Tunde Onakoya is a Nigerian National Chess Master and coach who founded Chess in Slums Africa in 2018. He is driven by the conviction that chess can serve as a powerful educational tool to improve young lives and foster a new generation of intellectuals, even among underprivileged communities.His non-profit organization, Chess in Slums Africa, leverages the game of chess as a means of social intervention, bridging the gap between disadvantaged children and their aspirations. By providing tuition-free education, learning resources, and mentorship opportunities, Chess in Slums Africa is creating an inclusive future for every African child.
The initiative has garnered international attention, with success stories of children from slums in Ikorodu, Makoko, and Oshodi Under Bridge in Lagos published by prominent media outlets such as BBC, Al-Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, AFP, and MSN. To date, Chess in Slums Africa has impacted over 10,000 children's lives and secured fully-funded educational scholarships for over 500 children to local and international institutions. As an eloquent speaker and advocate for harnessing potential from humble beginnings, Onakoya has shared his passion and vision on various platforms, including three TEDx talks.
His efforts earned him numerous accolades, including The Future Awards Africa Prize for Community Action in 2021, the Business Insider Award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022, the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Nigeria Award for Contribution to Children, World Peace, and/or Human Rights in 2022, the Trendupp Award for Force of Social Good in 2022, Leadership newspaper Humanitarian of the year and the Royal African Award in 2022.
His notable participation at the 2023 Oxford Africa Conference showcased the visionary approach of Chess in Slums Africa, illustrating how unconventional strategies can empower under served communities and enhance human capital. Onakoya's use of chess as an educational tool has equipped children with essential skills, fostering resilience and strategic thinking vital for their future success. As a distinguished speaker at the prestigious DLD Conference held in Germany, Tunde brought to the forefront the transformative power of chess in empowering marginalized communities. Beyond the stage, Tunde actively engaged in games of chess with fellow thought leaders, fostering connections that have the potential to amplify the impact of CISA globally. His ability to articulate the mission and vision of Chess in Slums Africa garnered attention and admiration, reinforcing the organization's commitment to making chess an agent of change.
Tunde Onakoya continues to be a beacon of inspiration, not just within the realm of chess but in the broader context of using strategic thinking to shape a better world for all.