Mansa Musa (1280 – 1337)


He is the richest man to ever exist on this planet & you may have heard about him in a rap lyric from 
Jay-Z himself on “Mood 4 Eva”. More popularly known as Mansa Musa stories about this emir from the 14th century continues to live on. When Musa took over the throne from his predecessor, the Malian Empire consisted of territory previously owned by the Ghana Empire, present-day Southern Mauritania and in Melle(Mali) including the immediate surrounding areas
The Mali Empire, created by Sundiata Kieta was the largest & wealthiest empire West Africa has seen yet. Mansa was the grand nephew of Sundiata. The Empire amassed riches through being a trade hub; trade routes between the mediterranean & the southern coast of west Africa.
Salt was a major commodity traded in the north while the south brought about gold & ivory. Mansa was the Malian title meaning king. Mansa Musa was a devout muslim. Most indigenous rulers adopted Islam from interacting with Arab merchants & as a result, the Mali Empire played a huge role in the spread of Islam across West Africa. Under Musa’s rule the Mali Empire grew & extended making it only second in size compared to the Mongol Empire at the time. The Mali Empire controlled lands up to the Gambia & lower Senegal. Mansa Musa was able to maintain Mali’s vast empire with the help of a talented general;  Saran Mandian, &  an army numbering around 100,000 men, including an armored cavalry corps of 10,000 horses. He divided the Empire into provinces with each one ruled by a farba (governor) appointed by Musa. The Mali Empire grew in wealth through taxes on trade, they controlled copper & gold mines. The economic standing of the Malian people grew too. The outside world was yet to hear about Mansa Musa until, like many devout muslims, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 CE. In July of that year Musa arrived to Cairo & evidence of this wealth caused an absolute sensation, when he arrived to Egypt the Sultan was astonished. Mansa Musa gave 50,000 gold dinars to the Sultan of Egypt merely as a first-meeting gesture. Some accounts say Mansa Musa’s camel caravan consisted of 100 camels, each carrying 135 kilos (300 pounds) of gold dust while 500 slaves each brandished a 2.7 kilo (6 pounds) gold staff, in addition to hundreds of other camels loaded down with foodstuffs & textiles, & horse riders waving the huge red & gold banners of the king. After Cairo, Musa travelled to Arabia. There he purchased land & houses so that pilgrims from Mali following his footsteps would have a place to stay. The King was so inspired by the holy sites & architecture that once he returned to Mali he built a dazzling audience chamber at Niani & mosques at Gao & Timbuktu. The Djinguereber Mosque still stands today in Timbuktu, Mali. The University of Sankoré, still standing, was also created, as Musa was also influenced by the universities he saw along his pilgrimage. He brought back to Mali books & scholars, staffing the University of  Sankoré with jurists, astronomers & mathematicians. By the end of his reign the university had been fully staffed with the largest collections of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandrai. Mansa Musa sent native religious scholars to Fez in Morocco to learn what they could & then return to Mali as teachers. Mansa Musa was succeeded by his 1st son Mansa Maghan I after his death in 1337. 
Mansa Musa’s wealth adjusted for inflation was said to be a fortune of $400 billion.


A Week In Color 22

Your Afro-Negro Weekly Newsletter


West Africa

Busola Dakolo and her husband harrassed at their place of residence by armed men in uniform.

3 weeks prior, Busola Dakolo; a known photographer, came out in an interview to speak her truth as a sexual assault survivor.

He said, ‘be happy a man of God did this to you, disvirgined you’. At this point he was already a pastor in Ilorin, his wife had given birth to their first child Shindara and I was in the choir.”

  • The perpetrator of the assault, to members of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) church dismay, was head pastor; Biodun Fatoyinbo.
  • Busola Dakolo is the wife to popular musician Timi Dakolo.
  • Leading up to the table-shaking interview, Timi Dakolo published a series of post on his social media, instagram, accusing the head pastor; Biodun Fatoyinbo of being a serial molester that particularly preys on young women seeking salvation from the church.

On Saturday, 3 armed policemen barged into the Dakolo’s Lagos residence demanding the couple come to Abuja against their will.

