My Name Is Tani ... and I Believe in Miracles: The Amazing True Story of One Boy's Journey from Refugee to Chess Champion

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Thomas Nelson, 2020 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
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Tani and his family's story begins amid Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria as they become targets for capture and killing. Their miraculous escape takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they wait to be granted religious asylum.

Tani's father, who comes from a royal family and has left behind thirteen employees in Nigeria, becomes a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. Tani's mother, whose family helps to oversee the finances for a large Nigerian printing press, worked at a bank for more than eight years but is now training to become a home health aide.

After eighteen months the family is still at the shelter, unbeknownst to Tani's classmates. When Tani asks his parents if he can join the chess program at his New York City public school, it seems unlikely since a fee is required. So his mother writes to the coach, who offers Tani a scholarship. Tani jumps in to learn the game. The result is not only a miracle in a chess competition but also the rescue and redemption of an entire family.

As miracles led Tani and his family to New York, his father, Kayode Adewumi, says, "There are many times in my life when I thought this must be the miracle, and yet I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun."

Told from the perspective of Tani, his family, and those closest to him, Tani's story will inspire you to believe in the power of the human spirit to triumph over the greatest adversity. And the faith and persistence of Tani's family will inspire you to believe in miracles.

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About the author (2020)

Tani Adewumi is the eight-year-old Nigerian-born boy who recently won the NY State Chess Championship after playing the game for only a year. Tani and his family's story begins amidst Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria and takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they waited to be granted religious asylum. Tani's father, who came from a royal Nigerian family, became a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. His mother, whose family owned the largest printing press in Nigeria and had been working at a bank for over a decade, trained to become a home-aid. So, when Tani asked to join the chess program at PS 116, which required a fee, it seemed unlikely. His mother wrote to the coach, who offered Tani a scholarship. Miracles led Tani and his family to New York. As Tani's father puts it, "There are many times in my life where I thought this must be the miracle and yet, I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun.

Kayode Adewumi is the father of Tani, the eight-year-old Nigerian-born boy who recently won the New York State Chess Championship after playing the game for only a year. The Adewumi family's story begins amidst Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria and takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they waited to be granted religious asylum. Kayode, who came from a royal Nigerian family, became a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. His wife, Oluwaytoyin, whose family owned the largest printing press in Nigeria and had been working at a bank for over a decade, trained to become a home-aid. So, when Tani asked to join the chess program at PS 116, which required a fee, it seemed unlikely. Oluwatoyin wrote to the coach, who offered Tani a scholarship. Miracles led Tani and his family to New York. As Kayode puts it, There are many times in my life where I thought this must be the miracle, and yet I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun.

Oluwatoyin Adewumi is mother of Tani, the eight-year-old Nigerian-born boy who recently won the New York State Chess Championship after playing the game for only a year. The Adewumi family's story begins amidst Boko Haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria and takes them to a New York City homeless shelter, where they waited to be granted religious asylum. Oluwatoyin's husband, Kayode, who came from a royal Nigerian family, became a dishwasher and Uber driver to support his family. Oluwatoyin, whose family owned the largest printing press in Nigeria and had been working at a bank for over a decade, trained to become a home-aid. So, when Tani asked to join the chess program at PS 116, which required a fee, it seemed unlikely. Oluwatoyin wrote to the coach, who offered Tani a scholarship. Miracles led Tani and his family to New York. As Kayode puts it, There are many times in my life where I thought this must be the miracle, and yet I did not know that the miracle had not yet begun.

Craig Borlase is a New York Times, Sunday Times, and international bestselling ghostwriter of dramatic, engaging memoirs. Over the last two decades, he has written more than fifty-five books, working with a diverse range of authors for a global audience.

Recent work includes Finding Gobi, the New York Times bestselling account of an ultramarathon runner's chance encounter with a stray dog in the Mongolian desert. Now translated into twenty-one languages, Finding Gobi is in the process of being adapted as a feature film by Sony Pictures. Craig collaborated with Andrew Brunson on God's Hostage (an ECPA 2020 Finalist), as well as My Name Is Tani, the story of an eight-year-old chess prodigy living in a homeless shelter in NYC, soon to be a Paramount Pictures movie produced by Trevor Noah.

Craig has also ghosted for Bear Grylls on his bestseller Soul Fuel as well as a range of Middle Grade novels. One of his most recent projects is a memoir of an online gambling entrepreneur who introduced high stakes poker to Asia, with rights acquired by Netflix.

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