First time I ever left Nigeria was 2022… chess gave me opportunity – Tunde Onakoya

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Tunde Onakoya says chess, in 2022, allowed him to travel out of Nigeria for the first time.

On Wednesday, Onakoya commenced his attempt to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest chess marathon.

The marathon chess playing was held at Times Square in New York City, US.

The chess master aimed to play different games for 58 hours without losing.

Announcing his attempt, he said he hopes to empower illiterate children across Africa through the feat.

Onakoya achieved the feat in the early hours of Saturday.

Speaking at the venue of the event, the child education advocate revealed that he grew up in the slums.

Onakoya said the first time he got on a plane to leave Lagos in Nigeria was two years ago.

He added that playing chess allowed him to discover his potential.

“What we are advocating for is that there are millions of children without access to opportunities like us,” he said.

“And it is important that they feel seen just like the way the rest of the world sees me now because of my capacity to do this thing that everyone seems so marvelled by.

“But in actual reality, I also grew up in the slums like these kids. The first time I ever left Lagos was just two years ago.

“The first time I ever got on a plane to leave my country was two years ago. Chess gave me an opportunity to find out what I could truly become.

“And I think that’s the greatest gift that you could ever give anyone, by helping them see their potential.”

Onakoya is the founder of Chess in Slums Africa, a nonprofit organisation.

The chess master earlier said that the “ultimate goal” of his world record attempt was to raise the sum of $1,000,000.

He said the money will be used to transform the lives of underserved children across Africa.

As of the time of this report, the fundraiser has garnered over $108,000.

 

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