5 things you didn’t know about Wellington Jighere, Africa’s first English Scrabble winner

32 year old Nigerian, Wellington Jighere, became the World English-language Scrabble Player’s Association champion in Australia on Sunday, 8th of November. He defeated Brit Lewis Mackay in four straight rounds out of seven in the finals of a four-day competition. The win made him the first African to win the scrabble championship and he will be returning home with $10,000. The Nigerian team was also one of the best of the tournament as four of its five players made it into the tournament’s top 50 list. Here are five things we learned about Jighere.

1. He’s not a newbie to the game

Wellington Jighere placed third and eleventh in the 2007 and 2009 championships, respectively.

2. He’s focused

He has been unemployed for the past four months, to have more time to prepare for the championship.

3. And committed like you wouldn’t believe 

He played 32 rounds of matches within a period of 4 days, winning all. He won despite suffering from jet lag aided by a 20-hour trip from Nigeria to Australia.

4. He’s an underdog

Wellington was an underdog before the resumption of the championship. He is not even in the top ten of the current best scrabble players. Number one on the list is New Zealander, Nigel Richards.

5. He’s humble

Wellington Jighere’s greatest strength is “humility”, according to Nigeria’s Scrabble Federation President Suleiman Gora. Wellington seemed to confirm these when he remarked after winning “Nigel is still the master, it just happens that today is my day.”

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