A Life of Impact: Dr. Ubong Thompson King. 1972 – 2020

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“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” Tony Robbins

Heaven gained a rare gem on the 26th of December 2020 as my dear friend and brother passed away at a young age of 48. He was able to achieve within his lifetime, what many would fail to achieve in a hundred years.

Ubong King was a man who defied logic. He embraced life with a boldness very few ever muster. A strategic thinker, business mentor, security expert and entrepreneur. His life and generous spirit touched so many it would take decades to unravel the impact of this loss.

Even as I write this, I cannot believe that he is gone. We still shared jokes and chatted not too long ago, looking forward to the New Year and reunions. Dr. King was a special breed, that rare type that comes along only once in many years. An embodiment of energy, passionate, motivated and a contagiously positive attitude.

He was a man who had tasted failure in his early years but conquered his environment through his determination and commitment, to become one of the greatest and most notable motivational speakers in Nigeria today. From a lean and lanky pupil back in our kindergarten days at Maryland Convent private school, up to our time together at the Federal Government College Ijanikin, Lagos, Ubong communicated a picture of a man who would not yield to lack of opportunities. He created his own destiny by sheer force of will and determination.

He started his career in the security industry and made an incredible success of it. He then went ahead to set up one of Nigeria’s leading private security companies. After distinguishing himself in corporate leadership, he sought to give back to the society through philanthropy and youth mentorship. A highly respected and reputable executive, he was loved by the youth all over the country and I lost count of his many awards.

Ubong was a friend to many, a philanthropist and mentor to millions of youth in Nigeria. He dedicated his life and energy to selling a vision to the younger generation. A vision where everyone can achieve their dreams and contribute meaningfully to society. He was the President of the Ubong King Foundation and convener of the biggest youth development and mentorship conference in Africa – Thinkation. The next event would have been in January 2021.

He was a recipient of the 2016 African Child Prize for “Integrity Security Intelligence” by the African Child Foundation. He was also a former chairman of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), Lagos Chapter. At one point, he was also a recipient of the ‘Star Award” in Maritime Security by Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN).

Dr. King, you were celebrated as an Icon of Hope for the Youth in Ahmadu Bello University when you received the Sardauna Platinum Award, as well as conferment of titles Maji Dadin Matasan Arewa by the Northern Youth Parliament in July 2017.

You spent almost two decades building other people’s businesses and learning from them, and then you went ahead to build an empire in the private security industry. You later stepped aside as a successful entrepreneur to teach younger men and women all over the country to build hope and show them how to activate success.

When President Jerry Rawlings passed away in November 2020, I knew you took it hard because he was a father figure to you, a mentor and a close friend. You said “the sun has set on a king”. How could we have imagined that the sun would set on our own Ubong King so soon?

My dear brother, The Lion King, UK, Bongy, The certified Troublemaker, a loyal friend, doting father and loving husband to Ivy. You will be terribly missed but your legacy will live on.

As I pen this tribute, I and my family are still in shock but we are comforted that the Lord will heal the wounds and comfort your dear family – my dear sister Amb Unyime- Ivy, and the children.

I will miss you, your energy, the hangouts, the family times, the conversations, your humor and your friendship.

I pen this tribute not because you will read it. I write so that it can be engraved in the hearts of men and in the sands of time that a man lived. His name was Ubong King and he lived a life of impact.

Rest in Peace.

Femi Awoyinfa

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