The bundle that’s Uche Jombo
She is like a bombshell exploding in the market square; she appears one minute and, BOOM, she’s everywhere. Hahaha! As she has said often, she came into the industry by mere chance, and not by an innate desire to be an actress or moviemaker. Her foray into acting in 1999, with the movie, VISA TO HELL, has seen her grow through the ranks as first an actress, then a screenwriter, later a producer, and finally, just recently, a director. Can a woman do so much? Uche Jombo says yes!
Uche Jombo is a graduate of Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Calabar, an astute business woman with good a head for numbers, probably from her educational background, or in my opinion, a deep genetic tie to her roots as a true Abriba woman in Abia State (please don’t tell her). Hehehe! Despite her initial lack of experience in the acting industry, she poured herself into her work and gave her very best to rise above her humble understanding of the industry to become a force to reckon with in the same industry. Her tenacity drove her to begin writing scripts, learning under those ahead of her until she understood the ins and outs of movie producing.
Uche has won the hearts of many across the globe with her range of delivery; from the pampered girl, to the feisty woman, from the comedian, to the humble and submissive wife in the characters she has portrayed in various movies. This has led to several awards to her as an actress and producer, as well as a rapidly growing fan base. It’s no wonder that today, with over 18 movies, she holds the record of the highest number of movies produced by an actress in the industry. This is no mean feat! Production can be such a daunting task for anyone, talk less of doing it so many times over and still going strong.
My admiration for her has been there from the moment I came back into the industry when Emem Isong introduced us, and has grown ever since, seeing her drive to achieve, even in the midst of negativity. When she got married and became a mother, I saw a side of her that got switched on to become a lovely wife and mother without breaking ranks in her march towards her goals in the movie industry. She has become a source of inspiration to so many women, young and old, to fulfill their dreams, who may hitherto have felt the need to be validated by others before they can rise to the occasion to achieve their dreams.
Finding mentors among the myriad of incredulous characters and pseudo successes has become such a herculean task, that it is no wonder the youth of today have resigned themselves to just adopt the mantra, “the end justifies the means,” to justify their shortcut, and mostly shady, approach to achieving their goals. That’s why I choose to celebrate those who through hardwork, persistence and dedication have reached erstwhile unattainable heights. Many people in our society fall into this category and Uche Jombo happens to be one of them.
It takes nothing away from me to celebrate others, especially fellow Nigerians. I find that in so doing, I begin to understand the social influence of those around me, or those who are my colleagues, or those who are my fellow citizens, so that it helps me to evaluate my own social responsibility, knowing that with every height I attain, I should also have a more heightened sense of responsibility to my immediate environment and to those who look to me as a mentor. But, it takes something from me when I choose to pull down or refuse to acknowledge those who I have come to see their impact on the very society I also live in.
Uche has not only been blessed by her craft, but she has also proceeded to invest in her craft to further set her seal on her commitment to what has brought her so far. She is an employer of labour, and in these trying times, that is something to be respected by those who are affected by any form of unemployment or treasure their employment. I love and respect this fellow wife on strike as a true champion of our time as she continues to soar higher and higher and is not afraid to show others the way to the promised land of success as she climbs on.
With the Toronto International Film Festival over, I can’t say how grateful I am for her unwavering show of support by attending the festival, even though she had no movie featuring at the events That’s what friends are for! Till next week, keep smiling!