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GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: Adekunle Gold, Davido, Sowore at Times Square to support Tunde Onakoya’s chess marathon

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: Adekunle Gold, Davido, Sowore at Times Square to support Tunde Onakoya’s chess marathon

Nigerian singer, David Adeleke (Davido) showed up at the New York’s Times Square to support Nigerian chess Master, Tunde Onakoya, in his bid to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

In videos making the rounds on social media, Davido and Onakoya could be seen hugging and dancing.

READ ALSO: GUINNESS WORLD RECORD: Nigerian plans 58-hour chess marathon at Times Square

Davido showed his support for Onakoya, as he aims to surpass the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Among those who have also come out to support Onakoya is another Nigerian singer, Adekunle Kosoko (Adekunle Gold), Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York City, Ambassador Peter Egopija, and Omoyele Sowore among others.

Sharing updates on his X account on Thursday, Onakoya wrote, “Game number 100. 87 against my main opponent #CoachShawnMar. 13 against external challengers.

READ ALSO: Nigerian woman becomes first Guinness Records holder for longest marathon singing of Christmas songs

“We are now 31 hours in, with 27 to go! That puts us officially past the halfway mark. It’s looking possible now. Keep streaming, keep donating.”

The event, which is underway at New York City’s iconic Times Square, started at 10am on Wednesday, April 17, and is scheduled to end at 8pm on April 19.

Onakoya is engaging in an intense chess marathon, aiming to play for 58 hours without a single defeat.

The current Guinness World Record, set by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad of Norway on November 11, 2018, stands at 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds.

About Tunde Onakoya’s effort

Tunde Onakoya is a renowned Nigerian chess champion and advocate for child education. His current endeavor involves playing chess nonstop for an impressive duration of 58 hours in the vibrant setting of New York City’s Times Square.

The primary objective behind this ambitious feat is to generate funds amounting to $1 million dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for children across Africa.

Onakoya’s pursuit commenced with great enthusiasm and determination as he faced off against Shawn Martinez, an accomplished American chess champion. The rules stipulated by the Guinness World Record guidelines dictate that any attempt to break this prestigious record must involve two players engaging in uninterrupted gameplay throughout the entire duration of the challenge.

As of the latest update, Onakoya had already spent impressive hours immersed in intense chess matches by 10:00 a.m. GMT on Friday. The atmosphere surrounding his marathon was filled with growing support both online and at the physical location, where a blend of African music kept spectators entertained while they cheered him on with applause.

The existing record that Onakoya seeks to surpass stands at an impressive 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds achieved back in 2018 by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, both hailing from Norway. This formidable milestone serves as the target that Onakoya is striving to exceed through his unwavering dedication and strategic gameplay.

Onakoya’s motivation transcends personal achievement; it is deeply rooted in his commitment to realizing the dreams of countless children throughout Africa who lack access to quality education. In 2018, he founded Chess in Slums Africa with a vision to support the education of at least one million children residing in slum areas across the continent.

Throughout his marathon session, Onakoya sustains his energy levels by consuming ample water and indulging in jollof rice, a renowned West African culinary delight known for its flavorsome appeal.

The rigorous schedule allows only five minutes of rest for every hour of gameplay, occasionally consolidated into longer breaks that provide him with brief moments to interact with his supporters and engage in lively interactions such as dancing.

The overwhelming support extended towards Onakoya’s cause has been reflected in the substantial financial contributions made within the initial stages of his attempt. Taiwo Adeyemi, Onakoya’s manager, reported that a total of $22,000 was raised within the first 20 hours of gameplay. This outpouring of generosity emanated from various sources including Nigerians residing in the U.S., global leaders, celebrities, as well as numerous passersby who were captivated by his remarkable endeavor.

In Nigeria, where Onakoya actively organizes chess competitions aimed at empowering young individuals living on the streets, his ongoing record-breaking attempt has garnered widespread attention and admiration.

With over 10 million children currently out of school in Nigeria – representing one of the highest rates globally – initiatives like those led by Onakoya hold immense significance in addressing educational disparities and fostering positive change within society.

Notable figures such as Nigeria’s former Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo have publicly expressed their support for Onakoya’s mission through encouraging messages emphasizing the potential impact that determined individuals can have on transforming communities despite humble beginnings.

While awaiting official confirmation from Guinness World Records regarding the outcome of Onakoya’s marathon attempt – which could potentially reach its culmination after an impressive span of 58 hours by midnight on Friday – observers remain captivated by this extraordinary display of skill, endurance, and philanthropy unfolding amidst the bustling backdrop of Times Square.

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