Jak Beula

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Jak Beula Dodd
Johnny Alexander Bubeula Dodd[1]

(1963-07-04) 4 July 1963 (age 56)
Known forEntrepreneur
Notable work
Nubian Jak; On Track 4 Gold; educational workshops; Nubian Jak Community Trust blue plaque schemes
AwardsBlack Arts Sports Enterprise (BASE) award (March 1995); MACE Award (December 2003); African Caribbean Enterprise (March 2005); Organisation Achievement Award, BEEAM (July 2007)

Jak Beula Dodd (born Johnny Alexander Bubeula Dodd on 4 July 1963), commonly known as Jak Beula, is a British entrepreneur best known for inventing the board game Nubian Jak. He is also a cultural activist, musician, social-worker, and former model.[1][3] He is the founder and chief executive of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, which since 2006 has been commemorating the contributions of African-Caribbean people in Britain.[4]

Social work[edit]

Beula has received recognition for developing African-centred products and campaigning to commemorate black history in the UK.[5]

It was in his capacity as a social worker that Beula began to notice what he described as society's neglect, particularly of young black and white working-class youth in the social care system. Not only did it appear as if care staff were ill-equipped to deal with demands of the young people. Some of the young people were adopting sub-cultural stereotypical behaviour. Beula put this down to, in part, their educational experiences, as well as a lack of positive role models in both the media and their immediate environment.[6] Noting that there were hardly any multi-cultural resources available within their homes, he has said:

"They were hungry for role models, because we all need a sense of identification, a sense of self and of self-esteem. Most of the role models they were being given in the media were negative and were stereotypes, it was very disappointing. So I decided to give the young people some new information, whether they wanted the information or not, I was going to give it to them."[6]

He began to devise an educational programme that would try to address these points, out of which came the board game Nubian Jak. It immediately became a bestseller in London, prompting Beula to give up work as a social worker. By the ending of 1996 educational magnates such as Time-Life were commenting on its innovation. In 1998 Beula self-published the first edition of Nubian Jak's Book of World Facts. Dubbed "the truth with proof", it was subtitled "The Ultimate Reference Guide to Global Black Achievement". In 2001 Beula signed a publishing deal with HarperCollins in New York to reissue the book.

A Nubian Jak phone app was released in 2016.[7][8][9]

Beula was the founder of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, Britain's only national BME commemorative plaque and sculpture scheme,[10] which since 2006 has been honouring Black personalities of the past,[11][12] and also organised Britain's first African and Caribbean War Memorial, in Windrush Square.[13]

Beula worked alongside London 2012 with his innovated diversity project, On Track 4 Gold.[14][15]


  • Book of World Facts (Edutainment & Leisure, 1998).
  • Book of World Facts (New York: Amistad Press, HarperCollins, 2002).
  • Book of World Facts, Vol. 1 (London: Nu Jak Media, 2004).


  1. ^ a b Jak Beula biography, Black Economics, 2012.
  2. ^ "Jak Beula", Board Game Geek.
  3. ^ Sandra Jackson-Opoku, "Black London History", Soul Of America.
  4. ^ "Rasta in peace – heritage blue plaque for Bob Marley", Evening Standard, OBV (Operation Black Vote)26 October 2006.
  5. ^ "New Year Honours - Big Ups 2011", 6 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b Zhana, "Jak Dodd/Nubian Jak", in Black Success Stories, Chapter 3. Zhana Productions, 2006.
  7. ^ Sonia Brown, "Nubian Jak is Educating the Masses Through the Power of Role Models and Fun", National Black Women's Network, 4 August 2015.
  8. ^ "NubianJak Black History Month" at AppBrain.
  9. ^ Linn Washington, Jr, "Black History in Cyberspace: British 3D App Game Features Forgotten Facts", CounterPunch, 1 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Kelso Cochrane Honoured With A Blue Plaque", itzcaribbean, 27 April 2009.
  11. ^ Nubian Jak Community Trust plaques, Open Plaques.
  12. ^ ""Black Heroes Honoured", itzcaribbean". Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  13. ^ "The streets of Black London", Rolling Out, 1 September 2015.
  14. ^ "The race is on to find Britain's Favourite Olympian" Archived 2014-11-06 at the Wayback Machine, On Track 4 Gold.
  15. ^ "Seb Coe visits Luton's 2012 Olympic programme", Luton On Sunday, 23 January 2008.

External links[edit]