Elon Musk v/s Mansa Musa: Is Elon Musk really the richest person in History?

Who was this ‘richest guy in history,’ Mansa Musa, and how much money would he have now? Even the wealthiest people in the world today can’t compare to the late sultan of the Mali Empire, whose fortune was “incomprehensible.”

Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, and Gautam Adani are the top three wealthiest persons in the world as of Sunday, October 17, 2022, according to Bloomberg statistics. According to the research, Elon Musk is worth $198 billion in total, or 19,144.5% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange holdings.

Despite this staggering figure, Mansa Musa, a West African king who ruled in the 14th century, had riches that were simply “indescribable” and “incomprehensible,” according to the BBC. Musk’s wealth pales in comparison to Mansa Musa’s.

In actuality, if we go back in time, John D. Rockefeller and Augustus Caesar are allegedly thought to be wealthier than Musk.

Mansa Musa: Who is He?

“Mansa” is the Mandinka word for emperor or sultan. Musa Keita was born in the Keita Dynasty in 1280 CE, according to the BBC. He was raised in a royal family and ascended to the throne in 1312 CE after his brother Mansa Abu-Bakr abdicated in order to go on a lavish maritime voyage.

By the time he ascended, he was already widely regarded as being exceedingly rich. The British Museum states that according to historians’ estimates, the Mali Empire produced more gold than any other nation at that time, controlling more than half of the global supply.

Mansa Musa’s net worth

Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa is considered the richest man to have ever lived, according to historians. Photo: @Dr_TheHistories/Twitter

Mansa’s current net worth has been estimated to be between $400 and $500 billion USD, however, it may be difficult to correctly assess a wealth built on gold, salt, and land.

His riches were “richer than anybody could describe,” according to several historians.

The day he displayed his fortune to the world

In 1324–1325, a pious Muslim named Musa set off on what is now known as the “most lavish pilgrimage in human history,” according to Magnates Media.

Musa had the desire to spread his reputation across the globe, and this 6,500-kilometer desert trek provided the ideal venue for doing so.

Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa spent so much gold in Cairo that he destabilised the economy for over a decade. Photo: @africaupdates/Twitter

According to the BBC, the monarch departed Mali with 60,000 men and women, including slaves, camel drivers, and royal officials who were all carrying sacks of pure gold.

After traveling across the Sahara desert and Egypt, Musa and his friends arrived at Cairo, where the emperor would liberally spend his money—or, in this instance, his gold—on the nation’s capital.

He spent so much gold that it caused the local economy to become unstable and led to widespread inflation for ten years after he left.

Several of Musa’s accomplishments

Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa took a 6,500km trip through the desert with tens of thousands of people. Photo: @mansamusa_official_/Instagram

Musa made it his goal to revive the urban areas of his empire. His reputation became stronger as a result of the architectural innovations he introduced to the area.

According to the BBC, he also contributed to Timbuktu’s transformation into a center for learning and culture by erecting schools, bookstores, and mosques.

Rabiu is now the second-richest person in Nigeria

According to a different source, Mike Adenuga, the head of the telecom industry in Nigeria, has been replaced at number two on the list of the country’s wealthiest billionaires by Abdulsamad Rabiu. Rabiu’s investments enabled him to boost his account balance by N87 billion in a matter of hours.

Aliko Dangote is still without a doubt the wealthiest guy in Nigeria and the only Nigerian to be included among the top 400 billionaires around the world.


What do you think?

Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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