Songhai, much like Mali, began as a small fishing community in Mali that was required to pay taxes. However, Songhai refused and slowly, during Mali's downfall, Songhai took over Mali. The Songhai Empire resided along the Niger River and south of the Sahara. Songhai lasted from 1464 to 1591. Songhai's first leader was Sunni Ali whom declared himself prince over the five provinces, each led by a governer, that made up Songhai. In 1493, Islam became an important part of Songhai's culture under the new leader, Askia Muhammad. Songhai was very active in slave trade and also controlled most gold and salt trade. Present day songhai is now in Nigeria.