Updated: February 28, 2021
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, an 8-year-old Nigerian residing in New York with his family is probably the most famous African kid on the block this year. The media continues to spotlight him from various angles since he won the state’s chess championship.
The boy known commonly as Tani, is aChristian refugee who fled persecution with his family from Islamist sect Boko Haram in Nigeria to the US. Today, the boy has distinguished himself and is poised to keep going.
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“I like deep thinking… I want to be the youngest grand-master in the world,” Tanitoluwa Adewumi said.
A student at PS116 in Manhattan, Tani won the state’s chess championship for his age group earlier this month and gained national attention following the New York Timearticle that described his family’s living conditions in a Manhattan homeless shelter.
“It’s an inspiring example of how life’s challenges do not define a person,” Jane Hsu, the principal of his school is quoted to have said.
Tani’s chess teacher, Russ Makofsky, created a GoFundMe page Sunday for the 8-year-old and his family to “help Tani’s family secure a home where he can continue on his journey.”
In just two days, after the page was set up, the goal of $50,000 tripled. At the time of this report, the account has raised a sum of $180,850.
Tani’s family posted “words of appreciation” Tuesday, writing “we give God the Glory for being crowned as FIRST PLACE CHAMPION in his first New York State Tournament (K-3) Primary Championship held in Saratoga Spring New York.”
“Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support Financially, Morally, Spiritually and many more can’t mention. You are all Awesome. God bless you all,” the post reads.