via foam: ‘I am really driven by the idea of showing a West African society that is growing,’ says Régnier. That means ignoring the easy and the rote: pictures of elites quaffing champagne, or images cataloguing the atrocities of war. Witnessing with a camera takes many forms. For Régnier, photographic truth is located in the bodily presence of young West Africans proudly negotiating their future, a diverse future of many possibilities.’
Don’t believe the myth that Africa did not have a written history. Roughly 1 million manuscripts were found in Timbuktu Mali, covering all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine, etc. #AfricanHistory (Source)
Musa I was the tenth Mansa, which translates as “King of Kings” or “Emperor”, of the wealthy Mali Empire. At the time of Musa’s rise to the throne, the Malian Empire consisted of territory formerly belonging to the Ghana Empire and Melle (Mali) and immediate surrounding areas. Musa held many titles, including Emir of Melle, Lord of the Mines of Wangara, Conqueror of Ghanata etc.
In 1312 Musa became emperor following the death of his predecessor, Abu-Bakr II. When he was crowned, he was given the name Mansa . Mansa Musa was knowledgeable in Arabic and was described as a Muslim traditionalist. He became the first Muslim ruler in West Africa to make the nearly four thousand mile journey to Mecca. Preparing for the expedition took years and involved the work of artisans in numerous towns and cities across Mali. In 1324 Musa began his pilgrimage with a entourage of thousands of escorts. He also brought considerable amounts of gold, some of which was distributed along the journey.
Accompanied by thousands of richly dressed servants and supporters Musa made generous donations to the poor and to charitable organizations as well as the rulers of the lands his entourage crossed. On his stop in Cairo, Egypt, the Emperor gave out so much gold that he generated a brief decline in its value. Cairo’s gold market recovered over a decade later. His elaborate pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in 1324 introduced him to rulers in the Middle East and in Europe.
Upon his return from Mecca, Mansa Musa brought Arab scholars, government bureaucrats, and architects. Among those who returned with him was the architect Ishaq El Teudjin who introduced advanced building techniques to Mali. He designed numerous buildings for the Emperor including a new palace named Madagou, the mosque at Gao, the second largest city in Mali, and the still-standing great mosque at Timbuktu, the largest city in the empire. That mosque was named the Djinguereber. El Teudjin’s most famous design was the Emperor’s chamber at the Malian capital of Niani.
His leadership of Mali, a state which stretched across two thousand miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad, ensured decades of peace and prosperity in Western Africa.
(Mansa Musa was named he richest person in all history. With an inflation adjusted fortune of $400 billion, Mansa Musa I would have been considerably richer than the world’s current richest man, Carlos Slim, who ranks in 22nd place with a relatively paltry $68 billion. The list, compiled by the Celebrity Net Worth website, ranks the world’s 24 richest people of all time.)