THE AFRICAN PROMISE TO ACTION CINEMA
BY: ERIC SIGMON | MARCH 29, 2021
Everybody wants to be a star, but not all have what it takes to flourish in the entertainment industry. It’s a cutthroat business that has a knife that only gets sharper the darker the shade of skin you have. It speaks a lot to the passion in a person who could have easily chosen, with the education and experience they had, any other lucrative career to coast by in life. This brings us to Uché Uba. He chose to pursue becoming an action star.
Uché was born in Beaverton, Oregon to immigrant Nigerian parents. He loved growing up with lots of nature and the crisp mountain air of the northwest.
I’m a simple guy at my core and I don’t think I would’ve handled growing up in an international city very well. My childhood and life would’ve been way different in New York per se.
Although he is American-born, his upbringing was in an African household from the morals, values, ethics down to the food that he ate.
I’m super grateful to have been raised in America. But I am African to the bone.
Uché’s name (Uché Uba) is an Ancestral Nigerian name that means “The Thoughts and Mind of God”.
It seems Uché was always destined to be the center of attention. Becoming a model at the age of 12, he got a taste of the spotlight and loved it. Eventually becoming the face of Nike’s running shoe division campaigns, while also doing print work internationally with Hugo Boss. Then going on to do commercials after moving to Los Angeles, which Uché describes as “the bread & butter” for performers in that market.
After graduating from Stanford Univerity, Uché would connect with the owner of the Sayers Club, a premier live performance venue on Hollywood Blvd. There he would have the duties of booking artist, running a kitchen and two bars, along with the event and marketing staff. “If you’ve seen The Great Gatsby, that was me,” says Uché. At the age of 24, he would become the youngest managing partner of the establishment. But Uché has merely used this success as a stepping stone to his ultimate goal: The Action Star.
Becoming an Action Star to me means being of service as light and catalyst for those alive today and for generations to come.
Determined to make his dream of becoming an action star come true, Uché has sought out and trained with some of the best in the business. Like stuntman/actor extraordinaire Aaron Toney or stuntwoman/
martial artist, Carrie Bernans and actor/Extreme Martial Arts founder, Mike Chaturantabut.
I’m training every day as much as my body allows me. I’m always going to workshops and training in martial arts, parkour, and gymnastics.
One of Uché’s inspirations is Chadwick Boseman. Specifically inspired by the way Chadwick secretly fought a battle with cancer so his work wouldn’t be overshadowed while championing a great movie like Black Panther. Uché has a very personal relationship with disease, "It has ravished through my family”, as he puts it. Enough to even study medicine before pursuing acting full time. This type of mindset can only make one stronger in a competitive setting like Hollywood. Uché also loves Black Panther for the way it bridged the huge chasms between American Blacks and African Blacks.
I yearned for this since I was a kid growing up with both cultures. I was too African to be Black American and too Black American to be African. That movie taught us that we are one. I cried in my heart, my bones, my spirit for this. Our people needed this.
Of course, a movie like Black Panther would only inspire Uché more for the type of entertainer he is looking to be.
Portraying a Black Superhero on Film/TV is my primary goal. I had always connected to superhero narratives, but then seeing the world rise up for Black people and our civil rights in 2020 only made the burning fire in me grow stronger.
Uché has been given a chance to portray a very popular British superhero who you all know as Bond. "James Bond", as the famous agent would say it. Uba has partnered with Smirnoff for a promotional campaign for the upcoming Bond movie, No Time to Die. He will be the face of this commercial campaign which will air in the Americas and South Africa. Before the release of the campaign, Uché has produced his own action short film inspired by the Bond character. It gives us a glimpse into the action side of what Uché Uba brings to the table. He definitely embodies the smooth debonair type while taking out bad guys on the way.
“I excel in everything I lay my mind, spirit, and body upon, and I bring an array of skills and vast world experiences to the table. I’m ready for everything that’s coming”.
- UCHÉ UBA
Uché will achieve a very unique distinction with his goal. He would become the very first international African action star. Every country seems to have its own representative when it comes to the subject, it would only be right for Africa to finally have their own. With several credits already under his belt, combined with his business sense, work ethic, and attitude, this dream will soon become a reality for Uché. The power of manifestation is definitely a tool in the arsenal of the African promise to action cinema.
Photos courtesy of:
Carlo Alberto Orecchia