Soundiata Keita, the Great King of Mali

Soundiata Keita (August 20, 1190 – 1255) was a King of the Mali Empire; represented as the founder of this empire in the 13th century.

His life and career: Son of King Naré Maghann Konaté and Queen Sogolon Kondé, who was an ugly woman but who, because of a prophecy, had to marry the king. She thus became the queen although the king already had another wife. Soundiata was born with a disability that prevented him from being able to walk. He and his mother were mocked by the royal family. But Soundiata did not let himself be and at the age of 7 he was able to walk. After gaining his father’s trust, Soundiata’s two brothers-in-law feared him and feared that he would become the new king. After the death of King Naré Maghann Konaté, Soundiata, his mother and all his other cadets, escaped from the kingdom to live in the neighboring kingdom because the mother knew that her family would not be safe.

Enemy: Over the years, Soundiata grew up and became the adopted son of the neighboring king whose name is not really known. But this one, let Soundiata govern the country when he was not there. Back home, Soundiata had realized that King Soumaoro Kanté was fighting a large part of the kingdoms and each time, Soumaoro won. There were fewer and fewer kingdoms as they had all been invaded by Soumaoro Kanté.

His Victories: The Story of Soundiata

Soundiata decided to act and one of his sisters told him that to defeat Soumaoro kanté, one must attach the ergot of a white rooster to the end of an arrow. In the first fight, Soundiata was defeated. But in the second, it was defeat for Soundiata. So it was at this point that Soundiata gathered the remaining 12 kingdoms and together they united to defeat Soumaoro Kanté. Soundiata then reached an arrow Soumaoro, the king of Sosso and he became the king of the new empire that everyone today calls Mali: the empire of Mali. Legend has it that Soumaoro hides in the mountains and no one knows about him anymore. Soundiata died in 1255. Some people say he drowned in a river but others say he was accidentally murdered at the festival, but it still remains a mystery.

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