My Last Minute with Dad before ADC Plane Crash – Late Captain Sama’s son, Brume | + How he became an animation expert

Cobham Oghenebrume Sama with Gbenga Dan Asabe
Cobham Oghenebrume Sama is one of the scions of the late Captain
Dafieko
Emmanuel Sama the pilot
of the ill fated ADC air craft that crashed and killed many Nigerians on
November 7, 1996 at Ejirin area of
Lagos with 134 passengers and 10 crew members on board.
The flight which was coming from
Portharcourt Airport reportedly lost control while avoiding a mid-air collision
on approach to Lagos Airport and crashed upside down at very high speed,
killing all 144 passengers and crew members on board.

Today, Cobham his third child and second son of Captain Sama has come of age life reforming lessons at his beck.
Trained at the famous South African
School of
Motion Pictures
between 2009 and 2011, Cobham who
worked briefly with Silver Bird Television and several other
production outfits on his return back home has extensive learning in Screenwriting,
Directing, Visual Effects and music production. Besides being a TV producer and
animation expert, Cobham’s other
interest includes Singing, Dancing, Soccer, Kung-Fu, Tae-Kwon-do, drawing and
creative thinking. He is an all round artist and that has become his unique
selling point in an industry begging for his talent.

The GDA engages Brume Sama in the heat of the encounter

My encounter with this energetic
young man was at the instance of Chief
(Mrs.) Emily Sakpere,
wife of Engineer
Isaac Sakpere,
former Director of Engineering; Federal Airport Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN) during an event at their Lagos home. His sad experience with a
hired producer at Senator Ben Bruce’s
Silverbird TV who in turn hired Cobham as Assistant Director but
failed to pay him and many others their wages before absconding abroad drew my
attention to him.
 Besides the cheating drama which is today a
sad reality of our society, Cobham
is in the league of up and coming producers like Clarence Peters who are poised to change the Nigerian entertainment
industry with their skill.
I decided to pay him a visit at his
moderate apartment inside an estate around Abule
Egba
 area of Lagos penultimate
Wednesday evening and for the first time in the last 19 years since he lost his
pilot father, the South African trained producer told us the story of his
humble beginning and how life has treated him after the demise of  his parent. He also spoke on the great
opportunity that could be found in animated entertainment technology if
investors can support the industry. Find a leisure drink and read the story of
an inspiring entrepreneur on your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity
encounter blog Asabeafrika. Enjoy!   
Tell us more about you?
My name is Cobham Ogenebrume Sama. I am a screen
writer and story board artiste by profession, I did my training in South Africa
and presently I freelance with a couple of producers as a screenplay writer. I
write short films.
How did the journey to study in South
Africa started?
It actually
started sometimes around 2009 I had a passion for the arts, animated cartoons
to be more precise. I am an artist, I sketch and make cartoons and I needed
further training on it and I had the rare opportunity to travel to South Africa
to study animation and film making in 2009 and I seized the opportunity.


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Brume to Asabeafrika…’I am presently horning my music talent as well’

How was the experience in South
Africa?
Well, I must
say it was very, very interesting. There was opportunity for a lot of research,
a lot of practical work was done because it is not just mere reading you have
to have an on-hand experience, field experience and from a long time ago I have
known that I am not particularly an office person. So, when I saw the
opportunity to learn what I loved to do I seized it, it was a very beautiful
experience I must confess and that is what has led me to who I am today.
Your father was the late pilot who
died in the ADC plane crash of 1996; can you tell us about him?
My dad late Captain Dafeiko Emmanuel Sama was a
pilot with over twenty five years experience with Nigeria Airways before he joined Aviation Development Company
(ADC), he is late now like we all know. He passed on in 1996. It was actually a
plane crash accident.
Was he the pilot or the co-pilot?
No, he was
the pilot. The Captain, the one in command actually and we lost him to the
crash.
What was his last moment with you
like?
 I was at home here in Nigeria, a day before he
left for that trip. We saw him in the morning only to find out in the evening
that he will never return home again.

