Chimuanya, known as Chris to his peers, is a dedicated student of Physical and Health Education at the University of Jos, Plateau State, and the current Tribe Campus Leader. He opens up to Oluwadamilola Koya and Tribe about his journey into gaming, his experiences as a Tribe Campus Leader, and the future of gaming at his university.
Q1: Can you tell us about your background and what sparked your interest in gaming and esports?
Chris: My name is Chimuanya Christopher Okoro. I am a student of Physical and Health Education at the University Of Jos, Plateau State. I picked an interest in gaming towards the tail end of 2010 while being introduced to FIFA on PlayStation. Although my friend Michael, popularly called Lens, who owned the PlayStation was ruthless in his win.
Subsequently, we started competing among ourselves and improving. I took a break from gaming when I went on missionary service between 2017 to early 2019. Before I returned, I used to see videos of PUBG Mobile on YouTube, and it caught my attention. When I returned, my friends back home were also just learning about it.
We decided to learn how to play the game together, and we were hooked. We played every day for hours, progressing from being "noobs" to creating a clan and registering tournaments and subsequently becoming competitive players.
Q2: What's the most exciting and unexpected thing you've discovered about the gaming community at your university since taking on the role of Tribe Campus Leader?
Chris: The most unexpected thing was finding out that although people played games, they did not know there were careers in esports and financial rewards for excelling. I was excited to open students' eyes to these prospects.
Q3: Could you share a story or anecdote that illustrates the positive impact you've seen Tribe and Carry1st have on a fellow student's gaming experience?
Chris: A few months after the launch of Tribe on Unijos, the Women's CODM tournament was held. I was able to field a student from the group who beforehand did not know opportunities existed in gaming. She and her team finished in 3rd place. Her parents were happy that she achieved something using the gaming they used to describe as a "waste" of time. This gave her more freedom to practice and also bring in other female students to the community. Some have told me they found a place they belong to, all thanks to Tribe.
Q4: If you had to describe the Tribe community at the University of Jos in just three words, what would they be, and why?
Chris: Ideal gaming environment.
Q5: Can you tell us about a particularly challenging moment you've faced in your journey as a Tribe Campus Leader and how you managed to turn it into a learning experience?
Chris: The most challenging part so far was when I held a physical event. I never knew there was so much bureaucracy involved in seeking permission to host and also receiving permission to use a hall within the school. Also setting up the event and overseeing it was hectic. I ended up learning the chain of command within the school, the importance of the student affairs department, and key aspects to look into while hosting a physical event. Also, I learned that it's okay to ask for help.
Q6: When you envision the ideal Tribe gaming event at your university, what does it look like, and what unique elements or activities would it feature?
Chris: I envision a physical event that starts with speakers engaging the available audience on career opportunities in the esports ecosystem, followed by mini-tournaments in both board and computer games, with the Student Union Government actively participating.
Q7: Have you collaborated with any other student groups or organizations at your university to enhance the gaming and esports community? If so, what were the results of these collaborations?
Chris: For now, I have not. I am working towards it and looking forward to what I would learn from the experience.
Q8: In your opinion, what sets the gaming culture at your university apart from other places, and what makes it a unique and vibrant community?
Chris: I think what sets the gaming culture at Unijos apart from other places is the healthy competition. Most gaming communities tend to have unhealthy rivalry and sometimes forget to have fun. On my campus, it is one big family simply trying to compete and have fun.
Q9: What do you believe is the most underestimated aspect of being a Tribe Campus Leader, and how does it impact your daily responsibilities?
Chris: The experience we gain from managing a community of people from different tribes, backgrounds, and genders. The planning of events and execution in line with set goals is helping to impart leadership qualities in the Campus Leader. This he or she might not immediately notice, but would come in handy in the nearest future.
Q10: Have there been any moments or initiatives that surprised you with the level of enthusiasm and participation they generated within the gaming community? Could you share some examples?
Chris: The enthusiasm and participation that was shown in my community when I introduced a "LUDO" event was surprising. Before then, I felt only complex games like CODM and Pubgmobile would receive such participation. I was wrong and subsequently changed my approach to inculcate less complex games as well.
Q11: As someone deeply passionate about gaming, how do you balance your responsibilities as a Tribe Campus Leader with your personal gaming interests and goals?
Chris: I have learned how to schedule my time. From a young age, I learned about planning and goal setting. This has helped me a lot. I schedule time for activities that are not urgent and also remember to game during my free time. Also, I have learned from Parkinson's Law, I try not to allocate too much time to individual responsibilities and multitask if needed.
Q12: Are there any future plans to expand or scale the Tribe community within the University of Jos, and if so, what are your long-term visions for this expansion?
Chris: Yeah, there are plans to expand Tribe within the University of Jos. I envision a time where Tribe becomes a household name within the school, a future where the school authority recognizes the importance of the community Tribe is building and utilizes it to engage students in both meaningful and gainful activities.
Q13: Lastly, can you share any personal gaming milestones or achievements that you're particularly proud of, and how they tie into your role as a Tribe Campus Leader?
Chris: As a competitive player, I was the clan leader and manager of "EXODUS," a Pubgmobile team. My teammates and I finished as first runners-up at "GAMRX 2022," taking home $1,000. This meant a lot to me as it was a team I built and managed to the top from scratch. We also got invited to the PUBGMOBILE PRO LEAGUE AFRICA 2022, an endeavor my teammates and I made $4,000 from. This experience has come in handy in building and managing my community as I have learned the ups and downs of building from scratch and also managing individuals from different backgrounds to achieve desired goals.
Thanks for sitting in with us Chris!
Chris: My pleasure!
It's a Wrap
In the dynamic world of gaming and esports, Chimuanya Christopher Okoro is making his mark, not just as a passionate gamer but as a leader fostering a vibrant gaming community at the University of Jos. His journey is a testament to the power of gaming to unite, inspire, and offer meaningful opportunities.