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


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

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

At 8, he made the headlines after winning the 2019 New York chess championship by defeating 73 other opponents while living in a homeless center.


Last year, Tani won yet another competition to officially become a national chess master in the US.

Trevor Noah to produce movie on 8-year-old Nigerian chess champion
Eight-year-old Tani

According to Washington Post, the little boy was thrilled after his family’s request for asylum was granted by the US government.

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


Kayode Adewumi, Tani’s father, said the whole family is excited, adding, “we feel so relieved, everybody is so happy.”

The development also comes as a relief to the chess champion whose career was somewhat hindered because of the pending application.

He had been unable to travel to compete in tournaments all over the world.

In November 2019, Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, earlier said he will produce a movie about Tani’s feat.


The movie, which would be adapted from three yet-to-published books on the Adewumi family, would follow the story of a Nigerian household that escapes terrorism and sought asylum in New York, against all odds.

As the family is caught in the struggle to find a better life, their son’s accomplishments in the game of chess go viral and the family’s story becomes an inspiration to many.

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