Kano - A Story in Scrabble Tourism

Letters from Nigeria By Fashola Kayode

When Kano Scrabble Club decided to host its first Scrabble event on the NSF 2018 calendar, almost all Scrabble enthusiasts in this clime signified their intention to make it a date. Kano has become known for its hosting of superlative tournaments with bars raised to the highest standard in all areas of tournament organisation.

Kano also happens to be the home base of the Scrabble loving pundit of the game Segun Durojaye (aka Shegetz) and the NSF member Aminu Magaji Mohammed (aka PYENGADU).

The experiences of the past makes attendance of this yearly northern Scrabble Jamboree compulsory for the adept of the game scattered all over the country. Furthermore,a new Board member of the NSF, Accountant Austin Isiekwe is a large stakeholder and sponsor of the yearly event while the Chairman of Kano Club Auwal Garuba is another ebullient player of the game.

The Southwestern Zone of NSF is known as the hub and hotbed of Scrabble development in Nigeria: players from here enthusiastically traveled to be at the event while Mr. Akinfemisoye Electron Ayo, the Lagos State Scrabble Coach, requested for a Lagos State subsidized bus to ferry players from Southwest and environ to Kano.

Players from other zones also joined a train of intending players for the event held from the 9th to 12th of February.

Segun Durojaye - 2nd in Masters

Benjamin Tengu Humbe - Winner Open

Fashola Kayode - 3rd in Open

As the D-Day drew near, there was disappointment as the Lagos State Bus was eventually unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.

Thankfully, alternative arrangements were made and players proceeded on the thousands of Kilometers journey to the ancient city of Kano.

The journey lasted an unprecedented 18 hours of junketing across the various geographical reliefs of rain forest, savannahs and part of deforested Sahara Desert. The climatic changes from humid south to hot temperate and harsh dry harmattan are stories for another day.

Two categories were played categorized as Open and Masters as players were graded from 1400 rating point upwards as Masters while Opens were graded from 1399 downwards.

This grading pattern is one of our secrets for effective development of the game in Nigeria as these afford the lowly rated prayer the chance to test their mettle against masterly rated and intermediate rated players.

A total of 16 Masters and 34 Opens contested for the two trophies and other monetary prizes.

Mr.Cyril Umobiye emerged as the winner with Mr.Segun Durojaye the runner up. Wellington Jighere finished in 3rd place.

The surprise of the Open category was The Nemesis Fashola Kayode, who won 10 of the 12 games played on day one only to lose the Tournament Trophy on the second day to another "old horse", Benjamin Terngu Humbe; Benjamin came from behind to win on spread and carted home the trophy and cash prize. Ms Lametu Sule came 2nd while Nemesis ended in 3rd position.

Sule Lametu Success - 2nd in Open

Cyril Umebiye - Winner in Masters