By Tony Ogaga
At 71, showbiz maverick and activist, Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy still prances around with the gait of a youth.
And to the surprise and delight of his fans, the ‘Area Fada’ is not relenting. Even at his old age, he continues to sing and make good music. Here, the grandfather and former PMAN president shares the secrets of his youthful look.
First, my youthfulness is as a result of a combination of many things. I tell people all the time that I have vampire blood! But I don’t suck blood-o. What I do is suck knowledge from people who have it. In my case, 50 per cent of the reason for my youthful look is my genes. God has blessed me with good genes from my parents. I also help myself with a moderate descent and simple lifestyle.
There are so many things that could be attributed to the persona of Charly Boy. My madness is not anyhow madness-o. I do a lot of exercise. I take at least 15,000 steps everyday. I also make sure that what goes into my mouth honours my body, but I not holy pass-o. I am a smoker; I smoke marijuana and cigarettes.
Lessons dad taught me
My dad taught me the greatest of all values and that is to make it simple always. I am careful about people I associate with. I am mindful of people who hang around me. They have to be people who can bring something to the table. Contentment is the key word. That is what my father taught me; don’t compare yourself to anybody.
Once you are courageous to do that with openness and sincerity, you won’t age! You will be able to sleep soundly despite the bad things you have done. Politicians can’t do that because they have done many bad things. Why do they carry so much security to move about? It is because their lives are not pure and so they age very quickly. But if it is pure like my own, they will move around freely and will be our friends. But when you begin to act like a god and feel you can get away with anything, you end up with a lot of stress; that lifestyle is stressful. However, my dream has always been to retire to a monastery and contemplate life in order to guide young people.
Diet, weed and sleep
I won’t tell you that I am strict. Sometimes, I fall off the track but I always make effort. I eat a lot of vegetables; that is why I smoke Indian hemp. It is a lot of natural vegetables. However, I will never advocate that young people smoke marijuana. Don’t be like Charly Boy; be you. Can you carry what I carry? Can you live my life? The bottom line is, the less complicated and simple your life is, the better. When I smoke Indian hemp, I discover new ways to improve because weed smoking is just an exaggeration of what is in you. It gives you extra ‘ginger’ and projects that which you already have in you. I have no issues with marijuana. My only problem is with cigarettes; they are dangerous!
Sleep is also very important. I sleep like I am rehearsing to die. I sleep between 15 to 18 hours a day. Once I think sleep, it comes and all my frustration and depression about my environment, which is toxic to my system, are eliminated and when I wake up, I am refreshed. I drink lots of water and fruit juice as well.
Which way Nigeria?
At 71, I am not done with music. There is a song I just did which I am trying to promote. I want Nigerians to feel me before I launch my body of songs later in the year. It is titled, Which Way Nigeria. It is a cover of Sunny Ade’s song.
Each day, I ask myself over and over again ‘where is Nigeria going? Whither the fatherland?’ We cannot continue like this! Somebody called it a zoo but I say no, it is not. In a zoo, you can’t keep a lion and a goat together. What we have is a jungle! A jungle where big animals eat up the small ones and do whatever they like. In the jungle, there is no justice; it is free for all. It is all about who can use terror more to intimidate, suppress and hold people in perpetual bondage.