The ecstatic sound of the popular DJ YK skit ; ” opoor fun warisi. Wa wa Warisi” rends the ambiance of the Southwest National chess tournament venue as Waris John Mufutau, a former street boy who receives shelter and care at a facility in Ibadan, called , Satus Dignus Child Rescue Initiative, alongside chess training from a partner organization of the home, Blazing Kings Games Club was crowned the U-16 Junior Champion in the recently concluded South-West National Chess tournament held at Oshogbo, on the 13th of April to 17th of April 2022. Waris went home with a Gold medal, a Trophy, and a cash prize of fifty thousand Naira.
In 2018, at the age of 9, Waris faced the harsh reality of looking after himself due to the inability of his parents in catering to him. He wandered the streets of Ibadan (Mokola and Agodi axis) for food and shelter. Fortunately, He was later rescued and taken to a shelter where he received care and support and the gift of learning chess.
Since leaving the streets and stabilizing, Waris, through the support of the Children home, Satus Dignus Child Rescue Initiative Ibadan, his Chess Club, Blazing Kings Games Club, and The Chess League Ibadan management, has had the opportunity to participate in several chess tournaments :
• Oyo state at the Under-15 National Youth Games Unilorin in 2021, where he won 2 Gold medals for the state.
•African Individual U-14 Championship (Ghana) where despite the health challenges he experienced at the time, he managed to exude such character and sportsmanship as is only seen in true champions, he emerged 4th in that strong field.
•The Chess League Ibadan – Best Junior player. Waris was instrumental in his team’s (Bkgc) triumph at the maiden edition of the league, scoring very important wins on board 4.
“Waris is simply a genius. He has always been the best in his class and I strongly believe in his prowess” his coach, Olabode Sofoluwe said, in an interview with Bruvschessmedia chief editor, Awoyode Emmanuel.
Waris’ participation at the South West Chess Championship was almost unsure due to lack of sponsorship, but for the 11th hour intervention of his Chess club BKGC and friends of the Chess League Ibadan, he was able to participate and do himself and everyone who believes in him proud! Waris takes another bold step in achieving his dream of becoming a Chess Grandmaster and an Engineer as he showed the Nigerian Chess Community and the entire world that greatness can be truly achieved in the most unlikely place by becoming a National Junior Champion at the age of 14.
Congratulations to Waris Mufutau and all who have supported his dream.