At the 13th Africa Scrabble Championship, on Sunday, in Ghana, Nigeria’s Saidu Ayorinde emerged Africa’s number one champion winning 23 games of 32 in Tema.
Ayorinde dethroned the immediate past Africa Scrabble Champion, his Nigeria counterpart, Nsikakabasi Etim, by finishing first in a 32-game scrabble marathon to become the best in the duel.
At the 2015 World Scrabble championship, Ayorinde was ranked sixteenth, while Nigeria’s Wellington Jighere won Africa’s first ever world Scrabble title after beating Englishman Lewis Mackay in Australia.
At the games, Nigeria won nine of the ten positions in the championship and consolidated its position as the best team of the championship with nine of its representatives finishing in top positions.
The other Nigerians in the team are; Eta Karo, Umebiye Cyril, Nsikakabasi Etim and Rex Ogbakpa emerged in the second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.
A Kenyan, Gitonga Nberitou, broke Nigerian line up to take the sixth position.
Other Nigerians in the listing are: Ogbogu Azubuike, seventh; Dennis Ikekeregor, eight; and Anthony Ikolo, the National Scrabble Coach of the Senior Team, ninth and John Curtis Ebomah came tenth.
In an interview, the National Scrabble Coach of the Senior Team said that the victory was due to hard work and dedication.
Ikolo said it is a testimony to Nigeria’s potential as a country as well as the sacrifice and hard work of the players.
In 2015, the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) organised a World Championship branded the WESPA Championship (or WESPAC), which was held in Perth, Australia.
Nigeria’s Wellington Jighere emerged as WESPAC Champion after beating Englishman Lewis Mackay in the final, in the event which featured 130 players, becoming the first African World Champion.
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Since the maiden edition was held in London, in 1991, no African had ever won the World Scrabble Championship or even played in the final. Wellington Jighere and Africa’s first ever world Scrabble title win earned him a $10,000 cash prize.