Friday, 28 August 2015

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


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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.


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 delavieri@gmail.com. You can equally reach me on 081-316-397-33.
















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