The United States Government has granted asylum to Nigerian chess champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi and his family.
In 2019, Adewumi, 12, caught the attention of the government when he won the New York state chess championship for his division.
He was at the time living with his family in a homeless shelter.
The Adewumis, comprising Adewumi, his parents, and his older brother, arrived New York after fleeing Nigeria in 2017 due to fear of terror attacks from Boko Haram.
Adewumi began playing chess when his family arrived in the US seeking religious asylum.
Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the US officially granted the family asylum.
Reacting to this, Adewumi said, “It feels amazing because it’s been such a long journey. I’m just grateful that we’ve gotten this opportunity.”
His father Kayode Adewumi said, “We feel so relieved. Everybody is so happy.”
Tani’s chess career had been somewhat stalled because of his pending asylum application, as he hadn’t been able to travel to tournaments abroad, impeding his ability to reach his ultimate goal of becoming a chess grandmaster.
Matthew Ingber, part of the legal team that worked pro bono on the Adewumi family’s asylum case, said he first learned about the boy’s situation in the summer of 2021.