Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos governor, has met with Ferdinand Maumo, the boy from Makoko who, despite his struggle with cerebral palsy, rose to become a chess champion at the age of 10.


Fredinard is suffering from spastic cerebral palsy, a developmental disorder caused by damage to the brain which could make simple tasks challenging for those affected.

His father, a fisherman, and his mother, a petty trader, could barely provide enough to feed their family while Fredinard and his siblings could not go to school because of poverty.

But he made the news after landing a scholarship for winning a tournament dedicated to testing children’s understanding of chess.


Sanwo-Olu recently took to his Instagram page to share a slew of photos showing him playing with the chess prodigy in a scheduled meeting with him.

“On Children’s Day, I accepted a challenge from 10 years old Chess prodigy, Ferdinand Maumo. Even if I say so myself, I’m a decent chess player, but after an intense encounter,” the governor said.

“He proved a hard nut to crack and we reached a stalemate. Ferdinand’s story is not just about his dexterity as a chess master, but that about the resilience of the human spirit to thrive against all odds.


“Ferdinand is a young boy whose life story inspires me. Having being born with cerebral palsy, he found the strength to rise above his health and life challenges.”

Commending Babatunde Onakoya, the boy’s coach, as well as his mum for “harnessing” his talents, Sanwo-Olu also expressed his commitment towards supporting children with special needs

“I also salute his coach, Babatunde Onakoya, and Ferdinand’s mum, who have both dedicated their time and little resources to help him harness his talent,” he added.

“As a government, we are working hard to support every child with special needs and we are committed to ensuring no segment of our society is left behind. I’m inspired by Ferdinand and every talented child out there.


“I strongly believe his mastery of the game of chess will continue to be a catalyst for greater success ahead of him.”

See photos below:


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