By: Lawal Oluwadamilare.
One of the most well-known games in the category of intellectual sports played worldwide is scrabble. Even though it’s still relatively new in Africa, the University of Ibadan community isn’t as passionate about it as they are about football or any other popular sport. The UI Scrabble team was formed in 2018 by a postgraduate student, named Oluwaseun Olubalusi, a MSc student in the department of Linguistics and African Languages, and Augusta Obidinnu, a MSc student of the Faculty of Science .This shows how infant the team is. Considering the forthcoming NUGA games later this year, and recent friendly games and outings. Lawal Damilare examines the definition of the game and the customs of the University of Ibadan Scrabble community in an interview with Emmanuel, the captain of the Scrabble team.
Hello, can we meet you?
My name is Emmanuel Enyi, a 400 LEVEL students of Linguistics and African Languages University of Ibadan Nigeria, And I am currently the captain of UI Scrabble team.
What are your plans and arrangements towards the forthcoming NUGA games?
UISC plans to start a series of qualifiers to determine our contingents for the NUGA games; after these qualifiers, we’ll start intensive training for the competition.
What is your team’s capacity like and how are you working on the balance ?
For the Males, we have a lot of options to choose from. That’s why we want to have more than two qualifiers, to ensure that we pick the very best players to represent the school. For the Females, we do not have a good squad depth for now, but we are working on it.
What are your training times like?
Generally, UISC meets every weekday from 3pm to 6pm. And now that we are preparing for the NUGA, we’d increase training time, and extend it to weekends.
What tournaments have you attended recently and what achievements have you gotten thus far?
We’ve not really been attending tournaments as a team for some time now. But I have been attending a lot of tournaments individually, in the past year. The last tournament I attended was the Scrabble in the Jungle tournament GEN-Z Edition, held in Lagos. I placed 5th overall.
How was last NUGA for you, what are the lessons learnt and what is the way forward?
Yeah? My first NUGA was the last edition, held in UNILAG in 2022. I came very close to winning a medal in the Singles event, but I couldn’t. Then, my reading culture wasn’t very sound. But after that particular NUGA, I began reading and studying word lists more extensively, and also worked on my board tactics, strategy, and management, and it all yielded results, as I won my first National tournament in that same year, 2 months after the NUGA games in UNILAG, 2022.
What changes have been made to the team, and what is the current team like?
This present team will have some new additions, as some members of the team to the last NUGA games at UNILAG have graduated, and are no longer with us. So, we’ll be having some hot and fresh additions to the team this time around.
What is your personal routine like?
My routine is simple. I try to read 500 words per day, and do so till I reach my daily target. So, in a week, I’m reading 3500 words. Also, I ensure I practice at least 4 times per week, as it keeps me in check.