Tani, 8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Whizkid, Raises Over $140,000 in 72Hrs

Boy Chased Away By Boko Haram Making A Name For Himself In Chess (Image Credit: The New York Times)

Boy Chased Away By Boko Haram Making A Name For Himself In Chess (Image Credit: The New York Times)

Tanitoluwa Adewumi, the eight-year-old Nigerian chess whizz who has become an internet sensation, has raised over $140,000 in just three days.

Concise News reports that over the weekend, New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, wrote extensively about Adewunmi’s historic rise in Manhattan, and how he just won his category at the New York State chess championship.

Adewumi, whose family reportedly fled Nigeria because of the Boko Haram crisis, soon became an internet sensation in Nigeria, as the country began celebrating him via multiplatform media coverage.

According to Kristof, Tani’s family fled northern Nigeria in 2017, fearing attacks by Boko Haram terrorists.

Kayode Adewumi, Tani’s father, said his son had told him that he “wants to be the youngest grandmaster.”

After Kristof piece on how Tani, as he is now fondly called, became a champion despite being homeless, readers from across the world had called the newspaper to help the young genius.

Therefore, a GoFundMe account was set up by Russ Makofsky, who oversees the P.S. 116 chess programme, to help Tani raise $50,000 to “help Tani’s family secure a home where he can continue on his journey.”

The account, which was set up March 15, has been fund-raising for three days after it was set up, and has succeeded in raising $147,170 as at 12:04 pm on Tuesday, with donations from “2,612 people in 3 days”.

This is more than double the stipulated target of $50,000.


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Ridwan is a trained communicator who specialises in football and squash. He has been published by African Examiner. He provides professional coverage of general news, politics and sports, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first Nigerian interview with South Africa's no. 1 male squash player, Jean-Pierre Brits. He is a proud Nigerian and campaigner for #NigeriaIsOurs.




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