Most people love the idea of being rich.

There’s a saying: “Money doesn’t buy you happiness.”

That means that you could have the most money in the world, and it might get you on Forbes Rich List, but it won’t fill the emptiness and loneliness that people endure.

People like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are always considered super-wealthy, but they don’t even come close to being the wealthiest person of all time. 

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One man overrides everyone for being the wealthiest man ever to live, African King Mansa Musa.

Historians have suggested Mansa Musa was worth $400 billion in total – far more than the $232 billion Musk is said to be worth in 2022.

Others say it is simply impossible to calculate his wealth as it was so astonishingly vast.

It is said Musa had so much gold and handed it out so generously it crashed the gold market and meant the precious metal lost 20 percent of its value.

Who was Mansa Musa?

He was the ninth Mansa of the Mali Empire, which is essentially the king.

Musa was the ruler of the West African empire from 1312. He reigned for 25 years.

During this time, his kingdom expanded and contained the nations we know today: Niger, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast. 

The resources of these countries – particularly gold and salt – were mined, creating astonishing wealth.

Before he came into power, Mali was already a wealthy Kingdom but was even more so after he took the throne.

He was famous for going on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca – one of the five pillars of Islam.

The journey took place between 1324-1325.

He made his path to Mecca with enormous amounts of gold and put his kingdom on the map.

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The gold had been mined by vast armies of slaves, who took the resources from the conquered countries as the empire grew.

It is thought Musa had around 500 slaves as he took part in the historical pilgrimage.

His total entourage for the trip is thought to have contained 10,000 men, each carrying four pounds of gold bars!

He was known for his incredible generosity, handing out enormous amounts of gold and building a new mosque every Friday.

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One of his most famous Mosques is called Djinguereber Mosque.

Musa also built many universities, and most of his schools and mosques are standing today.

As he was so invested in education, his kingdom was the birthplace of many Muslim scholars, poets, and artisans.

Mansa Musa died in 1337, but the mark he left on his kingdom is still very prominent today.