By Gabriel Enogholase
It was the great English playwright, William Sheaspare in his famous work, “Julius Caesar” who declared that”when beggars die, there are no Comet seen, but the heavens blaze themselves upon the death of Princes.”
Although the Edo State born Nollywood actor, Sam Efemwonkiekie, popularly known as Sam Loco may have not been born a Prince, his death at Owerri shortly after returning from location proved the English playwright right, as it evoked emotional feelings throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.
At Ogbeka Quarters of the ancient city of Benin, where he was born into the famous Arase family of Benin and had his earlier education, it was also shock when they heard of his death via the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Net work news.
According to Mr. Osaretin Godwin Oshodin, the Youth leader of Ogbeka quarters , in Benin, “you should have been here the following day when we learnt of his death. It was a rude shock. Boys, girls, men and women and youths of the community were very shock. Even one of our sisters fainted”. He is said to be related to the present Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe.
He described him as ” a cultural ambassador of the Benin people”, saying that “he made us very proud”. According to him, the young Sam Locco was a rascal while growing up. He disclosed that he was great footballer and acquired the nick name “Locomotion” as a result of his footballing prowess, a name that was later in life shortened to Locco.
His father, who said to have a Prison officer who travelled wide in the country, was said to have spent most of his life in the eastern part of Nigeria and late Sam Locco was said to have been with him most of the time. He was said to have learnt the act of speaking the Igbo language, a language he spoke fluently while he lived.
Head of the Oshodin family of Benin, Mr. Richard Oshodin said that he took the departed actor to be an Igbo man because of his fluency in the language. While acknowledging his vast knowledge in the movie industry which he said he enjoyed, he promises that the Oshodin family would do their best to give him a befitting burial rites.
The late actor was said to have married into the Oshodin family of Benin and had three children, a boy and two girls. One of the daughters, who got married in Benin in 2002, is said to be living with her husband in the United States of America.
His eldest son, Bismarck Sam Locco Efe, described his father as a gentleman, a caring and loving father; a man who was always already to take on other peoples’ problems.
On the burial arrangement, Bismarck who spoke from Owerri, Imo state, said as soon as the remains of his father was retrieved from the police, it would be brought to Benin before the end of the week. He blamed logistics problems for the delay in the release of the corpse by the police.