The WESPA pages have been keeping some focus on events in Africa on the eve of ECASA; ECASA in 2018 will feature players from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe with 49 players currently listed for taking part. The venue is the Fairmount Hotel in Livingston, Zambia.
The Ugandan number 1 seed is Richard Geria and he leads a strong contingent to Livingston this year. Tanzania represented by Mushtak Esmail, the host nation is represented by Mwenya Munkonge, South Africa have three players with their highest ranked player in attendance being Solomon Lephoto. Zimbabwe is represented by Richard Semba.
The number one seed overall is Kenya’s Gitonga Nderitu. In writing a report for the recently completed Eldoret tournament, Kinyanjui Munge has given us an insight into Kenya’s top ranked player.
“The mercurial Gitonga Nderitu reminisced on his almost three decades of competitive scrabble as he wound up the Eldoret National Scrabble Kenya Championship in the fabled home of Champions.
Gitonga, better known in Scrabble circles as Gigaton, the Scrabble compliant anagram of his moniker, recalled the first tournament that he competed in in 1991. In a field of a hundred participants, Gigaton was a measly 86th in the very first formal tournament held on Kenyan soil. 28 years later, he has lived up to his name becoming one of the most fearsome wordsmiths in the country.
Gitonga, who is Kenya's top seed to the East, Central and Southern Africa Scrabble Championship, emerged victorious at Eldoret (an event sponsored by the area Member Of Parliament Hon. Dr. Mishra), which served as a qualification tournament to this year’s African Scrabble Championship. Gitonga averaged 473 a game to finish on 15 wins and a spread of +1897."
(Another player to watch in Livingston is Allan Oyende, ranked second in the tournament, and as Kinyanjui Munge explains for the Eldoret tournament “the imperious victor in HomaBay in February, came home second two points adrift with 13 wins and a spread of +745.")
In his Eldoret victory speech, Gitonga urged his teammates to intensify preparation to defend the team and individual title in Livingstone Zambia over the Easter Holidays.
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