Oghenebrume as a kid with family

Are you his first son?
No, I am his
second son and third child.
So, what did his demise do to you?
It was
actually very tough initially because I actually found it hard to believe
because most times as children we were familiar with his car horn, pon-pon
and we will say ‘oh, Daddy is back’ and we would put ourselves in shape and the
reality just dawned on me after a while that he is not going to be home no
more. So, I had to adjust to that reality.
Did he say any word to you before
that trip?
I think the
last encounter I had with him was a celebration we intend to do together
because we actually share the same birthday month. That is December and he was
actually planning a collaboration birthday. He was going to be 49th
on the 23rd of December and I was going to be 18th on the
5th of December and he died a month earlier. So, I was really
looking up to such a surprise celebration but death denied us the experience.

“While growing up, I was always very
timid, extremely quite. But I was equally talented but unfortunately I did not
utilize that talent the way it ought to be”.

What about your mum?
Her name is Mrs. Boma Sama, my mum is from Okrika
in Rivers State while dad is from Aladja in Delta state. She passed
away two and half years after dad. I think she was hypertensive and she was so
much in love with her husband because my father was a well pedigreed family man
but life was just too funny. So, I guess my mum joined him in death but up till
this moment we hold their memory in high esteem.

Brume to Asabeafrika…’My Educational Experience in South Africa opened my eyes to  many things’

How STV Producer Duped Me
Having studied abroad, you briefly
worked at Silverbird TV but we equally learnt you had a sad experience where
your producer duped you, how did you feel with that experience?
Even though
I don’t like talking about personal issues but let me make a point of
correction. I did not work with STV
directly; I worked with a contractor who was hired to provide content for the
TV station and I worked as his screen writer and his assistant director on
production. He was more or less an expatriate because he was brought in from
America, while working with him a lot of things were lying on ground and we
discovered that we were just working without being paid. Out of the six months
we spent with him we were just paid for a month which is the month of January
haven started working in the month of December. It went on like that and we
kept having the hope that we will get paid until we were all caught in limbo.
The guy ran away with our wages. 
Oghenebrume Sama to the GDA…’We can always find away around creative economy if the investment is right’
So, how did you get to know?
I really
didn’t want to dabble into how things work since we were not having anything
doing with the management. He was the only link between me, others and the
management. I think the whole scenario came to light when the Sub-Head of our
production unit decided to make a loud noise. He is a married man with kids so
he had responsibilities and when he became very pressed he had to cry out and
apparently the management got to know about it. According to the chairman (Ben
Bruce) we have been paid through him. What brought everything to light was that
the chairman actually asked for the financial transaction record of his payment
to the contractor. It was opened to us that there was indeed a transaction but
someone just grew greedy and decided to play a fast one on all of us.
So, how did the experience make you
feel?
 I felt a bit discouraged and dispirited. I
felt betrayed, disappointed because I actually put in so much, I mean I put in
so much. Production is really not a very regular easy task. Sometimes we work
late into the nights and I have to start coming home at odd hours with a lot of
expectation that ‘ok, at the end of the month we will get the fruit of our
labor but unfortunately that was not to be.
Brume to Asabeafrika…’Every young person must not lose hope on his dream’

Were you able to see him to retrieve
your wages?
No, prior to
the time that my manager actually cried wolf, he has returned back to the
United States. We actually learnt he was brought in from the US in the first
place, that he was actually producing contents for the station in the US and he
was only brought in as a contractor to add value to home production. He hired
us and we worked tirelessly for him but he disappointed us, I must say it was a
huge disappointment but I have chosen to move on.
What does that tells you about your
country Nigeria?
Nigeria
basically, I have been hearing the song ‘E go better’ ever since I was in
secondary school and even primary school but you cannot sit and fold your arms,
you must just keep hoping for the best. We will get out of it, especially with
the way the new government of President
Buhari
is going about the anti-corruption war. Nigeria will rise above the
ills of moral laxity.

