February 6, 2016. A jubilant nation, is barely coming out of the night’s euphoria.  A selection of the national football team, the Indomitable Lions, that had received almost no attention from the public, as it entered the competition, takes home the cup of African Nations, after thrashing the pharaohs of Egypt at the final stage of the 31st edition of the competition. The morning of glory is about to be troubled. The news falls like cold ice cubes in hot water. Gently but surely, the word begins to spread that the country’s darling, one of the best in the burgeoning R&B world in Cameroon, Sam Arthur Locko Samba, or Locko for fans has been involved in a car accident alongside his manager and some members of his team. For those in doubts, a social media post from fellow artist and friend Tenor, endorses what has been flying in the air, with fans refusing to receive. In touching words and evident fear for the health of his friend, Tenor writes “The Big Dream family is heavily touched. The talent of Cameroon is in danger. My Locko is in a critical condition”. He goes on to call for prayers for his friend and his team. Even though Locko’s manager comes out later to assert that the artist and his team are out of danger and recovering well, the many fans that Locko has gathered have remained reserved. 6 weeks on, the artist is back. Or should I say is coming back. The car accident, he says remains a bad memory. But just that. “It was a really scary period in my life, but thanks to God my friends and I, we are alive and we are taking our time to recover”. And for a man with a voice in gold, recovery also means taking the stage. We talk to him as he prepares to do an all-night live performance in one of the capital city’s hottest spots. Locko sounds enthused and ready for heat. He tells us his staff has advised him to stay home for a month or two to heal properly. But he insists “It is very important to tell my fans that I am still out there. I will not stay at home and rest”. With a large smile, he jumps at the chance to invite fans to come watch him live “I will be playing all my hit songs”.As we exchange further, he dives into what inspires him. “It is very random” He says with the smile that is characteristic of him. “I can be inspired by a story that a friend tells me, or by a movie that I watch. I just get inspired by everything that surrounds me and I try to make it beautiful” Around him, he confides that friends and family sometimes think he is losing it. “They look at me as if I am crazy…because we can be having a meal and I am like, oh stop! Wait a minute! I take my phone and I am like singing something that is in my head. Generally when that happens, it is not beautiful yet” He laughs “It is just something crazy. But in my mind I know what I am looking forward to”. If he knows where he is heading to most times, he freely admits that it has not been easy growing to where he is now. Locko started singing quite young. He tells us that he spent his holidays at his grandmother’s where a prodigy uncle gradually horned his interest in music. The proud  muna sawa says this of the uncle whom he credits for defining the musician in him “HE plays like seven different instruments and sings like really good. And he was trying to teach us different instruments…. He tried to teach me guitar and my elder sister piano”.  The naughty head, who chose music over Management studies  confides to us that if the lessons were a little less school-like, maybe he would be somewhere nearer his uncle’s talent today. Locko overwhelmingly sings about love, with a clear tilt towards the celebrating women. His releases like « Simple friend », « Perfect girl », « Margo»  and «Ndutu». Beyond striking lyrics though, and probably the reason why women and girls are so crazy of him, is the fact that Locko is a devoted advocate for the promotion of the rights of women.  He describes Female Genital Mutilation as scary and horrible. In his opinion, girls and women who fall victims to sexual assault or FGM should fight to come out of the trauma, and the best way as he puts it, is to break the silence. As he takes his leave from us, to go take the mic once more, the songster  discloses that 2017 is a year full of promises and his fans will not be let down. “In April I am  expected in Canada, and  in the United States. There is also a China Tour that is in discussion”. The thing though to watch out for this year is a brand new album, for which the artists says he is working extra hard for. “I want it to be the craziest” He says with a laugh. Pochi Tamba Nsoh