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Why am not surprised by Tanitoluwa Adewunmi’s Chess Triumph and how two different countries treat their budding young talents

On the 16th of March. The story about a young Nigerian refugee, Tanitoluwa Adewunmi, the newly crowned Chess Champion in grade three in New York State Championship was first made viral by Nicholas Kristof, an opinion columinist with the New York Times. What is pathetic is that The Adewunmmis were homeless living in a homeless Shelter in Manhattan at the time of Tani’s victory.

Tanitoluwa Adewunmmi‘s victory in faraway New York is an attestation to Nicholas Krisof’s statement that ‘’ Talent is Universal but opportunity is not ‘’.

If the Adewunmmi were still living in Nigeria, there is more like hood that Tanitoluwa Adewunmmi‘s talent in Chess won’t have being discovered.

Unlike the local Elementary School, P.S, 116, which Tani attended, Ninety percentage of Nigeria Local Elementary and High School don’t have a Chess Teacher.

The Opportunity of a three hour free practice session very Saturday Tani gets in Harlem will be a paradise to anyone having interest in Chess in Nigeria.

Tanitoluwa’s Vicory at the New York State Chess Championship is also a prove that the tactics of Chess and the ability to play the game resides with many kids born of Nigerian parents, if opportunity and support is available, Nigerian kids will be amongst the best Kids with the ability of the game called Chess in the World.

There are many Chess Whizz-kids in Nigeria, who are waiting for opportunity and support to accompany them to become the first youngest grandmaster.

Deborah Quickpen, two years younger than Tanitoluwa Adewunmi is the youngest competitor at the 19th National Sport Festival -Nigeria’s biggest Sporting Event.

She won a bronze medal at the third National youth games in Ilorin becoming one of the youngest to win a medal at the National Youth games, just like Tanitoluwa, Deborah is in grade three.

Goodness Ekunke, a promising young star, will be celebrating his ninth birthday in few months on the 19th of August.

All these and many younger Chess Player strive to become great but their country of birth might be the hindrance.

Tanitoluwa  Adewunmmmi’s little career has brought him fame , money and an invitation by the 42nd President of the United States for a visit .

But the world is yet to meet Deborah Quickpen , Goodness Ekunke and the rest not because of their inability but more because of their country Origin .


Mudashiru Shittu


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