Sam Loco Efe: Biography, Age, Career, Family And Movies
Sam Loco Efe (25 December 1945 – 7 August 2011), born Sam Loco Efeeimwonkiyeke in Enugu, was a Nigerian actor and director.
Early life and education
Efe was born in Enugu, the son of Arase Efeimwonkiyeke, a warder. His father was of Benin ancestry who worked in Eastern Nigeria and his mother was a petty trader who sold bean cakes. He spent a considerable part of his childhood in the town of Abakaliki in present-day Ebonyi State. He lost his father when he was in elementary school; Efe then spent more than the normal years to obtain an elementary education because he had to help his mother in her trade in order to earn income for the family. His first experience with acting was at his school when a theatre group came to stage a play called The Doctor In Spite of Himself, afterwards he discussed with members of the group about the theatre and performance arts. In elementary school, he was a member various groups including a drama society that performed a rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at an Eastern regional arts festival in Abakaliki, the play came last in the drama competition but Efe was noted as the best actor which earned him a scholarship to complete elementary school. After finishing elementary school, he attended various secondary schools and was active in the drama society, organizing a performance of The Doctor in Spite of Himself and a play called Vendetta. After secondary school, he was a member of a travelling theatre group and played soccer earning the moniker locomotive later shortened as loco.
During the Civil War, Efe fought on the Biafra side until he returned to Benin in 1968. While in Benin, he started the Ovonranwen Theatre Group with their debut production being Ogierhiakhi’s Obaiwape. However, his earnings from acting was meagre and thereafter, he travelled to Lagos to seek better career opportunities and to explore a career in football. He got his first job in 1972 working for Michelin Tyres. He applied for the position without knowing how to drive which was a requirement for the job. He learned how to drive a day before the interview. During the interview, he passed the oral interview and failed the driving test but honesty about his error in judgement won over the interviewer. He worked for Michelin selling tyres in Lagos, Ijebu Ode and Abeokuta. He soon left Michelin to work for Dunlop Tyres as a Senior Sales Representative in the Tyres and Allied products division. While working for Dunlop in Benin, he was a cast member of NTA Benin’s television series, Hotel de Jordan and also performed in a rendition of Ola Rotimi’s The Gods are Not to Blame. In 1977, he left sales for a career in theatre. He auditioned and got the lead part of Langbodo, a play by Dapo Adelugba presented during Festac. After the end of Festac, Adelugba introduced him to a friend of his at the University of Ibadan about opportunities in theatre. Adelugba’s friend was able to get Efe a position as a senior artiste in the institution.
- Tom and Jerry (with Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme)
- I’ll Take My Chances
- Final World Cup
- Long John
- Osuofia in London
- My Love
- I want to harvest you
Sam Loco Efe was found dead in a hotel room Sunday morning. No one knows the cause of his death. The death is suspected to be asthma as Ventolin inhalers were found beside him in the room. The room door was forced open after he failed to come down after retiring to bed the previous night.