Ubong Umoren David is an unusual young man. He is currently putting God on Trial in the city of Lagos. Let me tell you how I got to meet this weird man:
In 2006, I just got admitted into the University of Jos, in one of those unusual mornings when a lecturer fails to make lecture time and everyone in class seized the opportunity to fraternize, some to work on an assignments, while yet another to rest their brains. Suddenly a certain young man stood before the class, with confidence he called for the attention of everyone in the class. Who wouldn’t have noticed how eloquent he was? Everyone wondered who he was and what he had to say, I was not left out. Amazingly all he had to say was: welcome to campus, make sure you are unique, see to it you study hard and make yourself proud. I was so blown away not just by his confidence but also his depth. Immediately I identified with him and his brand – we were both a Lagos breed, so it was a fast lane. This man do not just posses a ravishing love for art, I see him as an embodiment of art itself. When I met him, here was what he had to say about himself and art:
In 2009 I started out the adventurous quest of marrying the art. I began working with the Jos Repertory Theatre in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria as an actor and playwright in 2010. Having extended services with the firm for six-years, I started a theatre firm officially in July 2016 primarily to craft healthy works to promote the human race using the arts as the tool. One unique aspect of Ubong Umoren David was his desire to strive towards his dream of becoming a playwright, even when there are humongous challenges on that pathway, yet he could turn down bank offers just to pursue his dreams. He created Just Be Weird (JBW) studios while still in school as a drift alongside his passion.
jbwSTUDIOS is a not-for-profit growing theatrical firm with a writers’ hub where original works of art are composed and communicated to the society with intent to use the arts as a tool to communicate strong values, transforming lives in every aspect of life and living that stands the human race.
The Mission of jbwSTUDIOS is to use the arts as an effective tool for communicating healthy values to transform lives, families and societies and create a colony of fun. jbwSTUDIOS had its first official production on May 1, 2016. A fast-track and intriguing conversational play titled Bullion Stride written by Umoren Ubong David and directed by Osasogie Guobadia. The production was staged at the Joshua Dariye Hall of Plateau Polytechnic in Jos, Nigeria grossing a huge reception with attendance of a 180 persons. It was later selected as one of the featured plays in the Jos Festival of Theatre the same year.
David is currently adapting a play on stage, titled: God on Trial. It was originally written for the screen by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, a British screenwriter, novelist and occasional actor known for his children’s fiction and several other award-winning works, it is a deep sobering tale.Adapted for the first time ever in Africa for stage by Ubong Umoren David of jbwSTUDIOS, it is also going to be staged for the first time in Nigeria.
David had initially gave the popular City Voice a report of the production, he said: Rehearsals have since been wrapped up for the production, explained that the play will take place at the University of Lagos, Lecture Theatre Hall (Guest House). He said all those involved in the project are “truly happy to be associated with this great piece of work”.
David, who has been in touch with Cottrell-Boyce through the whole project from inception, said the Briton is equally enthusiastic about the staging of God on Trial in Lagos. David explained that the production addresses the question of ‘Faith’ as well as the theme of ‘Suffering’.
“This has been put together for stage to address the above quandaries and create a thought-provoking ambiance that seeks to answer most questions relating to the subject matter,” he said.
I will personally be at The Unilag come Easter Sunday to see this play. I salute Umoren Ubong David for his believe and gear to go against the tides of fighting for his dreams, creating a start-up of his own, and giving it every ounce of push it needs to become a reality. Here is another man who’s been on the lonely uphill. The brand jbwSTUDIOS is becoming vast and a major brand to reckon with in the industry.
Here is what he has to say to upcoming minds and entrepreneur and playwrights like him; just be weird. Never stop believing you can, have a vision and follow through, and again; just be weird.
The journey to the New Nigeria we crave is only possible when young minds are highly creative and innovative at what they do, creating the future they desire. Stop folding your hands doing nothing, stop waiting on the government, start creating your future, and be who you want to be.
Stay tuned as more amazing entrepreneurs are unveiled on Daps’ Diary. Just in case you have a start-up story that you feel is worthy on Daps’ Diary, then send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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