A Day With Fawaz, the 18-Year-Old Bus Conductor Turned Chess Champion

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“You’re now a freshman”, I jokingly said while we chatted under the notorious Oshodi bridge, a place he has been sleeping for couple of months before his story changed.

Adeoye Fawaz, the Lagos boy who made headlines few weeks ago after emerging the overall champion in a chess contest organised by Chess in slums Africa, has now been transformed in less than two months.

Glowing and looking radiant, the chess champion could not hide his excitement as he shared his success story with me.

According to him, he has never met Tunde Onakoya before his success story went viral. He said the CEO of the Chess in Slums just picked him up in the streets just like the others who he claimed they both sleep under the bridge to survive the shackles of the night.

He further said he only took interest in the game by being focused and determined, saying “there is no limit to success except your mind is limited”.

Fawaz, when asked what he would like to become if given the opportunity to further his education, joyfully said; “I would like to become a lawyer. I like the profession because, I always like when people come to meet me to settle disputes for them.

“I would like to study law to have a deep understanding of the profession if I can get a sponsor.”
Advising his colleagues, Fawaz urged them to take their game lessons very seriously and be focused on what they are being taught.

“I would like them (chess students) to be serious with this game and not just take it for granted because of the food they get while learning.

“They should be diligent and passionate about it,” he said.

The story of Fawaz Adeoye is an inspiration to all young people who might have given up on life. It’s indeed a motivation to keep pushing until something happens. No limitation to greatness!

– Arogbonlo Israel, a journalist with Nigeria’s most credible news outlet, writes from Lagos.

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