TUNDE ONAKOYA,A BEACON OF HOPE: Discussing His Exploits as a Champion for the Empowerment of our Precious Children

By Safiya Hamza JIBRIN

Nigerian  chess champion, Tunde Onakoya recently achieved an astonishing feat, breaking the record for the longest chess marathon with an impressive 60-hour non-stop session in New York City’s bustling Times Square, facing off against U.S. chess champion Sean Martinez. Tunde emerged victorious in every game play and though awaiting confirmation from the Guinness World Record Organization, Tunde has already captured the hearts of many, hailed as a national hero for his remarkable achievement.

Earlier this year, he captured global attention with his exceptional performance at the Digital Life Design Conference in Berlin, where he astounded audiences by triumphing in simultaneous matches against 10 international players and chess masters, showcasing his unparalleled skill and determination.

Yet, Tunde’s journey extends beyond mere competition; he’s on a mission to raise $1 million for charity to support education of children across Africa  make a lasting impact. Through his organization, Chess in Slums Africa, established in 2018, Tunde aims to educate one million children in impoverished slum communities across the continent, empowering them through the art and science of chess.

Tunde Onakoya’s journey from the slums of Lagos to Times Square in New York epitomizes the triumph of determination over adversity. Raised in IsaleOdo, a disadvantaged district in Ikorodu, Lagos, he learned chess in a barber’s shop. Despite financial hardships, Tunde’s parents made sacrifices, with his mother working as a cleaner at his school in exchange for tuition, and his father selling his vehicle to fund Tunde’s WAEC exams. Tunde’s story highlights the transformative power of education and resilience in overcoming poverty.

Despite efforts to improve access and quality, Nigeria still faces a significant challenge with education. UNICEF reports that approximately 10.5 million children aged 5-14 were out of school in Nigeria as of 2020, highlighting the urgent need for interventions like Chess in Slums.

Chess in Slums which was established in 2018, is not just about teaching children how to play chess; it’s about providing them with opportunities for a better future by imparting academic, educational, and critical thinking skills. By leveraging chess as a tool for empowerment, Tunde aims to break the cycle of poverty and equip children with the tools they need to envision and achieve a brighter tomorrow. The organization’s ultimate goal is to train over 1 million Children in the space of 5 years.

The success stories emerging from the Chess in Slums initiative, showcasing slum children who have become media sensations and received educational scholarships, highlight the effectiveness of Tunde’s approach. His initiative has garnered international attention, with coverage from major media outlets, further amplifying the message and impact of his work.

Tunde Onakoya’s recent achievement of breaking the Guinness World Record was not just a personal triumph but a means to draw attention to the cause he passionately advocates for. Through his marathon session, he not only demonstrated his exceptional skill and endurance but also highlighted the plight of millions of children across Africa who lack access to quality education.

His commitment to driving change and providing hope for countless children striving for a better future exemplifies what it means to be a true advocate for change, utilizing his talents and platform to make a positive difference in the world.

In conclusion, Tunde Onakoya’s relentless dedication to inspiring children and advocating for their best interests serves as a shining example of how individuals can make a meaningful impact in their communities and the lives of our precious children. His story reminds us of the power of creativity, empathy, and resourcefulness in nurturing compassionate and empowered individuals who strive to create a better world for themselves and future generations.

To contribute to Tunde’s noble cause and support his vision, visit https://www.chessinslumsafrica.com/






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