Mansa Sakura (also spelled Sakoura) was the sixth emperor (mansa) of the Mali Empire. He was born a slave, but was later freed. Soon after he was freed he became a general in the army of Sundiata Keita. When Sundiata Keita died, there was a struggle between his sons over who would become the emperor. Around 1285, Sakura took control of the throne. He became the ruler of Mali and brought the empire back together.
Mansa Sakura became a powerful leader. He was known for exploring other lands and using the ideas he saw in his own kingdom. He also encouraged trade. Under Sakura's leadership, the Mali Empire made several new conquests. It expanded along the Gambia River to the sea. It became a dominant force in West Africa.
- "Mansa Sakura." World Eras. Ed. Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure. Vol. 10: West African Kingdoms, 500-1590. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Biography in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.