Brume Sama to Asabeafrika…’There is room for innovative investment in the Animation Media Sector’

You study animation technology at the
University of the South African School of Motion Picture; do you see a booming
industry for animation entertainment in Nigeria?
Animation
and film making are all applied and creative act. Basically, we have to be very
realistic; I see the industry growing but the snag is that we cannot actually
quantify creative work. We cannot measure and say ‘this is how much a creative
work is valued at’. Animation as a form of entertainment is still a young
industry; the industry is quite young especially in Africa, for starters. And
in Nigeria, we still have a long way to go. Yes, the awareness is there, we
have done a couple of things that I am aware of but I think we still have a
long way to go.
Oghenebrume Sama

But we can equally use animation to
celebrate our various languages through cartooning and other forms of
entertainment. Don’t you think so?
Well,
technology is having a role in the celebration of language. Nigeria is a
multi-ethnic country and for starters; perhaps, some of the programs that are
televised could be depicted in animation. And you know sometimes, when you want
to make things very appealing, some of the news can actually be televised in
animation. It is very possible.
So, why is it not happening?
Well, I
think we only started appreciating the art in Nigeria in less than a decade. As
in real appreciation for the act, animation to be precise; over the years it
has been taken as the work of unserious folks. Why it is not done now, honestly,
I don’t know because I don’t know how much money, exactly, has been pumped into
that industry because I can tell you right away that animation is very tedious.
You don’t want to be a creative person or an artiste doing all the think-work and
not getting paid. It is always very frustrating. So, these are some of the
reasons why I can authoritatively say that industry has not really received the
acclaim it deserves in Nigeria.

Brume explaining a point to the GDA

Is there any hope from people like
you who studied abroad?  
If given a
chance, we will do our very best. One thing I have come to understand is that
creative people are not very easy people to manage. They themselves have
challenges managing themselves let alone having people managing them. So, one
of the things I do actually is to try and create a hub for them, a kind of
online community where talents and opportunity meets. That is where each and
every one with diverse background can actually meet and do stuff together. It
is like a school where people can actually say ‘Oh, I am looking for someone
who could actually do this kind of job for me, who could actually do this kind
of animation, maybe a twenty seconds advert or commercial on a beverage brand.
So, all you need do is to just google the community just the way you search for
Jumia or Konga. Basically that is what I am working on now vis-a-is my other
activities. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag but we have reached an
advanced stage in the project.

Brume to Asabeafrika…’Dad died on the eve of my 18th birthday’

With your sour experience in the
hands of the STV content contractor would you still be willing to work with
established media organizations in Nigeria?
Why not,
just to point out again to you, the issue I had was not the fault of the
company (STV) even though I will agree that it might be as a result of lapses
that were not checked.  But from record,
I know the staffs are actually remunerated well. So, that was just a one off
thing and a management’s lapse as I said earlier.
So, how can Nigeria tap from your
talent as an animation expert?
Well, I
believe in self development. It requires knowledge, you need to educate your
mind, and you need to spend time equipping yourself. Thank God for resource
centers like the internet where you can actually gain knowledge without
actually being present at a particular place, you can research and practice all
these things. Now, it is not enough to acquire all these knowledge, it is
putting them into practice that makes the difference. The basic thing is just
the same principle of customer relationship and what do I mean? If I know
someone who needs a particular service how do I connect to him to have it
rendered. So, basically the hub I was talking of creating is the medium I will
use to sell not only my ability but that of many experts who have something to
offer but are in one obscure environment or the other. Gone are the days when
you have to travel from one distance to another in search of something, today,
all you need do is to google it on the internet and you will be taken there as
fast as possible. I just one to use this opportunity on Asabeafrika to call out to the creative minds out there, those who
have learnt one skill or the other and who are aspiring to be utilized well,
take time up, never give up. Keep learning and try and network yourself with
people who have the room for possibilities. Most of the things I actually do are
as a result of networking, I know this person who got this talent and I have
got this talent, we work together and we achieve a common goal.
Brume Sama to Asabeafrika…’I love things that challenges my creativity’

How many of you from your Parent?
We are 5,
three boys and two girls and I am the second boy and third child.
How was growing up and could you recall
some of the experiences of growing up?
I grew up in
Lagos, GRA Ikeja. I was a middle child actually, in between the ladies and in
between the all fives. While growing up, I was always very timid, extremely
quite. But I was equally talented but unfortunately I did not utilize that
talent the way it ought to be. Looking back now, I won’t say they are regrets
but they are things I just wish I could re-wine back to time. I was actually
very gifted in a lot of things.

