Nigeria’s First Indigenous Chess Variation — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

By guardian life

October 30, 2022 | 2:00 p.m.

The Agidingbi chess set of 1851 is the first native variation of chess in Nigeria. Inspired by the historical narrative around Lagos that most Nigerians are unaware of, Oludamola Adebowale, historian, art curator and founder of ASIRI Magazine speaks to Guardian Life about the importance of historical preservation through chess. Of all the events that…

The Agidingbi chess set of 1851 is the first native variation of chess in Nigeria. Inspired by the historical narrative around Lagos that most Nigerians are unaware of, Oludamola Adebowale, historian, art curator and founder of ASIRI Magazine speaks to Guardian Life about the importance of historical preservation through chess.

Of all the events that happened in Lagos, why the bombardment of Lagos in 1851?
The history of Lagos is very rich with many untold stories, but one incident that stands out is the bombardment of Lagos in 1851 by British naval forces. The incident led to the annexation of Lagos in 1861 and this formed the very foundation of colonial administration in Lagos, and what later became Nigeria. It is on the basis of this historical account that I created the “1851 Agidingbi Chess Game”.

More so, as a history curator and researcher, I believe it is more important than ever to digitize history and use technology as a tool to preserve and expand the boundaries of storytelling.

The characters on the board have unique names: Erelu- Kuti of Lagos (queen mother), Oba of Lagos (king), Adamu Eyo (rook), Omo Ogun Eko (pawn), Eletu- Odibo (bishop) and Abagbon (knight) . What influenced the names?

We needed to infuse traditional Lagos royalty into the characters to create a foundation for the engagement of this game. The aim is to give Nigerians playing this game a local feel while playing the game. So next time as you play the game of chess, you will play “our” version of the game of chess.

What is the most interesting thing about this board and what impression does 1851 Agidingbi hope to leave in the minds of players?

The board game’s 3D design was unveiled last week. It’s more than just a game of chess; it is a collectible piece of art. It is the first of its kind and a must for all lovers of Lagos history, chess and arts. The impression we plan to create with the 1851 Agidingbi Chess Set is to export the history of Lagos through chess.

What are the plans for 1851 Agindingbi in the Diaspora?

We have plans for VR, immersive XR experiences and exhibits. Additionally, we plan to create a cultural exchange tour on the history of the UK and Nigeria with the game. Knowing how thirsty the world is for authentic African stories. We plan to export the story of Lagos and Nigeria to the rest of the world. The memorial board coins will be unveiled in December to mark the historic 171 anniversary of the bombing of Lagos.

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