Homeless 8-Year-Old Nigerian Christian Refugee Whose Family Fled Boko Haram Wins New York State’s Chess Championship

Christian refugee, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, 8, is New York State’s primary chess champion. | Photo: GoFundMe

Thousands of dollars in donations are now pouring in to help find a home for a homeless 8-year-old Christian refugee who fled persecution with his family from Islamist sect Boko Haram in Nigeria, after he beat wealthier competitors to win New York State’s primary chess championship.

The boy, Tanitoluwa Adewumi, who is affectionately called Tani, is currently living with his family in a homeless shelter in Manhattan and only started playing chess just over a year ago, according to an op-ed by The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof.

Tani who is the new state chess king of the kindergarten through third grade level was undefeated at the state tournament earlier this month where he outsmarted children from “elite private schools with private chess tutors,” Kristof said. But he has a bigger ambition.

“I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” he said.

The young refugee’s family fled Nigeria in 2017 because of the ongoing terrorist attacks on Christians.

“Such violence often results in the loss of life and physical injury, as well as loss of property. As a result of the violence, Christians are also dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood. Christians in northern Nigeria, especially in the Sharia states, face discrimination and exclusion as second-class citizens. Christians with a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families and pressure to give up Christianity,” says Open Doors USA, an organization that helps persecuted Christians in 60 countries.

“I don’t want to lose any loved ones,” Tani’s father, Kayode Adewumi, told Kristof.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair