Shehe Mvita superseded the dynasty of Mwana Mkisi and established the first permanent stone mosque on Mombasa Island.Mombasa's oldest extant stone mosque, Mnara, was built c. Shehe Mvita is remembered as a Muslim of great learning and so is connected more directly with the present ideals of Swahili culture that people identify with Mombasa.
The founding of Mombasa is associated with two rulers: Mwana Mkisi and Shehe Mvita.
According to legend, Mwana Mkisi is the original ancestor of Mombasa's oldest lineages within Thenashara Taifa (or Twelve Nations).
He noted that the people of Mombasa were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous.
Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built." The exact founding date of the city is unknown, but it has a long history.
This demonstrates that Swahili architecture was an indigenous African product and disproves assertions that non-African Muslims brought stone architecture to the Swahili Coast.
During the pre-modern period, Mombasa was an important centre for the trade in spices, gold, and ivory.Its trade links reached as far as the Indian subcontinent and modern-day China and oral historians today can still recall this period of local history.History shows that there were trade links between Mombasa and Cholas of South India.The ancient history associated with Mwana Mkisi and Shehe Mvita and the founding of an urban settlement on Mombasa Island is still linked to present-day peoples living in Mombasa.The Thenashara Taifa (or Twelve Nations) Swahili lineages recount this ancient history today and are the keepers of local Swahili traditions.Kenyan school history books place the founding of Mombasa as 900 A. It must have been already a prosperous trading town in the 12th century, as the Arab geographer Al Idrisi mentions it in 1151.