Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy is no stranger to controversy in Nigeria. What might be news is that this son of a former high court judge drew the ire of his eminent father when he chose to tread the unbeaten path of being a musician.
Speaking to The Nation, the Area Fada said, “I returned to the country in the early eighties, after my studies in the United States where I bagged a degree in Mass Communications, to a job with the Public Relations department of a major oil company in the country. Unfortunately, I was not interested in a nine-to-five job, so I declined the offer. My father was livid, and could not fathom why on earth I would choose to throw my life away by pursuing a career in music. No one in my family was involved in entertainment.”
Unwilling to depend on his father for sustenance after graduating from the university, ‘His Royal Punkness’, as he has come to be referred to, proceeded to take up residence in his country home.
“My father was based in Lagos at the time, leaving our Oguta home vacant, so I happily took up residence there as I would not have to pay rent. I thereafter set up a production studio. Unfortunately, business was not very buoyant as Oguta is out of the way to major Eastern Nigerian towns,” he reminisced.
It was a very hard time, so hard that his wife Diane had to leave the country back to the States to get a job to send money to sustain the family.
He recounts how, inspired by the late Tina Onwudiwe, he moved over to Lagos where his career began to take shape.
“Tina magnanimously paid for an apartment for me in Gbagada. I was overjoyed! I was already almost beginning to lose hope as to the wisdom of my decision to pursue music as a career, but not long afterwards, my album Nwata Miss dropped in 1985 and it was a big hit,” he said.