King of Kings called Mansa Musa

Mali / Lived: 1280 - 1337
The richest person ever

King of Kings called Mansa Musa. Musa I of Mali is considered one of the richest person ever. Musa was the tenth emperor of the Mali Empire, one of the prosperous Sahelian kingdoms that developed along the trans-saharan trade routes in the later medieval period.

Mansa Musa made his fortune by exploiting his country's salt and gold production.

Musa is said to have brought several tonnes of gold to Mecca when he made a pilgrimage there in 1324, deflating the value of gold across much, if not all, of North Africa. Reported as being inconceivably rich by contemporaries, there’s really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth.

"It is assumed that he had a fortune of over 400 billion $ if we want to compare it with today’s currencies and economic values.

Mansa Musa was an African who lived in Mali between the years c. 1280 and 1337. The exact dates of his death are lost in history and they are still debated by historians. It is said that he ruled Mali for about 25 years. One of his greatest achievements was also that he conquered over 24 cities in his lifetime. You can compare him to conquerors like Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Julius Cesar or Genghis Khan.

"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest



Dr Richard John Pelwana Maponya

South Africa / Lived: 24 December 1920 – 6 January 2020
Founder The Maponya Group

Dr Richard John Pelwana Maponya, South African entrepreneur and property developer best known for building a business empire despite the restrictions of apartheid and his determination to see the Soweto township develop economically.

Born in village near Lenyenye (about 20 km west of Tzaneen), Maponya, at the age of 24, then a teacher, took a job as a stock taker at a clothing maker and subsequently won a promotion for both himself and his white manager. In gratitude, the manager sold Maponya soiled clothing and offcuts, which he resold in Soweto. With the capital acquired he attempted to open a clothing retailer in Soweto, but was blocked by the government's refusal to grant him a licence—despite intervention by the law firm created by Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela.

Instead, in the early 1950s, Maponya and his wife Marina (a cousin of Nelson Mandela) established the Dube Hygienic Dairy, which employed a fleet of boys on bicycles to deliver milk to customers in Soweto who had no access to electricity or refrigeration.

Maponya is the founder and the first president of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) in the 1960s. He also founded the African Chamber of Commerce which he is the chairman.

Maponya Mall - On 27 September 2007 Richard Maponya opened the Maponya Mall in Soweto. It holds more than 200 stores and a cinema complex.
Maponya acquired the land where the mall is situated in 1979, at first as a 100-year lease. In 1994, after several attempts, he acquired it outright.
Various attempts to finance construction failed until Maponya's holding company entered into a joint venture with Zenprop Property Holdings.

"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest



Dr. Nthato Harrison Motlana

South Africa / Lived: 16 Feb 1925 – 1 December 2008
Founder Lesedi Clinic/Sizwe Medical Aid

Dr. Nthato Harrison Motlana was a prominent South African businessman, physician and anti-apartheid activist. He was tried alongside Nelson Mandela by the Apartheid regime during the Defiance Campaign of 1951–52, and played a prominent role during the Soweto uprising as one of the members of the Soweto Committee of Ten.

Motlana was a founding member of the Black Community Programme, a group whose goal was to economically empower black South Africans, and he founded Phaphama Africa Commercial Enterprises, Lesedi Clinic (the first black owned, private up-market hospital in the country), and Sizwe Medical Aid (the first black owned medical aid scheme in South Africa).

Due to his huge success in business Motalana earned the nickname "Father of Black Economic Empowerment."

Motlana served on the boards of Putco, Rand Water Board, Adcock Ingram Group and Sasol, amongst other civic and academic institutions. Encouraged South Africans to "stop toyitoyiing and get to work". He has cracked the whip when necessary: "While productivity levels are low and there is a lack of work ethic and discipline, the country will not get its act together."

"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest



The Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo

USA/South Africa / Lived: 21 April 1949 - 2019 January 10
The Activist/Academia/Reverend

The Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, a South African-born activist who won political asylum in the U.S. and taught at Morgan State University, Died Dec. 10 at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Morgan State University and a master’s degree in theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, in 1992. She also studied at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Born in Polokwane in South Africa, she was the daughter of Naome Malope Mahlangu. She spent her teen years in Soweto and was trained as a nurse at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. She became aware that black patients were treated differently by white doctors and questioned why the nursing matrons or directors were white.

