Tunde Onakoya Biography: Inspiring Chess Maverick’s Record-Breaking

Tunde Onakoya
Tunde Onakoya

Let’s dive into the captivating Biography of Tunde Onakoya, a remarkable individual who’s not just mastering the chessboard but also changing lives through education and empowerment. Strap in for an inspiring ride through the life and accomplishments of this extraordinary Nigerian talent.

Unveiling Tunde Onakoya’s Early Life

Let’s rewind the clock to October 6, 1994, when Tunde Onakoya first graced the world with his presence in the bustling city of Ikorodu, Nigeria. Little did anyone know, this young lad was destined to become a beacon of hope for countless children across the slums of Lagos.

Growing up in the heart of Ikorodu, Tunde’s introduction to the game of chess wasn’t in a posh club or a prestigious academy. No, his journey began in a humble barber’s shop, where he honed his skills amidst the buzz of clippers and the chatter of locals. It’s a testament to the fact that greatness knows no boundaries and can sprout from the most unexpected places.

Tunde Onakoya’s Educational Background

With no information on his secondary where his mum offered to work as a cleaner in exchange for his education, Tunde is a graduate of computer science from Yaba college of Technology

The Chess Odyssey: From Slum Streets to World Records

Picture this: a young boy, fueled by passion and determination, rising through the ranks of Nigeria’s chess scene despite facing financial hurdles. Tunde’s indomitable spirit led him to triumph in various tournaments, earning him accolades and recognition as the 13th-ranked chess player in the country.

But Tunde’s story isn’t just about mastering the game; it’s about using his skills for a greater purpose. In 2016, he etched his name in history by setting the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon chess game, showcasing not only his endurance but also his commitment to pushing boundaries.

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Empowering Minds: Chess in Slums Africa

Fast forward to September 2018, a pivotal moment that marked the birth of Chess in Slums Africa, a testament to Tunde’s vision of using chess as a tool for empowerment. This volunteer-driven initiative aims to uplift young souls in impoverished communities, offering them a pathway to a brighter future.

Through Chess in Slums Africa, Tunde and his team have touched the lives of over 200 children, providing them with more than just chess lessons. It’s about instilling confidence, fostering critical thinking, and nurturing dreams that defy the odds. One shining example is Ferdinand, a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy, who not only won a chess tournament but also captured the hearts of many.

Guinness World Record and Beyond

On April 20, 2024, Tunde Onakoya made headlines once again, this time on the streets of New York City. With unwavering determination, he embarked on a 60-hour chess marathon, shattering records and capturing the world’s attention. But his mission extended far beyond the confines of a chessboard; it was about raising $1 million for the education of African children, a cause that resonated with many.

As Tunde battled through fatigue, he found support from unexpected quarters – the Nigerian community in New York, former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and even Afrobeats stars like Davido and Adekunle Gold. It was a testament to the power of unity and the shared belief in a brighter future for Africa’s youth.


  • Gold Medalist at Nigerian Polytechnic Games
  • Gold Medalist at the RCCG Chess Championship
  • National Friends of chess
  • Chevron Chess Open
Tunde Onakoya with Shawn (@pushingpawnsnyc) after the April 2024 Guinness Word Record

As we reflect on Tunde Onakoya’s journey, let’s not just admire from afar but take inspiration to make a difference in our own communities. Whether it’s through chess, education, or simply lending a helping hand, each of us has the power to spark change and leave a lasting impact.

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So, let’s join hands and carry forward the torch of hope and empowerment, knowing that with passion, perseverance, and a sprinkle of magic, anything is possible.

Are you ready to make your move?

Let’s champion change, one pawn at a time. 🌟

Discover more incredible life stories like Tunde Onakoya’s in our captivating Public Figures Biography series. πŸ“š

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