Entertainment Lifestyle 

FLASHBACK: Remembering late Sam Loco, his music career

Most people remember Samuel Arase Efeimwonkiyeke, better known as Sam Loco, as the legendary actor whose slapstick comedic talent graced Nigerian screens for decades. 

However, there’s a lesser-known facet of this beloved icon: Beyond being an actor, he was also a singer.

Thirteen years ago, Sam Loco passed away at the Rapour Hotel in Owerri, Imo State, at 66 years old.

Just before his death, he had completed filming a new movie, “The Unknown Prophet,” and had moved to Owerri to begin editing.

Sam Loco’s acting career began in 1960 with his lead role as ‘Akarogun’ in Wale Ogunyemi’s “Langbodo” at FESTAC ’77, which he described as his first well-paid job.

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He recorded his first big break with the drama club at Government College, Afikpo, where he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first stage play, “Vendetta,” earning him a scholarship and setting him on his path to stardom.

Beyond his celebrated acting career, Sam Loco was a man of many talents.

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After secondary school, he joined a travelling theatre group and played soccer, earning the nickname “Locomotive,” later shortened to “Loco.”

He played for ECN Football Club and Leventis Football Club, founded the short-lived Sam Loco Production Company in 1979, and joined the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), where he became the Head of the Drama department.

Although he gained admission to study Political Science at the University of Ibadan in 1971, he chose instead to pursue a career in sales before returning to drama.

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Sam Loco appeared in over 500 films and stage productions, including “Things Fall Apart,” “Tom and Jerry,” “I’ll Take My Chances,” and “Osuofia in London.”

But beyond all these feats, the late veteran actor also took a shot at music.

Music career

Not many would know about Sam Loco’s musical career.

The late veteran, famous for his comedic roles, briefly explored a musical career in 2005, adding another dimension to his legacy of laughter and entertainment.

Unlike the musical successes of his peers like Nkem Owoh, Patience Ozokwor, and Mr Ibu, Sam Loco’s album didn’t achieve widespread fame.

Sam Loco released his medley in 2005.

A medley is a musical piece that combines parts of different songs, usually three or more; it often has a symphony of sounds that leads one after another, sometimes overlapping.

Medleys were very common in the early 2000s.

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Produced and marketed by Juliek Musik Nig. Ltd. and directed by Azubuike Ezenwa and Femi Abatan, the album featured tracks such as “Ego,” “Igwe,” “Eyimba,” “Sam Locomotion,” “Eyim,” “Anything,” “WASEC,” and “If You See My Landlord.”

In an introductory video, Sam Loco noted, “Acting is quite different. This is pure music”, and indeed it was different.

His songs ranged from tributes to the Enyimba football club and expressions of faith to appreciations of his colleagues and satirical pieces.

READ ALSO: OBITUARY: Mr Ibu: Much-loved Nollywood actor bows out

His songs, mostly sung in Igbo and Nigerian Pidgin, featured simple, catchy lyrics set to danceable beats. These tracks, characterised by repeated verses, flowed seamlessly into one another,”a popular style at the time.

Beyond music and acting, Sam Loco contributed to the arts by helping establish acting schools in Uganda and The Gambia.

Before his unexpected death on 8 August 2011, he had planned to retire and start large-scale farming in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

He was buried on 21 October 2011 in Benin City, Edo State, and is survived by six children.

Here are some of his songs

Sam Loco Efe – Ego (Official Video) (youtube.com)

Sam Loco Efe – Igwe (Official Video) (youtube.com)

Sam Loco Efe – Anything (Official Video) – YouTube

Sam Loco Efe – WAEC (Official Video) (youtube.com)



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Sourced From Nigerian Music

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