In 2020, there were reportedly about 2,095 billionaires on earth with an estimated total networth of $8 trillion altogether. Of this said amount, the current richest man in the world, Tesler founder Elon Musk is worth $197 billion.
However, Musk, who is on top of the richest list is by no means the wealthiest man of all time. Indeed, that significant title is believed to belong to Mansa Musa, the 14th century Malian ruler who was so rich that his many generous hand-outs wrecked Sahara's economy.
With an inflation adjusted fortune of $400 billion, Mansa Musa could have been able to feed the population of present West African inhabitants with his wealth for many years.
Mansa Musa was born in 1920 to the Mali royal family. His brother, Mansa Abu-Bakr, ruled the empire until 1312. However, Abu-Bakr's love for the Atlantic Ocean took him on an expendition, where he travels with 2,000 ships, thousands of men, women and slave. They sailed off the ocean, but never to return back to the empire.
Meanwhile, after the unreturn sojourn of his brother, Mansa Musa took over the leadership of the empire and the kingdom of Mali grew significantly under his watch.
His kingdom, Songhai Empire dominated the Western Sahel and was the largest state in African history, stretching about 2,000 miles further - from the Atlantic to the present day Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Bukina Faso, Gambia and Ivory Coast.
For such huge land mass came some great resources for the kingdom. Likewise, during this era, gold and salt were majorly traded, while his kingdom accounts for the half of world's gold as at the time - able to generate enough wealth from his trade with Arabs and other neighboring Africans state.
Although, the empire wasn't initially famous, but that changed when Mansa Musa decided to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca in the land of the Arabians, leaving Mali with a caravan of about 60,000 men, woman and 12,000 slaves, passing through the Sahara desert and Egypt.
On his way to Mecca, the king left some memorable impression on Cairo, where he lavishly handsout gold to many people, and his three months stay in the Egyptian capital crashed the price of gold in the region for ten years.
Although his generosity was second to none, however, his enthusiasm for knowledge is overwhelming. Musa returned from Mecca to Mali with several Islamic scholars, he also gave financial backing to literature research, schools, library and mosques constructions.
The king is often credited with starting the foundation of education in West Africa, with people traveling several miles to study at the Sankore University in Timbuktu.
Indeed, Mensa Musa was without doubt a wasteful king who hurts his kingdom with his lavish lifestyle, but his generosity and his modernization styles, distinguished him from other ancients rulers who were oppressors, kidnappers and ritual killers.