Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess master and coach, is transforming underprivileged lives through the power of chess. Raised in the slums of Ikorodu, he learned chess at a local barber shop, rising to become Nigeria’s 13th ranked player. Defying financial obstacles, Onakoya’s perseverance earned him an education.

In 2017, he founded Chess in Slums Africa, a non-profit utilizing chess to provide free education, mentorship and opportunities to impoverished children. Through this initiative, Onakoya has impacted over 500 children, securing fully-funded scholarships for over 100 at local and international institutions.

His work has gained global acclaim, with success stories of slum children becoming chess sensations featured by BBC, Al-Jazeera, and other major outlets. Onakoya’s dedication has garnered numerous awards, including the Future Awards Africa Prize (2021), Business Insider Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2022), and JCI’s Outstanding Young Persons Award (2022).

A three-time TEDx speaker, Onakoya inspires young minds, exemplifying how dreams can flourish even in adversity. His Chess in Slums Africa initiative champions social impact, unleashing the potential within every child.

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