By SAM EYOBOKA
A GLASS of water on her right hand and 36 tablets of Valium 10 in the palm of an upraised left hand, when the unexpected ring of a 090 (you remember them?) shattered the peace of the house and the resultant shock sent the glass of water to the floor as the tablets scattered across the tastefully furnished sitting room.
The God factor, you call it! But for that call from a close acquaintance, the vivacious star of now rested Mirror in the Sun, UduakAbasi Umondak—unable to cope with the avalanche of foreign and self-imposed wilderness period—would have joined her ancestors several years ago.
UduakAbasi Umondak, a former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, a former fashion designer whose multi-million naira outfit, COLOURS was gutted by fire, a socialite and a party freak until life dealt an unkind blow which left her devastated and alone at the very bottom of Depression Valley.
That was the motivation for UduakAbasi to attempt suicide as a means of ending the loneliness. She almost swallowed 360 milli-grams of tranquilizers. After that divine intervention, it dawned on Udy that God had a special assignment for her and in a recent interview, she talked about how HIS WORD MADE FLESH, a purpose-driven television programme aimed at encouraging and motivating hurting persons was midwifed.
The programme began six years ago and on the sixth anniversary she now plans to host the crème de la crème of society to a six-course meal at the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island for an appeal fund as well as a time to unveil a-106 DVD collection and launch a charity foundation.
Asked how she came about the motivational project, she said: “I had to walk the walk after fire gutted my fashion house which was one of the best at that time. Before then, in a dream I heard a voice saying ‘stop what you are doing, I have work for you to do.’ After a year, I didn’t hear that voice again. Then I had a dream in 1999 that fire burnt down my place and three days after, fire actually gutted COLOURS and I lost everything.
“Three times, I tried to revive the fashion business but they all failed. Instead I got involved in all kinds of controversies and scandals. I was so embarrassed that I attempted suicide and it took a phone call from my friend to save me.
Two days after fire consumed the fashion house, I actually had a dream about this programme but I didn’t understand it. He took me through that wilder-ness journey, from laugh to shame, because at a time, I locked myself inside my house and a lot of people thought I had relocated to the US. It was in that my solitude that God spoke to me about the programme.
“One day God said to me, the places that brought you shame will bring you fame. I didn’t know what fame could come out of this shame. I was accused of things I knew nothing about. I remember in all the accusa-tions, somebody said to me, if you live to tell the story, you will not walk the streets of Lagos.
But in all of that, that was the only word I held on to. I was a people’s person, always throwing parties so I was never somebody who sits still, caged. God gave me that word that in the places they brought you shame, I’ll bring you praise and fame, and I didn’t know how. In all of that, God said to me, start this programme, but I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have money to eat let alone to build a studio and God said to me; build a studio.
“Then God said it’s your sweat He’ll bless and I said I’ve sweated so much I don’t think I have any sweat left in my body. Anyway, that was how I sold the last of my properties and I built the first studio to start this talk show. After I built it, six months down the line, I was trying to show off the studio, the Lord said to me, ‘that’s not the pattern, pull it down’. I just found that there was nothing left in me anymore so I just locked the place,” she stated.
Continuing, Udy narrated how God divinely arranged a loan with which she built a fresh studio in accordance with divine design. “I told the designer friend, it’s going to be “Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving”.
And I said the logo is an Open Bible, that after God has refined you with His word, He surrounds you with His Spirit. And that’s why you have a dove all around my logo. And then he put on it the garment of a royal priesthood. When he got it together, then I said you’ll have oil dripping from the house because He gave you oil of gladness. And the guy looked at me and said that is not possible, so I said if you are the guy to build it, it’ll be possible.
“So we held hands and prayed and he left. The following morning by 5.00 a.m., he sent me a text, saying ‘madam, I’ve finished; when can we see?’ I am not an early riser, but that day I woke up early.
The guy said to me, I don’t know what happened, but about 3.00 a.m., a hand woke me up and dragged me to my computer. When I went to my computer, this was what I woke up to do and I didn’t even realize it. That was how I built the studio.
And then I started recording! By now I had a better understanding. It was in 2004 that the last distraction disappeared completely in my life. That was when the revelation God had given to me in 1999 about this programme actually came to pass,” she narrated.
His Word Made Flesh is a reality talk show that presents individuals whose heart-rending, albeit inspiring turn-around elicits different reactions from the public. Very often, Udy is swarmed with requests for monetary intervention from people who are in need.
Her His Word Made Flesh Foundation is an organisation that will take care of such demands. The event is billed for the ultra-modern African Hall of the new Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Branded as an “Evening of hope,” it is a strictly by invitation event that has a dress code of black tie and evening gown billed for Saturday, October 26. Excited about the event, Udy said: “We intend to put up a world class event, painstaking preparation is already on to enable us put up a show worthy of your presen-ce.”
The 106 DVDs, which are already on sale at selected locations across the country, consist of compilation of some of the best stories of men and women who triumphed over adversity to discover purpose.
It is inspirational, motivational and entertaining as it gives hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, faith to the faithless and courage to the timid.
According to her, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, has graciously accepted to attend as the guest of honour who will formally unveil and present the DVDs to the public, while Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo is expected to give a short exhortation.