I understand why this is the case for places such as Benin and Oyo as they were largely illiterate states. However as you move north to Islamic states like Mali and Songhai I find it confusing. I've never once seen any of these places sourced or referenced by an indigenous scholar. The closest I've seen was Ahmed Baba who lived in Timbuktu but was Native to Morocco. There are literally up to 1 million manuscripts in Timbuktu alone. There are also thousands more in Walata, the Hausa states, and other places. Timbuktu had some of the largest libraries in the world. Why don't rely on those manuscripts for accurate sources on West African history? Were they simply not used to record the history? There are tons of holes in the history of Songhai and Mali. Uncertain dates, unknown/uncertain kings, birth years that are estimated etc. Every source I ever uncover comes from scholars like Ibn Batuta and Al-Umari, and of course, European explorers. Does anyone know the reason for this? Thanks!