Better known as his Royal Punkness, here is a man who fought all odds to become what he dreamt to ever be. His name is Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, son of revered Supreme Court justice, late Chukwudifu Oputa. In this brief chat with The Boss crew, he revealed his very essence as well as the forces that came between him and his father and the reconciliation factor among others. excerpts:
You are back in Lagos, what are you doing in Lagos?
Lagos is the place where it all started, so I am back at the place where it all started; I am back in a place where I feel comfortable, where I am known, where I have my friends. I am back in a good place. I spent more of my time taking good care of my parents
So one of your primary reasons of going to Abuja is to stay with your parents
No, I had already moved to Abuja before going to the village to bring my parents. I just wanted to give them the best time of life.
Now that you are back, what are your plans?
To do the exact thing that captured my soul, which includes music, TV production and many more. You know, I see a lot of strange people, especially in the okada transport sector. I see these same characters in my state, Imo, and I wonder what the heck is going on. This explains why directly or indirectly I support the ban on okada. It’s about the kind of people involved in the business now.
So you had boys in okada business before
Of course, and I supported them for two decades. I have been with them, giving them guidance and have given well over 3000 bikes to operators. This is because I love the community, but now I see strangers who are not supposed to even be in this country flooding in. Honestly, I’m scared, and everybody should be. It is only a stupid person that won’t be. I mean how can you have strangers that are not registered, and they said they have closed the borders, but up north, people from Sudan, Chad and so on are trooping in. How come? What is happening?
Are you not tired of being Charlie Boy
How can I be tired of being myself. This is who I am; who I was born to be. My dad would always ask me, do you know who you are? And I will be like yes, I am Charles Oputa and so on and he would respond ‘you are an Oputa, and your word is your bond.
How have you been able to carry the name of your dad
You know, a man who is not disciplined is a dead man. I use to have a clash of personality with my dad such that by the time I was 26 or thereabout, I was tired of being introduced as the son of so so and so person. Even after my National service, my dad gave me a letter and asked me to go to Porthacourt, meet someone and start a job. But that was not my plan because I never wanted to work under anyone. I wanted to do music. This instruction seemed to stop me in my tracks, but fortunately, a week later, he was transfered to lagos as Supreme Court judge and I immediately relocated to the village where I stayed for about seven years. Imagine someone who just came back from Yankee (US) after six years. I practically disowned my parents. However, each time I find myself in Lagos, I try to keep my music dream going. But at point I lost confidence, and that is why there is no story I would tell without mentioning my sweethheart, Tina, who rescued me. If it wasnt for that woman, maybe there would’ve been no Charlie Boy
So do you still make music
Yes, I still do music even as it seems I’m on sabbatical because music is what speaks to my soul. I think I will always make music till I die. Music is something I do without putting money into consideration. That explains why I tell people I am not a musician but an artist. I am fully going back to it now as I’m no longer protesting for anything because what we have is a useless government; they are deaf, dumb and blind. They know nothing about democracy. I would put all that in my music, and that is what brought me back to Lagos, back to my first love, to full time production like Charlie Boy Show
We understand you are coming up with something soon
Yes, February 14 is the release date for my new song. I have put it together with incredible people like Falz the Bahd Guy and we made a song called GOM (god of men). I noticed most Christians worship their pastors instead of God, and of course some of them are fake. In fact, we mentioned some of their names in the song. The other one with Oritshe Femi “your mumu never do”, my wife, Faze and others.
So which one did you dropped on the 14th
The one with Falz called GOM
Are you tired of activism?
No, I’m only re-strategizing because there has been so many protests already, but like I said, the government does not care. No one is saying anything about the killings. My main concern is the youths because the salvation of this country lies in their hands, but I still belive that there would be someone who would pick up Charlie’s message. My time is ticking and hopefully, one day someone crazier would take up my message
What do you think about the Igbo presidency?
Igbos are wonderful people but for some reasons, they dont have their hearts together. If they allow Igbo presidency now, one million people will show interest and not support one person. My major concern is when would all come together and develop the Igbo region. I provide power and security for myself, and even road. So tell mw, am I not not a government on my own already. So till the citizens realise their office is more important than that of the president, nothing go change. We look at the people in goverment as lords and masters but they are criminals and riff-raffs, but unfortunately, we dont realise that we are the government before them.
So lets talk about Charlie Boy and Charles Oputa
Well, in my home, I am not Charlie Boy, but out there, yes. I mean, I cant be that man at home and raise beautiful children. I have nine children; my first son is 49 years and he is an Associate Professor in Boston. I have 16 grandchildren, my eldest grandchild is 25, and I have not lost my figure. Also, I watch what I eat, and listen to. I exercise regularly as well. You know I come from a strong background; my dad passed on at 98; my mom at 101. My advice to the young ones is watch what you do. We have all been wild once, and thank God before I turned 30, I woke up one day, e come be like say sense don full my head, and now I need to slow down. I used to be a junkie before but I quit, alcohol is something I never touched in my life, but yes, I smoked igbo and I’m proud of it. I don’t think igbo is a drug, but as a young person, you don’t have to do what others are doing. I have a nicotine issue, and for eight years, I stopped but went back to it after my mum died. I am hoping it would come to an end soon otherwise I watch what I eat. I used to be a vegetarian.
Let me tell you a story; one of my friends was very good at Maths but he was an orphan. When I got close to him, I realised he was even better in Maths than the teachers and he struck me as a success story, so when my dad was complaining about me being a failure because I wanted to do music, I looked at this guys life and I’m like he is an orphan yet na success what of me wey come get papa, and thank God for Tina who was a pillar of support.
How was Tina of a big support to you?
Three years after I relocated to the village, I was hooked to this woman who was my wife. Since there was no electricity nor running water, we always take our bath in the stream each we feel like it. There, I started a small studio where young were coming to drop their demo for a little cash. From there, a set up a shop and sold pepper soup since it was difficult going back to my father. My happiness and sanity were sustained in this wife of mine.
One day I decided she had to go back to her parents to do some work and send money home, and that was she left for three years, abandoning our baby boy, who was just eight months old. I became both father and mother, but one day, one of my friends gave me around N6000 and I left for lagos to promote my album.
I was standing at a corner one day then I saw this pretty young lady. She was Tina. I was admiring her and she seem to be admiring me too. One thing led to another, and I followed her home with my baby. Somehow, we became friends and she started visiting the village frequently. Honestly, that was my best moments in the village. She encouraged me alot and took me everywhere she went. I was more like her puppy. In fact, I can say she started the real Charlie Boy brand.
She brought me to lagos and took me to Premium Music where I’ve been bounced before, but this time we met the MD and he fell in love with me. She was practically my manager, and one day, we got the deal and she relocated me to Lagos. She got me a place at Gbagada and paid for two years. That was how my success story started. I would have married her but you know two crazy cannot co-exist under one roof because Tina craze pass my own oo but I have good memories of her. Even my mum loved her. She even took it upon herself to re-unite my parents and I. My dad and became best friends again, and he apologized for all the wrong things he said to me while growing up. I sincerely advise the young ones to chase their dreams, no matter what
So you are back to lagos finally
Wetin I dey do for Abuja when na dos people wey I dey talk na dem full there. There was a night I was attacked and my car windscreen broken. I had to bring out my gun, not aiming at them, but shooting to scare them. Honestly, I was tempted to drop one person but I did not, but they all ran away. I reported to the Police and began to wonder who wanted me dead. I felt I was no longer safe. Now I am back to settle down with my music, full time.