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Tune in and listen up as we share the story of Sundiata Keita (b. abt. 1210- d.abt.1260) the founder of the Mali empire in West Africa. He is regarded as a great magician-king and the national hero of the Malinke-speaking people (Mandinaka, Malinke, Bambara), and a celebrated hero. The epic of Sundiata is primarily, transmitted by generations of Mandinka griots (djeli or jeliw). The famous West African ruler Mansa Musa was his grandnephew.
Sundiata, or Sun Djata, was also known in the Tarikhs (Moslem chronicles) as Mari Djata. Keita is a widely used family name. He is to West African history what King Arthur is to English history, in that both are popular figures about whom very little is known with certainty.
This show will share some of the little known facts about this extraordinary Ruler of the Mali Kingdom.
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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.
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