Mansa Wati was one of two adopted children from among Sundjata's generals. He was raised in the royal court as a prince alongside the previous mansa Uli and another adopted sibling named Khalifa. Like any blood member of the Keita clan, he was eligible for the throne and fought for it against Khalifa after Mansa Wali's death shortly after his return from the hajj. Khalifa succeeded in gaining the throne but ruled only four, tumultuous years. By the time of his death in 1274, the empire of Sundjata was in ruins.
With Wati out of the way, Khalifa returned to the capital of Niani and seized the throne, sidelining Sundjata's brother again. Mansa Wati is remembered as a bad ruler, and Khalifa would prove even worse.
|Mansa of the Mali Empire
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