ABOUT THE BRAND
Mr. Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, aka Charlyboy is perhaps one of the most celebrated personality brands in the contemporary Nigerian entertainment industry. Few celebrities in Nigeria can compete with his glamour or distinctive ability to connect with ordinary people.
Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa was born into a privileged parental background. Charlyboy studied in the prestigious, Suffolk University, Harvard University, and concluded with a master’s degree in mass communication [Mcs] in Emerson University all in the United States of America. But inspite of these towering academic exposures, Charlyboy never hesitates to attribute his great success so far to the rugged training he acquired in what he calls the street University. His pedigree notwithstanding, he has never reneged from his drive to help others that are not as fortunate as he, in Nigeria. He is not only visionary or enigmatic but he constitutes a reliable voice for the voiceless and downtrodden, propagating a message of change and hope to an eroding generation that must not be ignored. Charlyboy as fondly called by his teeming fans is not only a musician, entertainer, journalist, an Author, a social engineer but also a social critic. There seem an edifying philosophy that powers his career, which border on non-violent activism and consistent social pressure on establishments to make things good. In some quarters, he is viewed as a devoted crusader for social justice due to his relentless participation in purposeful activism. To this end, he is regarded as “speaker of the house of the masses”.
Mr. Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa is a man that not even the world can ignore.
AS AN ENTERTAINER
He started with music to gain quick fame and attention from the youths, to enable him gain their audience when he addresses issues that concern them. Then, as a musician he had entertained the public with over seven (7) albums.
He had released a highlife album in 1982; he attained greater success with the 1985 Polygram Nigeria release of Nwata Miss, which included the title track. And the 1988 album 1990 – the title was a reference to Nigeria’s corrupt military government which was expected to hand over power to civilians in that year (the military had eventually handed over power to civilian rule in 1999). 1990 earned Charly Boy mixed reviews due to its political nature and caused national controversy, and a number of radio stations refused to play the title track. Despite the controversy, 1990 was one of Nigeria’s well-known albums of 1988, and Charly Boy is credited with using his music to stand up to the government.
But mostly, people remember him for his eccentricities, his life style, his love for bikes and his choice of dressing.
Thereafter, he used Charlyboy show and the ZOOM TIME television programme as a medium to address ills in the country. As one time PMAN president he had fought for the rights of artist in the country. He had fought strongly against copy right and had demanded that the Nigerian artist be treated right. He fought strongly against piracy. It was during his tenure that the Nigerian Music Industry did their ever first ‘collabo’ with a foreign artist.
He also uses the social media and print newspapers to confront a lot of issues in the society.
THE SOCIAL CRUSADER AND HIS ADVOCACIES
Charly Boy is known as an advocate of the masses as he continually fights for the rights of the average Nigerian. He had organized the poverty alleviation scheme for okada riders where he has given out thousands of bikes. He had also led the three arms road walk on HIV/AIDS campaign in Bayelsa state. Again, he had led the “say no to drug campaign” with NDLEA. He also led the launch of Globacom GSM network.
He was one of the celebrities who organized fundraisers to support his old friend Tyna Onwudiwe who later died of lung cancer.
As a good spokesman for the okada course, he fought against the ban of Okada which is mostly used by poor individuals to earn a living, although it is seen by the government as an unsafe means of transportation. He said that if most of these riders had the opportunity they would go for a better job as many of them are graduates.
In 2003 Charly Boy fought for the rights of military dispensation by marching to Defense headquarters in Abuja to demand payment of their pension arrears. He has also fronted campaigns for Nigerian Widows and was founder of the Save Nigeria from Nigeria campaign during the last presidential election. During the Fuel Subsidy protest in 2012, he was arrested alongside six other activists for civil disobedience.
Till date he goes from campus to campus, schools to schools, preaching the gospel of hope, strong moral value and tenacity.
He is also one of the resource persons in the quest to sensitize and conscientize militants that were camped in Jos.
He has been arrested on several occasions for protest against authorities, during the fight for military pensioners, as PMAN president when he tried to stop foreign artist from coming into the country and making more money than the home based.
A very loving family man with nine (9) children, fourteen (14) grandchildren, married to the same woman for 37yrs. He is a man who spends more time with his family than socializing. If there is one man who knows how to set his priorities right, then its Charlyboy. His family is his bedrock. Nothing comes first but his family.
HIS MANY AWARDS
1. Award of Honour – Voice of the Voiceless Man of the Year. By News Paper Vendors’ Association Abuja (NVAA) 2011.
2. NUAMBS Unibuja Chapter Merit Award 2011 – Award for Youth Ambassador of the Year.
3. NYSC Cultural Awards 2011 – National Cultural Award *in appreciation of his positive impact and productive contribution towards cultural integration and youth development.
4. Black Heritage Award for excellence 2005 – Most Prolific Entertainer. By Bold Faces
5. 2005 Human Rights Hall of Fame Award – In Recognition of Distinguished Humanitarian Services to the Nation. Dec. 2005
6. Youth Orientation for Development *Excellence Awards – In Recognition of His Enormous Contribution to the Development of Nigeria Youth. June 2005.
7.Africa Transparency Award – as Anti-piracy Crusader of the year 2004. For Transparency, leadership, proven integrity and Excellence in Service to Humanity.
8. Silver Jubilee Award – For distinguished Contribution to the Development of Imo State.
9. Film Makers/Producer s Distinguished Merit Award – In Recognition of His Valuable Contributions and Substance to the Movie Industry.
10. An Award of Excellence – As Most Outstanding Personality in the Movie Industry. By National Association of Niger-Delta Students.
11. The Expressive Language Award *Second Place* – For Adding Immeasurably to the Versatility of the English Language-1981