The inspiring story of 8-year-old Chess champion Tanitoluwa Adewumi is being made into a movie

8-year-old Nigerian wins chess championship in New York (dailymail)
  • Popular American film studio Paramount Pictures has acquired a movie project built around this young Nigerian chess star and his family.
  • The untitled drama will be based on three yet-to-be published books on the Adewunmi family by the HarperCollins imprint W Publishing. 
  • South African comedian and TV host Trevor Noah is one of the producers attached to the project.

Eight-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi gained attention after winning the 2019 New York chess championship. 

At the time of his win, he was living in a homeless centre waiting on for his family’s asylum request to be accepted. 

The Adewumi family left northern Nigeria in 2017 for New York because they were afraid they would be targeted by Boko Haram terrorists since they are devout Christians. “I don’t want to lose any loved ones,” his father, Kayode Adewumi, told The Times.


Once Tani made the headlines, a GoFundMe page was created for him and a total of $254,448 was raised to help the chess prodigy and his family to move into an apartment.

His inspiring story is being told via three yet-to-be published books at the HarperCollins imprint W Publishing set to be released sometime in 2020. 

Paramount Pictures is set to develop the film adaptation of Tani’s story based on these three books. 


Deadline reports the movie will follow the story of a Nigerian family that escaped terrorism in their home country, sought and received asylum in New York. 

“It’s a story of love, peace, community and faith and the lengths parents will go to bring their family to safety and provide them with a better life,” the report reads.

The movie will be produced by Trevor Noah’s Day Zero Productions company, Haroon Saleem, State Street PicturesGeorge Tillman Jr. and Bob Teitel, and Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem.

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