Pa Ubong Hanson also known as Super Dragon was recognized globally for his extraordinary abilities in weightlifting during the 60s and 70s. Nobody could dare his magnificent skills when pulling stunts to thrill the crowd. He was one of his kind and this fetched him remarkable names like “the World’s Sampson”, “Strongest Man in Africa”, “and Most Powerful Man in Nigeria”.
His exhibition of strength in carrying heavy objects always left his spectators in a state of bewilderment. His body language while performing his shows depicted fearlessness in the strings of his hair, and horsepower in his muscular arms while his stamina was deeply staunch, indeed he was no mean man.
Pa Ubong Hanson Biography
Born on March 12, 1940, the heroic oak was a son to an army man and a mother who was a petty trader. He was the first child out of eight children. As an indigene of Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, he grew to love soccer which was his first flare.
Ubong Hanson formerly called Eseme Hanson Etukudo, attended one of the rural schools in his community where he obtained his Standard Six educational qualification. In olden days, education was not as significant as it is now.
In the early 60s at his 20s, Ubong had to let go of the job in 1964 to pursue his dream as a performer. Through developing his natural potential, which was lifting weights and body building, he was able to thrill students with his incredible performances as he toured schools to make a living. His capacity to perform feats eventually increased tremendously and this gave birth to his stage name “Super Dragon”.
Pa Ubong Hanson’s public show went beyond Nigeria’s shore to overseas. He was able to stage his demonstrations in various countries and this included Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, Algeria, Uganda, England, the United States of America, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, India and among others.
In the course of his tours, he was called the ‘Strongest Man in Africa’, a name he accepted with confidence. He was also identified as the strongest man in Nigeria because of his feat of strength.
His performances included pulling vehicles with a rope tied to his dreadlock. Standing on one spot and daring any strong man or men to push him to another spot; he was also able to hoist a man up by his teeth. The stunt man halted any movable car.
During his last stage performance at age 77, the Super Dragon was still as strong as a steel gate.
Because of his fitness, he was able to entertain his community in his compound at Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium LGA with some of his amazing extraordinary abilities. He actually pulled a car with a rope tied around his neck. Pa Ubong Hanson also defeated most of the community’s strong men by daring them during one of his stunts. He was not your everyday old man, as he was quite agile!
Apart from his exhibition of public strength, Super Dragon was an amazing father to his nine children and a loving husband, although he married twice due to complications in his first marital affair.
The only African Sampson was conquered by death at the age of 80 due to brief illness.
However, Akwa Ibomites will not forget him anytime soon because they will always remember a man who determined in his heart to swim with the sharks and this made him dare the impossible during his lifetime on earth. He held the world in his fist regardless of the hurdles that challenged his public shows.
His hard work, consistency and faith in God made him conquer the world with his bare hands. His legendary strides shall forever warm our hearts.