  • The van had the plate number; BR932KSF.
  • There were rumors that armed officials allegedly attempted to coerce the couple into rescinding the statements made in their riveting interview.

Busola Dakolo is a case study for why survivors may feel unsafe to, if ever speak up against their abusers. Head pastors from other Nigerian mega churches seemed to be in solidarity with the infamous COZA head pastor. Some, subtly alluding to ‘Jezebel’ attacks from morally corrupt women through the sermons they preached at the peak of the scandal. Meanwhile, others, like reverend Israel Akanji of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) outrightly came out to vehemently defend their “man of God”.

CAN has later denied showing solidarity to Biodun Fatoyinbo

Some Nigerians sound off;

Also! Support Black bussiness. Buy Black buy power.

The U.S

North America

NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo involved with the death of 43-year-old father of 6; Eric Garner 5 years ago goes scot-free.

On monday; July 15 the Justice Department decided not to file federal civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo.

  • 4 months after the death of Eric Garner from a fatal chokehold with Daniel Pantaleo involved, a Staten Island grand jury chose not indict the officer on any criminal charges.
  • The decision to not press federal civil rights charges came in a day before the 5th anniversay of Garner’s death.

5 years later, still no justice.

The decision came in one day before the expiration of the statute of limitations.

The Justice Department’s decision to not prosecute Pantaleo was made by Attorney General William Barr, who decided to follow the recommendation of the Eastern District of New York.

This should not have ended with the death of a person, but that’s a very different question than what’s presented to a prosecutor when deciding under the Justice manual whether a person should be indicted,” a senior official said.

Eric Garner’s last echoing dying words were “I can’t breathe“.

Garner’s mother; Gwen Carr spoke with federal prosecutors in Brooklyn saying the Justice Department “has failed us“.

We wonder if it ever was meant to work for Black people.

5 years of no justice but constant turmoil & reliving of pain for the Garner family & the Black community.

Buy Black. Buy power! & support Black bussinesses.

It’s no secret that it’s way easier to locate liqour stores in lower income neighbourhoods than grocery stores in the US but here’s one savior making a difference.

Kia Patterson is changing the narrative one store at a time with her store in Compton, California & her work ethic is exemplary in itself.

  • Patterson worked in grocery stores for 17 years before owning a Grocery Outlet in 2017.
  • When Patterson took over the store there were 9 employee. After, she had a staff of 25 people.

Patterson does not get high-strung on power & isn’t afraid to work alongside her employees.

I’m not one of those owners that dictates things. I mop the floor, I do car runs,” she said. “I’m very hands on with my team, and there’s nothing that I would ask them to do that I wouldn’t do myself.

Patterson’s Grocery Outlet is also heavily involved in the community, hosting events for the people in it.

What’s better than ownership for people who actually care about the communities they make a profit off of?

You tell us.


We would not be free, till we are all equally free. This the includes queer Black folk in our community. The divide & the spread of hate only futher perpetuates our continued downfall.

Rest in power to Denali.

Meanwhile, the US has may skillful ways they boldy say; who cares about the negroes again?

  • Blackout was purposefully carried out in Canarise a largely Black neighbourhood to prevent an outage in the richer; whiter neighbourhoods in NewYork.


East Africa

More than 17 Ethiopian activitist were killed on Thursday; July 18th, in a confrontation before security forces & Ethiopians seeking a new autonomous region for their Sidama ethnic group.

The Sidama, the largest ethnic group in the southern region, have been calling for their own semi-autonomous state [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Shubale Buta, head of the town’s Malga district confirmed the deaths of 13 civilians killed in Wotera Rassa; a town near Hawassa city. Saying the soldiers were travelling to contain the violence in a nearby town on July 18th.

When they saw people gathered near the roads, they thought they were there to create a problem and that is how the killings happened,” he told Reuters via telephone.

A Malga resident said late on Friday he saw 14 bodies after a shooting.

The Sidama is the largest ethnic group in the Southern region.

As weird as it may sound, it is their constitutional right to be able to request autonomy as it is in fact in Ethiopia’s constitution.

