University of Lagos (UNILAG) 300 level Health Education student, Enoch Tochukwu Nwali is the new King of African Scrabble.

Nwali achieved this feat on Monday when he crossed the finishing line ahead of 85 other players from ten countries on the final day of the 14th African Scrabble Championship in Lusaka, Zambia.

He secured 25½ wins plus a cumulative of plus 2023 points from 32 games, dropping 6 games and a draw in the four days of competition.

Nwali who led the championship from start to finish, started the final day needing just 3 wins from 6 games in the King of the hill confrontations.

He won the first game against his nearest challenger Wellington Jighere but crumbled in game 28 and 29. Game 30 went to the Ebonyi State Scrabble Eagle and wordsmith.

He won the tension soaked game 31 by a very slim margin 415-414. The score forced Wellington Jighere to call for a recount and reconciliation.

The victory is the 13th for Nigeria in the championship which is in its 14th edition.

Former World Champion, Wellington Jighere came second ahead of another Nigerian, Prince Omosefe to complete the top three. Both players have the same numbers of victories, 22 but Jighere has a higher cumulative points.

Kenya’s Allan Oyende with 22 wins and plus 590 finished fourth ahead of Eta Paul Karo and Gitonga Nderitu also from Kenya, Uganda’s Edgar Odongkara was 7th.

The brightest Black Star of Ghana at the end of the competition was Stanley Ubiedi in the 8th spot, closely followed by David Kimani of Kenya and Emmanuel Umujose of Nigeria. 6th to 10th players have 20 wins each but were separated by cumulative points.

Tuoyo Mayuku brushed aside other Scrabble Amazons to take the top prize in the ladies event. She defeated 7 other players in that fold with 16½ wins.

Tuoyo Mayuku 16½ wins, Bukunmi Afolayan 16 wins and Chiamaka Gabriel 16 wins ended the championship in this order.

Trevor Hovelmeier of South Africa came a distance 13th with 19 wins from 32 gruelling encounters.

The highest ranked Zambian at the championship is Paul Kalumba in the 23rd spot.

Nsikak Etim, 11th, Olatunde Oduwole,12th, Dennis Ikekeregor 17th and John Curtis 20th.

Team Nigeria took the team title, Kenya came second and Ghana third.

Past Winners

Kenya 1994: Iffy Onyeonwu (Nigeria)

Nigeria 1996: Femi Awowade (Nigeria)

South Africa 1998: Wale Fashina (Nigeria)

Ghana 2000: Moshood Sanni (Nigeria)

Kenya 2002: Trevor Hovelmeier (South Africa)

Tanzania 2004: Dennis Ikekeregor ( Nigeria)

Nigeria 2006: Dennis Ikekeregor (Nigeria)

Kenya 2008: Jighere Wellington (Nigeria)

Ghana 2010: Jighere Wellington (Nigeria)

Zambia 2012: Rex Ogbakpa (Nigeria)

South Africa 2014: Etim Nsikak (Nigeria)

Ghana 2016: Ayorinde Saidu (Nigeria)

Kenya 2018: Moses Peter (Nigeria)

Zambia 2022: Enoch Nwali (Nigeria)


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