“I think the whole scenario came to
light when the Sub-Head of our production unit decided to make a loud noise. He
is a married man with kids so he had responsibilities and when he became very
pressed he had to cry out and apparently the management got to know about it”
Late Captain Sama with wife Boma

Like singing and rapping?
Yeah. I was
talented in so many things, I played football, I used to sketch, and I could
actually mimic voices of artistes and actors. I could also cram a film from A-Z
as long as I was passionate about it; that was how it was for me, a lot of
people taught I was strange. Then, as a matter of fact I started thinking, is
something wrong with me? But that was then, but right now I can say I have no
regret.
Could you say you would have loved to
be a musician instead of a producer?
To be honest
with you, it is something I am still considering because I do sing, it is still
in me. I actually did a music course while studying at the film school. Music
was one of my electives. I am actually being tutored extensively, presently in
a church choir. So, I believe talents never go wrong. Talents will always be
valuable if we know how to use them well.

Brume to Seun ‘She is my friend and confidant’

Tell me about your hobbies?
My hobbies
are sketching; I do a lot of exercise. Right from school days, I did martial
arts-Tae-kwon-do. I did Kung-Fu when I travelled to South Africa. I was actually looking for how to complete my grading
system in Tae-kwon-do but I couldn’t find a place to do it and the one that was
available was Kung-fu. So, I started learning Kung-fu. In a nutshell, I am a
creative person.

Brume Sama to Asabeafrika….’As a kid i was a bit timid though talented’

My Role Models
Do you have a role model?
As a matter
of fact I do, depending on the field we look at, in the movie industry and
Hollywood to be more precise, Arnold Swazenegger
is my role model, he is the former Governor of California. I was reading his biography and I read about how he
climbed up. I mean for someone who doesn’t know how to speak English and eventually
grew in the movies and later became the governor of California in the United
States of America
, he really, really inspired me. Another person who
inspired me with his success is Walter
Disney
the man who built Disney
Studios
that is responsible for most of the cartoons that we watch like Snow
White
and The Seven Worlds and
things like that; his story was actually very, very interesting. He was
actually fired from a newspaper company where he was working as a freelance
cartoonist and after that he used the little resources he had to create an
animated story. When he kicked off he failed to put his right under that
product or patent it and when he took the product to a company it was taken
away from him and he left everything.

Brume meets the GDA

He didn’t give up, he went back again and
created another brand and today, Disney
Studios Worldwide
is one of the World’s most powerful content production companies
and fortunately he actually lived to fulfill that dream before passing on. It
was not like a dream his children actualized. He lived to fulfill the dream
before passing on; so, he is someone who actually inspired me so much. Lionel Messi the renowned world
footballer is another person who inspires me so much. This was somebody that
had a disease that was related to dwarfism. They said he couldn’t do more in
terms of walking but as it were, he actually encouraged himself and his father
also encouraged him, the father always tried to tell him to keep the ball
between his legs and he kept playing and he didn’t give up. Today, how many
times has Lionel Messi been picked
as World Footballer of the year? So,
these are people who really, really encourage me. Anytime I read their story I am
encourage over and over again. 

Tell us about your wife?
My wife is
an accountant by training. She hails from Ilesa
in Osun state. She is a friend, I could say that categorically, she is a
friend, I had known her for years; we actually attended the same secondary
school, I was way her senior then. She is a confidant, a good friend.
Her name
Oluwaseun

Brume and his lovely wife, Seun on their wedding day

As an entrepreneur, if you find
yourself in a room with 1500 aspiring entrepreneurs, what will be your chief
message to them?
I will tell
them two things, that they should work smart and not necessarily work hard because
if it is about hard work, I can assure you Nigerians work hard. But not all of
them are smart in working. Secondly, never ever, ever lose faith in anything.
Don’t lose faith in your God given ability. Believe in God who has given you a
destiny to fulfill and never give up.
If your service is needed by any
production outfit, how can you be reached?
My email is [email protected]. You can equally reach me on 081-316-397-33.

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