Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Sundiata Kieta: The Empire of Mali

  • Broadcast in History
Anita Wills

Anita Wills


Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow Anita Wills.
Tune in as Host Anita Wills shares the saga of Africa's Ruling Tribe the Mandinga or Malinke. Sundiata Keita (also known as Sogolon Djata or Mansa Sundiata) was from the Keita clan and born in the village of Niani near the modern day borders of Mali and and north-east Guinea. The Mandinka kingdoms were briefly conquered by the Ghana Empire (also known as the Wagadou Empire, c. 790 AD) under King Soumaoro Kanté during Sundiata’s youth. Sundiata Keita developed coalitions between the loosely federated Mandinka kingdoms to wage war against the Ghana Empire. In 1230 AD, Sundiata Keita led a rebellion against King Soumaba Cisse from the Mandinka's Kangaba kingdom-state in the south, which held important gold mines. By 1235 AD., forces from the Ghana Empire were still fighting the Mandinka rebels and converged at the Koulikoro Region of modern day Bamako, Mali to meet Sundiata’s army. Sundiatas’ forces destroyed the army of Sosso King Sumanguru Kanté (Susu or Soussou ethnic group in Guinea) at the Battle of Kirina (also known as Battle of Krina). The battle of Kirina is often cited as the final defeat of mediæval Ghana Empire in West Africa. Soumaoro Kanté is said to have disappeared in the Koulikoro mountains. Sundiata was crowned the title "Mansa" or "king of kings.” His three sons who succeeded him to the throne of the Mali Empire: Mansa Khalifa Keita, Ouati Keita, and Wali Keita, as well as a famed grandson Mansa Musa. The modern country of Ghana shares no territory with the medieval Ghana Empire, though some of its inhabitants claim ancestral lineage with the mediæval empire. Sundiata Keita (circa 1210-1260 ad) was the founder of the Mali empire in West Africa. He is now regarded as a great magician-king and the national hero of the Malinke-speaking people. Tune in and Listen UP!!