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Nigeria Wins African Scrabble Championships



By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos

David Ojih and Prestige Archibong of Nigeria won the U-19 and U-15 divisions of the Winifred Awosika African Youth Scrabble Championship, which included players from Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, and the host country, Nigeria.

David won the U-19 championship after four days of 24 rounds of intense mind games at Chrislands School in Lekki, Lagos, in which he won 19 and lost five games with a cumulative score margin of + 2022.

Joy Ola, another Nigerian, finished second with 28 wins and a total score of plus 1097, ahead of compatriot Lateef Musa, who had 17 victories and a total score of plus 1012.

The top honour for the U-15 category went to another Nigerian, Prestige Archibong, who swept 16 games with a cumulative score spread of plus 2614.

Quodos Aliu came second with 13 wins and a cumulative score spread of plus 1358, while Cinton Imode came third in the competition that featured 88 players from five countries.

The $9,000 prize money and various spot prizes, such as laptops, tablets, and cellphones, were divided among the winners.

In the PANASA President’s Cup, Nigeria’s Godwin Victor dethroned former world champion Wellington Jighere with a total of plus 101 points in the final at the Orchid Hotel Ikota-Lekki in Lagos.

Victor received $5,000 and the Gbenga Ojofeitimi trophy for his efforts at the President’s Cup, which included players from Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Uganda, the United States of America, and hosts Nigeria.

The president of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA), Adekoyejo Adegbesan commended the composure, organisation and team-building qualities of the participants.

“We are glad to inform you that for the FIRST time ever, Scrabble will feature at Africa’s “Olympics” as a demonstration sport next March in Ghana. It was a master move for us as governments began to admit Scrabble as a need in schools for our children,” he said.

Adegbesan added the Ghana National Open as well as the West Africa Challenger are the next competitions for the players.