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The efforts of Tunde Onakoya, Chess in Slums Africa, a Lagos-based Non-Profit organisation, in making the world see that greatness can be found in the most unlikely places is both extraordinary and inspiring. The NGO’s founder Tunde Onakoya, who shared a similar childhood story just like the boys whom he coaches, is transforming the lives of these boys by setting up this Chess Academy to fight thuggery, poverty, and illiteracy.

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Some days ago, the NGO hosted the Canadian High commissioner and his delegates at Oshodi Underbridgefor one of the Chess Beyond Bordersevents. The sole purpose of this particular event was to bridge the marginalization of children in slums by showing the world that they too can do great things from a small place. The event had in attendance programme organisers, volunteers, other Lagosians, and even local thugs who played a part in making sure that the area was tidy and conducive.
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Kevin Tokar, the Canadian High commissioner, and 8 sailors from the HMCS Goose Bay-a Kingston class patrol ship in the Royal Canadian Navy led by Commander Daniel Rice were present to speak to the boys and intimate them on the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Canada which have grown stronger within the past years. The High Commissioner was amazed at the NGO‘s efforts in using the game of chess to unify people from different backgrounds and in giving the boys an opportunity to become responsible citizens of their country. Afterwards, the High Commissioner and four others played tournaments with the boys, marvelling at the dexterity of the children. He presented new DGT chess boards as gifts to the chess academy at the end of the event.

In a video shared on the NGO’s Twitter platform, the young lads dressed in colourful tee-shirts and sneakers are seen singing Nigeria’s national anthem in full patriotism.

Featured Image Source: Refined NG
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This article was first published on 4th March 2022 and updated on March 6th, 2022 at 1:27 am


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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