  • The constitution requires the government to organize a referendum for any ethnic group that wishes to form a new entity within a year of their intial request.
  • Ethiopia is already divided into 9 semi-autonomous regions.
  • The Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) -at the forefront of the calls for the new state- have accepted the government’s request to wait pending a direct vote of all members of electorate before the end of the year.

Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country.


East Africa

On Friday; 19th July, Kenya revealed Africa’s largest wind power plant.

The 80,290,000,000.00 Kenyan Shilling –$775m– wind farm containing 365 turbines is located in nothern Kenya; on the shores of Lake Turkana.

It is aimed at lowering Kenya’s fossil fuel dependency & cost of electricity.

  • It is designed to boost the country’s electricity supply by 13%.
  • 70% of Kenya’s electricity comes from renewable sources- more than 3 times the global average- making Kenya a global leader in renewable energy.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the country’s plans to move to 100% green energy by 2020 while Nigeria continues to daydream of broken promises & vision 2020. #GodWhen


Tech Talk: Hope Emanuel Frank

Ever heard the phrase “flash of genius”?

Flash of Genius Doctrine conveys the idea that an invention must include a flash of creative genius, not merely a skill of the calling.

How does this fit into today’s talk?

Well, let’s explain. But first! Let’s review a concept we have mentioned in previous Tech Talks: The Digital Divide.

A digital divide is any uneven distribution in the access to use of, or impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) between any number of distinct groups

That said we have the pleasure of introducing you to: Fifteen-year-old Nigerian Inventor Hope Emmanuel Frank. Who scoffs at the face of the digital divide.

“When people see me on the street operating my excavator and tipper, they are usually surprised, some of them dash me money.

Hope Emmanuel Frank

Through the use of syringes, various toy parts, and old laptop batteries. Hope was able to create a working model of construction equipment he saw as a youth. What makes this so incredible is the spark of genius required to do so with limited supplies. Globally, kits similar to what Emmanuel has created are sold and used to educate children in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs. Below is an example of said kits. This is a true to life example of how the resources a population is afforded impacts the overall trajectory of citizens within that population. Better access to information should be the forefront in all Pan-African efforts.

We applaud Emmanuel for the level of dedication necessary to be inventive regardless, of physical location or socioeconomic situation.

We are in awe of a young soul staring in the face of The Digital Divide, to pursue his dream. We are happy to share this story as an inspiration to others innovating in less than ideal circumstances.

Stay tuned for more breaking news in all things Black & Tech.

Remember: #WeToldYou

The Mau Mau Uprising (1952-1960)


A quick summary of the Mau Mau uprising. Some articles call it a rebellion. How does one rebel on their own land? 
When the colonizers got their grubby eyes on modern day Kenya, they implemented the colonizer 101 plan. Stole “occupied” up to 7 million acres of land, brought in British colonizers to hold space, & made the people of the land wear ID badges around their neck to display their various ethnic group. This was a means of control as identification cards are usually used to regulate oppression to the oppressed.

The British implemented Hut taxes. Whenever Kenyans built huts on their land, they paid the price worth of 2 months labour. Kenyans were only allowed to plant crops for sustainability on their own land, not anything that could be commodified; so no crops that could compete with the British intruders. The British also appointed chiefs loyal to their cause, keeping them happy through bribery while the chiefs in return helped maintain colonial control. Due to the inherent greediness of the colonizers, they occupied more land than they could actually oversee or manage, it wasn’t unusual for Kikuyu people; who made up 20% of Kenyan’s population, to “squat” in areas unmanaged by the stingy settlers granted, they share their profits with the British if the Kikuyu used such areas for farming.

Many Kenyans fought in “World” War 11, they came back to Kenya hoping for better treatment from the colonizers after their sacrifice, how wrong they were. Jomo Kenyetta of the Kenya African Union (KAU) was one of the people pressing the British government in vain for the political rights of the Kenyan people & land reform. Naturally, the British were slow to action & blinded by their greed. In 1952, a much more radical group called the Kenya Land & Freedom Army (KLFA) emerged just as militant as the British. They were also known as the Mau Mau. 
It consisted mainly of Kikuyu fighters including some Embu & Meru recruits, with some units of Kamba & Maasai people. They wanted the British out! Rightfully so. Attacking political opponents & destroying the invaders livestock. The Mau Mau took oaths binding themselves to the cause. In October 1952, the British declared a state of emergency bring in army reinforcements to fight against the Mau Mau supporters, arresting Kenyetta & 180 other alleged Mau Mau leaders. They portrayed the uprising as “a barbaric tribal response to the pressures of modernization”. The colonizers recruited & press-ganged some Kenyans to fight for the Kikuyu  Home Guard , which used oppressive violence as a means of population control. The British rewarded the guards when they pillaged the properties of the Mau Mau, creating a divide & rule dynamic. The Kikuyu that “had” were pro-British & the “have-nots” were for the revolution. The colonizers strategically resettled Kikuyu in villages.

