The Life and Times of Sammie Okposo

Prior to his big break on the Nigerian music scene, the late Sammie Okposo had been the powerful voice behind many Nollywood movie soundtracks around 1992, creating goosebumps moments and emotional enhancement with his sonorous voice. But the moment he decided to step into the music industry with his powerful energetic voice, he created career flashpoints that became household and national anthems.

With ‘Welu Welu’, a ground-breaking debut rendered in ‘Isoko-pidgin’, the Niger-Delta-born talented singer captured many hearts and officially announced his entrance into the Nigerian music industry in the 2000s. The recallable chorus, “Jesus, I thank you, welu welu” maintained a great appeal among many Nigerians, especially those in the household of faith, even decades later.

Since then, arguably one of the most popular longest-standing gospel-artistes in Nigeria, Sammie Okposo released more evergreen tracks, creating a fanbase across Africa and the world at large on both local and international stages.

Okposo who was also a music producer, psalmist, and CEO of Zamar Entertainment, collaborated with many other artists in the gospel and soul music fields. He collaborated with popular gospel singer Marvellous Odiete on “Follow You”, has performed regularly in Africa, Europe, and North America, and curated a series of concerts called SOPP (Sammie Okposo Praise Party). His most recent album, The Statement (2018), was produced by the Grammy-winning Kevin Bond.

His 2004 album, “Addicted”, was a hit that lit many entertainment spaces, as he deployed the unique Niger Delta impressions as well as the energy of a well-versed vocalist on the songs.

He later dropped several other hit singles and albums which earned him the 2006 Kora Best Gospel Artiste in Africa; the 2014 Crown SABC Best for African Gospel; the 2005 Afro Hollywood UK Best Gospel Artiste, and many others.

One of the greatest turning points of his career was when he bagged an endorsement deal with a popular telecommunications company, Globalcom, became a United Nations Peace Ambassador, and another deal with TMG Records, a reputable US-based records label. 

The powerful, energetic, vocalist who bid the world farewell on Friday after a reported heart failure, has left an indelible mark on the music industry and his voice will definitely be missed.


Joseph Omoniyi