VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — Time is running out if you want to compete for a million dollars and contacts in Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition contest. Launched in December, Virginia Beach’s own Williams is looking for the next big star, not for the stage, but for corporate America.
52-year old Dwayne Royster of Norfolk thinks he has a shot at winning. He came up with his idea when he had a lot of time to think about it.
Royster was an athlete at Lake Taylor and Oscar Smith high schools, but when crack cocaine and the associated money flooded the streets of Hampton Roads in the late 1980s, Royster turned to the streets as a merchant. He was arrested in 1996, convicted in 1997, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was released in 2002 after serving 6 years. While behind bars he grabbed two cans and used them as a makeshift device for fitness.
Royster told WAVY News 10’s Regina Mobley, “I was in a really deep place Regina. I served time and that’s how I came up with the idea while serving time. I would take these two cans, and I would turn them upside down, and I would do push-ups from different angles. I would do these deep incline pushups on these cans. I get to thinking ‘maybe one day when I am released maybe this is something I can, even though far fetched, maybe one day it’s something I can focus on.'”
In development for more than 10 years, the made-in-the-757 BPS360 push-up bar by Dwayne Royster is ready for mass production. He is ripped as he demonstrates how to use the two-hand devices that evolved from two tin cans.
Royster is now focused on Williams’ Black Ambition contest — a nationwide competition to find Black entrepreneurs who will compete for funding and contacts in the business world. Royster says he has had technical difficulty completing the application process. 10 On Your Side contacted Pharrell’s marketing representatives and they sent links and a contact email for Royster.
Royster came up with the idea while serving time; now he is running out of time. The application must be completed by 9 p.m. EST Monday, February 22.
“I would love to have Pharrell and his partners to partner with me to help get this product in mass production and take it to the market to get the country and the community fit and healthy,” Royster said.