The primary zones of Mau Mau military strength were the Aberdares & the forest around mount Kenya, the British reacted with aerial warfare, dropping nearly 6 million bombs between 18 November 1953 until July 28th, 1955. They detained up to 100,000 Kikuyu without trial, where they were tortured & brutalized for periods between 3 & 7 years. The uprising was said to be at a steady decline on October 21, 1956, after the capture of field marshal Dedan Kimathi the leader of the KLFA. By November 10, 1959 the state of emergency ended in Kenya, The death toll for the Mau Mau activist killed by the British forces in Kenya since 1952 was said to be at 10,173.

In 1961, Jomo Kenyetta was released & African nationalist leaders agreed to take a role in Kenya’s government.
Kenyan got her independence on December 12, 1963; 7 years after the notorious uprising that many believe was the catalyst for decolonization. In 2013 the British government issued an apology for the brutal tactics they used to suppress the uprising & agreed to pay about  £20 million pounds in compensation to the surviving victims they abused.  

Review For You: The Men’s Club

The Men’s Club : TV show

Location: REDtv / Youtube

Alright, so we stumbled upon The Men’s Club tv show on a trip with a bunch of dear friends. It was at the point of the interaction were we had completed our various catch-ups, tuning into whatever anyone would like to share about their lives giving advice or support where necessary.

Then, someone tuned in; The Men’s Club.

Written by Dami Elebe & produced by Tola Odunsi, The Men’s Club follows the lives of four far from veracious Nigerian men & how they navigate their mainly drama-filled tumultuous love lives.

Season 1 was jammed packed with some of your known faves like Youtuber; Grace Ajilore starring as “Naomi” , Sharon Ooja “Jasmine” , & tall dark & handsome; Ayo Ayoola starring as the wealthy “Aminu Garba” located in Lagos.

It’s important to note that albeit somewhat an accurate depiction of life in Lagos, The Men’s Club is just a bird’s-eye view into a very specific niche; the Nigerian elite. Upper middle class & above.

After you watch season 1 on Youtube, you’d get the exact picture we are trying to paint. However, one thing that is similar & accepted amongst all the socioeconomic classes in Nigeria seems to be infidelity in marriage. Pushing the scamming & dangerous boys will be boys agenda, as women found in this boat are quickly castigated & branded with the scarlet letter A.

Season 2 touches on some marriage customs observed around the world like, the marriage of convenience “keeping the money within prominent families, defunct of love & passion. Simply, an arrangement of commerce & how the women usually end up with the shorter end of the stick in these agreements.

You can catch-up on both seasons of The Men’s Club on REDtv or YouTube. It is sponsored by UBA & they aren’t afraid to plug this all throughout the episode. Just remember; WhoToldYou because; we did!

Have some fun! Entertain yourself!


I’m the happiest person I know but sometimes,

I feel destitute

It comes in waves

I can barely speak on it with my faves

I can never speak on it with self


I’ll rather lock it up, put it up on a shelf

Is deep sadness a cry for help?


How does one even recognize they need it?

Anyways, my solution is to let it pass

Let time and peace bring the restitute


trust us that this too, shall pass

Love Letters To Myself

I write love letters to myself;

You’re beautiful & highly revered.

I write love letters to myself;

You’re amazing, you cannot be compared.

I write love letters to myself;

Chin up queen, cause you know you’re gonna win.

I write love letters to myself;

Your best is yet to come,

so sit tight! Have some fun!

I write love letters to myself

& yes it’s cliché, but so is writing love letters to yourself.