Trevor Noah to produce film on 8-year-old Nigerian chess champion

South African comedian and host of American talk show, The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, is developing a film about the eight-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy, Tanitoluwa Adewumi.

Adewumi’s story broke the internet in March after he was profiled by the New York Times for winning the state’s chess championship.


The boy won the state tournament from kindergarten through third grade after reportedly fleeing Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

Noah will produce the film under his Day Zero Productions imprint alongside business partner, Haroon Salem.

Named as producers on the project are State Street Pictures and Mainstay Entertainment.

The film has also been acquired by Paramount Studios.

Adewumi had only been playing chess for a year when he won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship in 2018.

He learned to play chess from a teacher at school.

The plot of the film centres on the Adewumi family’s survival story of seeking asylum only to become homeless in New York, and the lengths that parents would go for their children.


After their story began spreading on social media, the family got donations of over $250,000 through GoFundMe.

The film’s script would be adapted from a trio of books on the family, which would be released through HarperCollins’ W Publishing imprint in 2020.