Tanitoluwa Emmanuel Adewumi is a Nigerian prodigy who has stormed the world of chess and made his mark already despite his young age. He was born on September 3rd, 2010 in Nigeria. In 2017, his parents, who lived in Abuja relocated to the United States of America due to insurgency in Nigeria and the threats they got from Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. The family took up a refugee status in New York where they lived in a homeless shelter for some time. While living in the homeless shelter with his family in Manhattan, he developed interest and started playing the game of chess. He later indicated interest to join a club run by National Master Coach Russell Makofsky. His parents could not afford the registration fee of $330. Luckily, the fee was waived after his mother explained to the club the family’s financial challenge.
There in his new club, his coaches were impressed with his level of hard work and dedication to the game despite being a novice. After a year, he went on to win the k- 3 New York state Chess Championship at the age of 8!
His story went viral when it was reported in the New York Times. A GoFundMe account was opened for him and that attracted the whooping sum of $250,000 in ten days. His intelligences attracted the likes of America’s former president, Bill Clinton whom he visited in his office in Harlem. The Nigerian government also acknowledged him by referring to him as a pride to the nation. He also met with the likes of Garry Kasparov, a former world Chess Champion and other renowned chess champions. In few years of going into the game of Chess, he has become a force to reckon with and walking to realize his dream of becoming the ever youngest grand chess master.
In staying ahead of the game, Tanitoluwa is continuously reading books about it, studying famous masters and playing chess games online. With the funds realized from GoFundMe, the Adewumis opened a foundation named Tanitoluwa Adewunmi Foundation that is poised at helping other children like Tanitoluwa to achieve excellence in learning the game of chess and competing in chess tournaments.
In April 2020, A biography of him was written titled My name is Tani. Paramount movies is on the move to make a movie about him.