After all the craze and what have you, Area fada Charles Oputa aka Charly Boy is now a new man. He said he has encountered "positivity" and he has abandoned all the razzmatazz associated with the entertainment industry for the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In a chat with Encomium, Charly Boy said his encounter with Jesus was the freakiest moment of his life:
What have you been up to lately?
I have been up to all sorts. It is never a dull moment with me. My whole life is about adding value to people I am opportuned to meet. Adding value to my environment and just finding a way to be useful not just to myself but my family and my environment. So, I pretty much stay busy all the time and if it is a dull moment, I create things for me to do.
I think a lot, that is my job. I am a journalist. I talk about all the things that affect me, that affect my loved one, things that affect other people. So, I have always been talking since I became Charly Boy. I have always had opinions about somethings happening. First, I am a journalist and I keep telling you that before anything else. So, I write a lot. I am a social commentator of some sort. My job is to call the attention to the things that are awesome and to react when I see the things that are not good at all.
Can you tell us about your encounter with Jesus?
My encounter with Jesus was the freakiest moment, and if you read the piece I wrote, it is just saying that God really wants us to be real but the Nigeria perception about Jesus and how it works is just too Nigerian for my liking. They look at Jesus/God as babalawo or the pastors make some sacrifices and bring some money and goats and all the problems will disappear. It doesn’t happen like that and these days people are not going to church to nurture their spirituality. Rather, it is either they are looking for babies, wife or husband or promotion. It is all about the wrong reasons for being a Christian.
So, God was just telling me that in most of these churches they don’t have anything to do with Christ or God. They are there for business. I was wondering what does Jesus want from me? Is it for me to intensify my campaign for the hopeless, the downtrodden, people who have been consumed by this wickedness in the country. There are a lot of nice people who are losing their niceties because they don’t know what else to do. They are just hopeless.
Hopelessness is hanging over their head. They are frustrated, confused and they want to stay good because they were born good but they are losing their goodness because of the battle of survival. Like a young lady, who has been brought up in a humble and decent home but because she is looking for a job that is not there and her parents cannot afford to take care of her anymore, she is industrious and nobody to help. Finally, she resorts to prostitution, whereas under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t go that direction but it is just out of desperation. So, those are the souls I am hoping to capture before they go completely bad. This is what the environment has turned out to be.
Can you please tell us the things Jesus told you to stop doing?
All those contrived stuff that Charly Boy did and not me as Mr. Oputa, they have been outgrown. So, I have left them for other people who want to continue the madness.
Looking at the rate of marriage breakup generally in the entertainment industry, what will you say about it?
It is an unfortunate thing. I am saddened about it, especially with my son, the one in America. He is 39 and there is this Nigerian girl that he is dating. As I was hoping he will get married sooner or later only for him to turn around and ask me, must he be married, I was like what are you talking about and he started telling me that he does not understand this marriage thing. Why can’t he just have a contract with the girl, maybe we stay for four years, then if we want to continue they would renew the contract rather than for better for worse. That he doesn’t understand it.
That also gave me a cause of concern. Marriage is not a bed of roses. It is for people who have major respect for each other and want to stay in a marriage. Marriage is a lot of work and I still want all my children to get married the traditional way, discipline themselves to maintain that commitment forever. I discovered that the average youth marriage, especially in Nigeria doesn’t last more than two years.
This is crazy and terrible. I volunteered as usual, not because I am an expert or because I came with some experience, I have been married before my present one that is working out. I have been married thrice before but they didn’t work out. Now, I think I was immature at that time but now I am in a better position to at least talk to younger people and share my own experience. Maybe there is something they can learn from it or something that I can learn from what they are going through.
How did you discover the marriage councellor part of you?
It has always been there but not for the public. I am a teacher of some sort. I have been teaching all of my life, especially as Charly Boy. Many of these big artistes passed through the Charly Boy Show. Many of these young people passed through the Charly Boy university. I have mentored thousands and thousands of people. Because of me and the way I live my life, they have been emboldened to chase their own dreams and never give up.
How have you been able to sustain your marriage even with the tales of controversies?
It’s because I really want to stay married to that person and that person wants to stay married to me. So, it has to be two people who want to stay marred. Controversy is contrived. Charly Boy is Charly Boy. Charly Boy doesn’t live in our house, Charly Boy doesn’t come home. My children know Charly Boy but they know Mr. Oputa as their father. That is the big difference.
Charly Boy is an image, he is a character, he is not who I am. I am Mr. Oputa but yes it is not every artiste that can strictly define and separate their image from what they really are. To some people, it can get so confusing that they don’t know if they are really that image or they are somebody else. I am on top of my game and that is the difference between a character, an image or a personality.