In some African countries, Scrabble isn’t just a board game, it’s a government-endorsed sport, a source of national pride that sees cash-poor countries jetting their top Scrabble athletes around the world to international competitions. And that persistence is paying off.
Former French colonies are starting to make the French sweat. For the third year in a row, an African player has stuck it to the French in the one-on-one competition at the Francophone World Scrabble Championship.
My favorite part of this story is just how dedicated the Africans are to their sport, even going so far as to make their own Scrabble boards out of discarded materials so they can practice. Such persistence is what gave Senegalese player Amar Diokh, who didn’t even learn French until his teens, the edge to beat his French opponent.
For Some Africans, Scrabble More Than Just a Game