12-year-old Nigerian chess champion granted asylum in US

Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a 12-year-old Nigerian refugee that won the New York State chess championship in 2019, and his family have been granted asylum by the United States of America.

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Asylum is a protection granted by a nation to anyone who has left their home country as a refugee.

Tani’s family reportedly fled Nigeria for the US to seek religious asylum because of the Boko Haram crisis in 2017.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi

At age 8, Tanitoluwa Adewumi made headlines after winning the 2019 New York chess championship by defeating 73 other opponents while residing in a homeless centre.

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Last year, Tanitoluwa won yet another competition to officially become a national chess master in the US. According to multiple reports, the little boy was thrilled after his family’s asylum request was granted.

According to Tani, “It feels amazing because it’s been such a long journey. I’m just grateful that we’ve gotten this opportunity.”

Kayode Adewumi, Tani’s father, added, “We feel so relieved, everybody is so happy.”

In November 2019, Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, earlier mentioned that he would produce a movie about Tanitoluwa Adewumi.

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The movie would be adapted from three yet-to-published books on the Tanitoluwa family. The narrative will be about a Nigerian household that escaped terrorism and sought asylum in New York, despite all odds. As the family is caught in the tussle to find a better life, their son’s achievement in the game of chess goes viral, and the family’s story inspires many.

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