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Creating Made-in-Nigeria Games

Kenechukwu Cornelius Ogbuagu has been obsessed with playing and building games his entire life. As a child, he played board and card games including Snakes and Ladders, Whot, and Ludo with the kids in his neighborhood in Enugu, southeastern Nigeria, where he was born and raised. Yet in a country that loves games such as chess and Scrabble — even fielding a world champion Scrabble team — Ogbuagu noticed a lack of Nigerian-made games. In 2013, he decided to create his own game while studying at the University of Calabar in southern Nigeria. “There was a nationwide strike at government-owned universities in the country at the time, so nobody was going to class,” Ogbuagu, now 29, says. With nothing to do, “eventually, we started playing tabletop games.” At the time, he was not sure how to create games, so he used cardboard, stones, and dice from an old Ludo game to make a dice rolling and card drafting game for him and his friends. Many of Ogbuagu’s friends in school enjoyed playing the game, inspiring him to turn his passion into a profession.