As her political activism increased, she was accused of being a Communist when she challenged apartheid rule. She joined the Student Christian Movement and was elected secretary of the Student Representative Council. Arrested and held in solitary confinement for 21 days, she was not allowed to meet with family, her pastor or a lawyer. She later fled to Botswana as a refugee and lived at a camp. She left the country and came to Baltimore in 1981.

As quoted - “I was testing justice and I found it is not a myth, but reality,” she said in a 1984 Sun article after the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service granted her political asylum.

In 1991 she returned to South Africa at the invitation of the South African Council of Churches to run a resettlement program for other returning exiles.

"I’ve learned how people behave, and unless we change from activism to professionalism, we’re going to have serious problems in governing, " she said in an interview before leaving Johannesburg.

After returning to Baltimore, she said she would use her experience with suffering to better understand the suffering of AIDS patients and substance abusers.

She was ordained a deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and became an assistant pastor at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baltimore. Her ordination took place at Waters A.M.E. Church. “There is more to a human being than the body and the mind,” she said in a Sun interview. "There is also a spiritual inside. I want to minister to all three.”

Dr. Mahlangu-Ngcobo was in Baltimore when Nelson Mandela was released from jail. She assisted in organizing his 1990 visit to Washington, D.C. “She was a dynamic, bold and powerful woman,” said Ginny Robertson, founder of the On Purpose Woman Community. “I remember her grace. She was loving and gentle. There was also a mothering aspect to her personality. I was impressed at who she was as a woman.”

"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest



Ahmed Hassan Zewail

USA/Egypt / Lived: 26 February 1946 - 2 August 2016
Academia/Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Ahmed Hassan Zewail was born in Damanhur, Egypt and was raised in Desouk. He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry and became the first Egyptian to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from Alexandria University before moving to the United States to complete his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania supervised by Robin M. Hochstrasser.

Zewail's key work was an explorer of femtochemistry—i.e. the study of chemical reactions across femtoseconds. Using a rapid ultrafast laser technique (consisting of ultrashort laser flashes), the technique allows the description of reactions on very short time scales – short enough to analyse transition states in selected chemical reactions. Zewail became known as the "father of femtochemistry".

Zewail was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2001. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2002. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Lund University in Sweden in May 2003 and was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Cambridge University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science in 2006. In May 2008, Zewail received an honorary doctorate from Complutense University of Madrid.

In February 2009, Zewail was awarded an honorary doctorate in arts and sciences by the University of Jordan. In May 2010, he gave the commencement address at Southwestern University. On 3 October 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Glasgow. On 19 May 2014, he was awarded an honorary degree from Yale University. The Zewail city of science and technology, established in 2000 and revived in 2011, is named in his honour.

"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest



Dr Reginald Abraham Mengi

Tanzania / Lived: 1943 - 2 May 2019
Businessperson/Philanthropist

Reginald Abraham Mengi was a Tanzanian billionaire, businessperson, philanthropist, and author of the book I Can, I Must, I Will,.

He was the Chairman of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Confederation of Tanzania Industries, IPP Gold Ltd., Media Owners Association of Tanzania, Executive Chairman & Owner at IPP Ltd.

(Tanzania) and Chairman of Handeni Gold, Inc. Mengi had an estimated net worth of US$560 million as per Forbes richest people in Africa 2014.


Honors and awards Mengi has received the following awards:
2000–2003 – Most Respected CEO East Africa Community (EAC)
2008 – Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Award
2010 – Global Leadership and Humanitarian Award
2012 – United Nations NGO Lifetime Achievement Award
2012 – The Oslo Business for Peace Award
2012 – Honorary Doctor of Humanity Degree Award
2014 – International Order of the Lions Award
2014 – Business Leader of the Year Award


"Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine." R.I.P African Greatest