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Akada Children’s Book Festival partners Chess in Slums to hold chess tournament at 2022 festival edition

By Waliat Musa
25 October 2022   |   12:01 pm
As part of activities lined up to mark the 2022 edition of the Akada Children's Book Festival (ACBF), organisers of the festival have announced their partnership with Chess in Slums Africa, a non-profit organisation that leverages the game of chess to lift disadvantaged children out of the endless loop of poverty and societal denigration.

As part of activities lined up to mark the 2022 edition of the Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF), organisers of the festival have announced their partnership with Chess in Slums Africa, a non-profit organisation that leverages the game of chess to lift disadvantaged children out of the endless loop of poverty and societal denigration.

Recognised as Nigeria’s first and largest book festival specifically designed for children, the ACBF will hold its first chess tournament in the festival’s history. Tagged “Beat the Champ”, the game will take place during the 4th Akada Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, the 29th of October, at the UpBeat Center in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Participants across Lagos and nearby towns can register for free to attend at https://tickets.akadafestival.org/.

“We are delighted to partner with Chess In Slums Africa to introduce the chess tournament at this year’s edition of the festival,” said Omawumi Ogbe, the Festival Director for the Akada Children’s Book Festival. On the importance of the chess tournament, she said that it is part of new activities introduced to the festival to improve critical thinking skills and exercise the mind of children.

The chess tournament will see participants of this year’s ACBF festival try to beat chess champion Ninilowo Jamiu in a fun tournament. A former apprentice mechanic before he was introduced to the game of chess by Chess In Slums Africa, Jamiu won his first chess medal in a tournament hosted by Chess in Slums in collaboration with DanhyPro, at Majidun, Ikorodu.

In 2022, Jamiu won the “Chess to the Skies” tournament organised by Lufthansa Airlines at their Lagos Headquarters. At the Oshodi Underbridge, he taught former Manchester United player Patrice Evra how to play chess and also simultaneously defeated four sailors from the Canadian Royal Naval team.

Speaking on the partnership, the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, Tunde Onakoya, says, “With chess, there is a pipeline to technology, education, and vocational training. With this partnership, we hope to expose more children to the value of chess and the benefits of starting the game at an early age”.

Concerning this year’s festival theme, Together Again, Onakoya added that “chess perfectly epitomises the theme as it is a bridge that brings the haves and have-nots together”.

A Nigerian chess master himself, Onakoya will also facilitate a children’s career workshop where he will inspire them through his personal career journey to boost the children’s confidence and ignite their creativity for success.

The ACBF will be held physically for the first time in almost 3-years, on October 29, 2022, at the Upbeat Recreation Centre, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The one-day festival is poised to attract over 3000 attendees with various fun activities for children and adults.