Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Untold story of Sam Loco

The late Sam Loco Efe, winner of the prestigious National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Congress Golden Award, 1995, who died last Sunday in his sleep in a hotel in Owerri, Imo State, exclusively in 1996 told this reporter, who then was reporting for Emotions Magazine, now rested, that he had three wives and six children.

Let us start from the beginning. Who is Sam Loco?

In his usual humorous manner, he responded:“Sam Loco Efe is a typical Nigerian, with all the trappings of a Nigerian. He knows only one job – acting, which he loves more than any other job in the world. He is an old-young living man from the ancient city known as Benin. He is a motherless baby”.

The superstar Sam Loco said he was born in 1940, which means he died at 71. During the interview that took place in Combo Hotel, Sufiano Street, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos where he lodged for some weeks, Sam Loco said he had made over 1,000 television appearances and starred in several films.

He said: “I am 56 years old. I was born in 1940. My father was a chief warder and my mother was an akara seller. So, we were very poor. My mother gave birth to so many children but only two of us survived, my sister and I.”

He was a polygamist: “Eeeeenm! I lost one of my wives in 1985. I lost my father in 1965 and my mother just last year -1995. I have six children from three women. My first daughter is in Holland with her husband and three kids. My children are all doing well. My third boy is studying Chemical Engineering in University of Benin,” Sam Loco said.

The late actor narrated how he was raped by a woman when he was just 20 years old:” I was born in 1940 and it happened in 1960. I was almost raped by Ngozi on Independence Day. I mean October 1, 1960. The girl was three years my senior in school. Her name was Ngozi. In my days, it was a taboo, especially in the East where I grew up to have sex without marriage. For two years, Ngozi persuaded me to have sex with her. But when I did, I felt fulfilled. Since then sex became part of my life and up till today, I keep on ‘caning’. I will soon stop all that. I will soon be born again”, said he. His contribution towards the development of the film industry and theatre arts in Nigeria is commendable.

And to buttress this, he noted: “I have made tremendous contribution towards the development of the film industry and theatre arts in this country. I will say as far as I am concerned I have been involved in theatre arts since 25 years. Film production started only few years back in Nigeria. I have trained over 10 established actors and playwrights. Nigeria’s only drama presentation in the FESTAC “77 was Langbodo. I played a leading role in it Langbodo that was adjudged the best play in that festival. Since then no other festival of such standard had been organised. So, Langbodo remains the best till date.”

He said apart from the money actors and actresses make, starring in films “keeps you mentally alert. It gives you self-satisfaction. It makes you an extrovert. It gives you chance to dream dreams. I have starred in so many films and I have made over 1000 TV appearances”, Sam Loco said.

For sure, the history of theatre arts and film business in Nigeria will not be complete without mentioning the name Sam Loco. Goodnight our beloved super star!


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