Enoch Nwali wins 14th African Scrabble Championship as Sports Minister congratulates him

By Ifeanyi Eduzor
University of Lagos (UNILAG) 300 level Health Education student, Enoch Tochukwu Nwali is the new King of African Scrabble.
Nwali achieved this feat on Monday when he crossed the finishing line ahead of 85 other players from ten countries on the final day of the Championship in Lusaka, Zambia.
He secured 25½ wins plus a cumulative of plus 2023 points from 32 games, dropping 6 games and a draw in the four days competition.
Nwali who led the championship from start to finish, started the final day needing just 3 wins from 6 games in the King of the hill confrontations.
He won the first game against his nearest challenger Wellington Jighere but crumbled in game 28 and 29. Game 30 went to the Ebonyi State Scrabble Eagle and wordsmith.
He won the tension soaked game 31 by a very slim margin 415-414. The score forced Wellington Jighere to call for a recount and reconciliation.
The victory is the 13th for Nigeria in the championship which is in its 14th edition.
Former World Champion, Wellington Jighere came second ahead of another Nigerian, Prince Omosefe to complete the top three. Both players have the same numbers of victories, 22 but Jighere has a higher cumulative points.
Kenya’s Allan Oyende with 22 wins and plus 590 finished fourth ahead of Eta Paul Karo and Gitonga Nderitu also from Kenya, Uganda’s Edgar Odongkara was 7th.
The brightest Black Star of Ghana at the end of the competition was Stanley Ubiedi in the 8th spot, closely followed by David Kimani of Kenya and Emmanuel Umujose of Nigeria. 6th to 10th players have 20 wins each but were separated by cumulative points.
Hillary Busienei of Kenya brushed aside other Scrabble Amazons to take the top prize in the ladies event. She defeated 7 other players in that fold with 18 wins and a plus 65 cumulative points.
Tuoyo Mayuku 16½ wins, Bukunmi Afolayan 16 wins and Chiamaka Gabriel 16 wins ended the championship in that order.
Trevor Hovelmeier of South Africa came a distance 13th with 19 wins from 32 gruelling encounters.
The highest ranked Zambian at the championship is Paul Kalumba in the 23rd spot.
Nsikak Etim, 11th, Olatunde Oduwole,12th, Dennis Ikekeregor 17th and John Curtis 20th.
Team Nigeria took the team title, Kenya came second and Ghana third.
Meanwhile the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has congratulated Enoch Nwali for winning the 14th edition of the African Scrabble Championship (ASC) which was concluded on Monday, 24th October, in Lusaka, Zambia.
In a statement released by his office in Abuja, the Minister also congratulated Adekoyejo Adegbesan who was elected as the President of the Pan Africa Scrabble Association (PANASA) on Sunday after he defeated the incumbent Muhamed Kamara.
Nwali, who is winning the title for the first time, defeated his closest rival and compatriot Wellington Jighere in a tightly contested round 31. A third year undergraduate of Health Education in University of Lagos, Nwali won 25.5 games with a cumulative score of 2023 to finish in first position ahead of former World Champion Jighere and two time African Champion Prince Omosefe.
In the statement, the Minister praised the two men for doing Nigeria proud on the African continent in the mind games category. He reiterated his commitment to supporting the Nigeria Scrabble Federation to take the sport to greater heights.
“It is so reassuring to see younger Nigerians participating and excelling at this game,” the statement reads. “If we can get the proper investment and focus, Nigeria can dominate this game for the next 20 years.
“On our part, we will continue to provide the support we can. Mind games are great for intellectual growth of our youth and we will give it the very best we can.
“Congratulations to the new African Champion, Enoch Nwali, for doing Nigeria proud and maintaining our dominance in the sport. Also, my felicitations to the new President of the Pan Africa Scrabble Association (PANASA), Adekoyejo Adegbesan and to Prince Olabatoke Aka, the President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation. With his experience, I’m sure the African continent will continue to be a force under his leadership”, concluded the statement.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker