Tanitoluwa (Tani) Adewumi, an 8-year-old Nigerian boy recently won the New York State Scholastic Primary Championship in his age bracket. He is a third grader at P.S. 116 in New York. This is an impressive feat for such a young boy. Even more impressive is the fact that he only started to play chess about a year ago!
Tani and his family arrived in NY a year ago. His family left northern Nigeria and moved to New York City over a year ago where the boy learned how to play chess at school. He and his family live in a homeless shelter.
He began attending the local school P.S. 116, which has a part-time chess club. Having enjoyed the game, Tani prodded his mother, Oluwatoyin Adewumi, about joining the club. She sent an email to the club, explaining her inability to pay the fees. Russell Makofsky, chess coach at P.S. 116 waived the fees, and a year ago the boy took part in his first tournament.
Although his mother can’t play chess, she takes him every Saturday to 3-hour free practice sessions and attends tournaments and his father allows him to use his laptop each evening to practice.
“It’s more than sheer talent that propelled Tani to victory. He puts in the time to hone his craft and practices every day,” his dad said. “The average kids do 50 to 100 puzzles a week. (Tani) does like 500 puzzles a week, 10 times than the average kid.”
He is now one of the top players in the country for his age group and he has received numerous prizes for his accomplishment. He has also won an apartment for his family and international recognition for his hard work. In addition to this, Former US President, Bill Clinton, has commended him and Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his parents to his office in Harlem.
Congratulations to Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his parents. We wish him greater heights! This is a reminder that parents should pay attention to their children’s interests from a young age. This will inform the choice of extracurricular activities that your child may be interested in. [Read: What To Consider When Picking Extracurricular Activities For Your Child]
Have you identified your child’s talent? If yes, what are you doing about it? Share with us