By Chidi Obineche
For decades, in and out of entertainment , Charles Oputa, aka Charlie Boy has donned the snarling image of an impish, egregious creature of the “never, never world” of Hadly Chase, the weird loom that would rather not wear a hoodie. He has through his deeds and attitude created a unique personality that is dual, enchantingly rebellious, fiercely enduring and impossibly clever.
He has demonstrated in more ways than one that nothing is sexier than a mature man who often has “boyish” moments. He just loves being himself. His involvement last week in the protest march against President Muhammadu Buhari tagged “Resume or Resign” or “Our Mumu don do” where he got a bloody nose from the police deepened his pumps.
Charlie Boy, who sometimes is addressed as “Area Fada” and “His Royal Punkness” is not a dandy good batman. Through him, and in him, his persistent nagging questions verges on the boorish, the punkish; effusively seeking to know why Cinderella’s shoes will not fall off if they fit perfectly. He walks the path of Mark Newson in the voyage of discovery fantasy, which suggests to all artists that “To create well I have to be in a good mood, happy and cool”. Charlie Boy has charted multi – layered pathways of the man in the mirror in his 66 odd chequered years on earth.
Some call him an enigma, some call him a bundle of paradox; yet others see him as the flowy insouciant that sits on the sapphire throne. And he does not mind if he goes with a scarlet letter. We find in him, laziness in respectability, style in invidiousness, smile in focus and possibility in furiousness. He fills his veins with light and his soul is washed with invincible palm. The “Punk King” has got guts. His spirit tells of a grand flush that thralls a smoky atmosphere, and perhaps bathes the landscape of a new thing, and for now, a new day. When he poses, it is like he is free of responsibility, when he hunts, it goes with handstands, and if he strikes, the thud will quake and reverberate for all that he cares. His carriage goes with the unseen permission to assume the deity that licenses people to do nothing and have it count for something. You will find him listlessly lying in the grass and hitting with his work tools and not counting the stars. He breaks the task, the challenge, the fear into small, bite- size pieces. Like blinders on a horse, he can hold his cudgel up to any face and face the piercing pain and loneliness that come with the fancy- free life of a rebel. This is his life. This is the faith with which he looks fear in the face. This is the bludgeon with which he gets busy. This is the struggle, the real McCoy that presents him on a leash, with him posing as in a holiday on a beach. Duty is the essence of manhood.
Born Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa on June 19, 1951 to the late Supreme Court Judge, Chukwudifu Oputa. He is a singer/songwriter, television presenter, publisher, producer and one of the nation’s controversial entertainers best known for his alternative lifestyle, political views, and media productions, most notably The Charlie Boy Show. He has been president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria and in 2011 an Idol Series judge. He had set out to be a catholic priest but left the seminary after one year. He went to America to study Law but switched over to Mass Communications. When he returned to Nigeria, he rejected a job at Mobil Oil and Gas that his father secured for him and went back to his village to work in a local beer parlour before moving back to Lagos to realize his dreams .He is married to African- American singer and former fashion designer, Lady Diane. He has nine children including Dominique, Anwuli, Adaeze, Charles Alexander, Yvonne and 14 grandchildren. One of his sons is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, USA.