Ujwal Thapa, Co-Founder of the WordPress Nepal Community, Passes Away

“Here is my resume of professional Failures,” began his LinkedIn profile. On a site where most are apt to share success, Ujwal Thapa started with nearly a two-decade history of dreams that did not quite work out. Or, maybe they did in some ways.

Much of Nepal is reeling from his death today. In the past week, he had been battling multiple health complications from Covid-19. The 44-year-old activist was the founder of the Bibeksheel Nepali political party, originally a peaceful movement that fought against political corruption and social injustice.

However, many Nepali WordPress users will remember him as a co-founder of their community. The WordPress Nepal Facebook group has now grown to nearly 8,000 members.

In a 2015 interview with Nepal Buzz, he noted his proudest WordPress-related achievement as building this community. “That is not just creating tens and hundreds, but thousands of jobs in Nepal, and has the potential to create tens of thousands more, which basically means we are contributing to the nation by creating opportunities where there are none.”

Later in the interview, he said he was a provoker, and he continued to live the remainder of his life in that belief.

“I believe that the easiest way to bring change is to align all the positive people in the same direction,” he said. “So my job is to provoke and bring together people with similar interests, and align them in a similar direction, creating the change that they would never believe could come.”

Thapa founded Digital Max Solutions in 2002, amidst the Nepalese Civil War. At one point, the company had as many as 35 employees. Over 30 eventually moved on to start their own IT businesses. He also created the Entrepreneurs for Nepal Facebook group, which now has over 100,000 members. From May 2013 to October 2019, he served as the Chairperson of the BibekSheel Nepali party.

Many in Nepal’s WordPress community owe him a debt of gratitude for having the vision of building off the core platform. WordPress.org Themes Team representative Ganga Kafle credits at least part of his career and deep involvement with WordPress to Thapa, helping him land an initial internship with Web Experts Nepal.

“Ujwal Thapa is the person who introduced WordPress to me in 2012 in a meetup,” he said. “After that, I was in close relation with him. In 2014, after my graduation, I went to Ujwal and asked him about the internship, and he took me to that office and talked with the boss and finalized for the internship. That’s how I jumped in WordPress, and now I am one of the leads of Themes Team.”

“Once he said to me, ‘WordPress is giving so much things for free, why you hesitate to put Proudly Powered by WordPress?’” Kafle shared of the mentor, referencing the typical credit line in many WordPress site footers. “He was in love with WordPress.”

You can view Thapa’s WordCamp presentations as a speaker and panel moderator via WordPress.tv.

14 responses to “Ujwal Thapa, Co-Founder of the WordPress Nepal Community, Passes Away”

  1. We need more people like Ujwal. Not just for the WordPress Community, but for the world. 💖🌏💗

  2. Thanks a lot for the detailed write-up. Rest in peace Ujwal dai.

    I cannot believe and I am still in shock. This is one of the saddest movements of my life. Ujwal dai is my dear friend like a big brother, co-worker, leader, and mentor. We have done so many things together and he is one of the nicest and fearless people I have met in my life.

    This is really one of the dark days for all the Nepalese. He has contributed a lot to the WordPress community, entrepreneurship, and Nepali politics.

    You were the most amazing person and light of my life. I will miss you more than words can say. Rest in peace.

  3. True Justin, Ujwal who lived a simple life always was definitely provoker, believer and idol for lots of IT career followers in Nepal. He will be missed but shall be in our heart forever.

  4. Ujwal Thapa was an initiator of many things here in Nepal and an inspiration for thousands of youths. He was in the belief that even if opportunists comes and grabs credits for his work, he was happy because what matters was the end result and it was achieved no matter who takes credit. He did a lot of things from entrepreneurship to politics and pushing youths to change the country and remained mostly behind the scenes. This is why he has been loved by so many within the country. A true leader yet invisible.

    Long live Ujwal Thapa.

  5. Wow, what an amazing WordPress evangelist, activist, mentor, and guide. This is a huge loss for Nepal and the WordPress community in general. I didn’t know of him, so thank you for letting us all know about this innovator’s life and contributions to the WordPress community and the Nepalese community he served.

  6. Rest in peace Ujwal Thap. Failure is part of life. Ujwal’s failure will teach lessons to the community they build and we also get useful lessons.

  7. Rest in peace Ujwal Thapa. What a Great personality and mentor. Your presence will be missed in every sector you have been involved in.

  8. Thank you Justin for this obituary and letting us know about the amazing work Ujwal Thapa started. And, thank you for keeping WordPress human. As a new recruit to the WordPress community, this reinforces the word “community”.

    His memory will continue in Nepal. My condolences to his immediate family and his WordPress family.

  9. A sad, yet inspiring story. It shows that with the right leader every business can change peoples’ lives for the better and offer new opportunities. The world needs more people like Mr. Thapa.

  10. Ujwal Thapa brought me to WordPress which has been my career now. WordPress Nepal as a community and we Nepalese WordPress developers and designer will always remember you for everything you have done.

    Miss you Ujwal dai.

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