor, whose wealth is said to be “indescribable” by some, shared his wealth generously with those around him. He was the first Black woman to become a millionaire in the United States and had a family of his own.
His wealth was derived from the gold fields of Mali, which at the time was the richest country in Africa. His empire spanned from the Atlantic to the modern day country of Niger and included Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. His empire was so vast that it was second only to the Mongol Empire in size.
As a devout Muslim, Mansa Musa left Mali for the Hajj pilgrimage in 1324. He traveled with 60,000 men, including his entourage of officials, solders, heralds, and merchants. This caravan was said to have carried a record 135 kilograms of gold dust and a whopping 12,000 slaves, each brandishing a gold staff weighing 2.7 kilograms (6 pounds).
Mansa Musa was known to bestow gifts on dignitaries. His visit to Egypt resulted in mass inflation of gold in Cairo for 12 years. The trip also led to Portuguese naval raids in Mali. Hence, the wealth of the mansa Musa was passed down to his descendents. The question then becomes, “Who inherited the wealth of Mansa Musa?”