• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Word play: 33 of the world’s top 100 Scrabble players are Nigerians

Word play 33 of the world’s top 100 Scrabble players are Nigerians

Nigerians excel in Scrabble, boasting 33 players in the top 100 in the world. Beyond Scrabble, board games are popular across Nigeria, from indigenous games like ayo to chess and Monopoly.

In recent a post on X (formerly Twitter),  Paul Graham posted “Someone sent me a cold email proposing a novel project, Then I noticed it used the word “delve” which caused a social media buzz. 

Nigerians joined the trend, Uchi Uchibeke posted that “Delve” or “delve into” is a very common word in Nigeria and for Nigerians. Words like expatiate too which might not be common are used daily by many Nigerians”.

Abdul Salam replied, “Expantiate” that is always used on exam papers in almost every course.”

An American also replied, “ I’m American and I say delve. I have no idea what that man was talking about. Expanded vocabularies are under attack now I guess”.

Paul’s post generated a debate about which country plays the word game Scrabble.

Nigeria is the best scrabble-playing country in the world. 

Sawyer tweeted “For context, 33 of the current top 100 Scrabble players in the world, according to the official WESPA Scrabble ratings are Nigerians.”

United States has 22 players, Canada has 5 players and England has 6 players out of the top 100 players in the world. 

Scrabble has launched a new inclusive version of the board game on Tuesday, now available in Europe.

This version is marketed as more team-oriented and faster to play, though it’s not released in America.

This update marks the first significant change to Scrabble’s board in more than 75 years, Mattel said.

Board games are popular across Nigeria, embraced by both the middle class and individuals with less formal education. 

The competitive motto “Naija no dey carry last” drives enthusiasm, with games like Monopoly and Scrabble providing intellectual challenges during leisure time. 

Offering a welcome escape from daily stresses allows relaxation and friendly competition.

Nigerian players like David Ojih and Prestige Archibong claimed victory in the U-19 and U-15 divisions of the Winifred Awosika African Youth Scrabble Championship in 2023.

They competed against participants from Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria, the host country.

Last year, Nan reported that a Chess and Scrabble event in Abuja which drew over 200 players and 400 enthusiasts. Organized by BeeCass Chess Club, the tournament which took place at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium. 

Cassandra Otobong, Co-founder of BeeCass Chess Club/Foundation, Abuja, mentioned that “Chess is not just for the players but for everyone to come and participate and enjoy the game,” 

“The purpose of this tournament is to foster unity between chess and scrabble players and also an avenue to raise funds to send orphans and vulnerable children back to school,” she said.

According to WESPA ratings, here are the top 33 Nigerians among the top 100 Scrabble players in the world.


Name Ratings Total games
Wellington Jighere 2036 1337
Doko Oluwatimilehin 2030 200
Enoch Nwali 2012 630
Nsikak Etim 2005 1099
Godwin Victor 1997 379
Rex Ogbakpa 1996 477
Okiemute Tega 1982 323
Moses Peter 1944 824
Eta Karo 1939 1222
Olatunde Oduwole 1935 873
Anthony Odok 1927 184
Olaiya Kabir 1923 449
John Aiyedun 1922 314
Jimoh Abdulmumin 1913 249
Dennis Ikekeregor 1901 1151
Prince Omosefe 1895 735
Quickpen Ben 1895 605
Raymond Gbaraba 1895 329
Opeyemi Oloro 1895 263
Eniekebi Ezekiel 1884 62
Negro Igbinadolor 1882 111
Olaitan Timi 1881 185
Ehibudu Chukwudi 1879 171
Gbadebo Olufemi 1878 85
Ezinore George 1877 376
Ayorinde Saidu 1876 748
Akpome Joe 1869 86
Emmanuel Ofidi 1866 249
Noble Onoshevwe 1858 347
Chinedu Thorpe 1856 671
Olaribigbe Hakeem 1855 248
Oyinloye Abiola 1854 108
Aniso Joseph 1853 110