WHY THEY CALL ME AREA FADA – CHARLY BOY
Among his fellow musicians and the society in general, Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) cuts the picture of an enigmatic personality whose life and ideals are shrouded in radicalism. But the maverick singer, non-conformist and friend of 'okada' riders said that right from day one, he had chosen his path and remained focussed towards defending the voiceless.
CB told us recently that his choice of Area Fada as sobriquet is strategic, and not that he has anything to do with the popular Area Boys but that his dream is to rehabilitate the derailing youths and see them on the path of progress.
To actualise his dream, CB disclosed that he is setting up a multi-purpose youth centre in Abuja, adding that the N4.5 billion project aims at training youths and artistes, as well as showcasing talents in all genres of entertainment.
The biggest of all my dreams in life is to be with the youths and ensure their welfare. My main dream has always been to establish a youth centre where I could take many young Nigerians off the streets and where I could on a wider scale, rehabilitate a lot of damaged youths in this country. Yes, it is true that parents are already failing in their duties-but I can't totally blame them because they too are victims of a failed social structure.
They are also burning away in currents of agony, owing to the insensitivity of the system. Parents have become so frustrated and deprived that no time is apportioned to their children any longer. Of course, they too can't take care of themselves, so how can they take care of their children?.
Why they call me Area Fada
Yes, I have explained the fault of parents. Teachers too are no longer interested in imparting knowledge into pupils.They are no longer bothered about taking up the honourable role of building future of the children. So, Charly Boy out of his conviction has decided to take up the role of parents and teachers by coming to the rescue of youths. So, I have become father of the street children and youths, hence they call me Area Fada. The name has nothing to do with the regular Area Boys who are popular on Lagos streets. My role is not to promote or encourage those layabouts who are busy stealing or attacking innocent citizens of this country. I've become the spokesperson of all the youths and that is why I've decided to build a N4.5 million complex to actualize my dream.
The Youth Complex
The new youth centre is one of the projects of the Charly Boy Foundation. It was conceived as a motivational and training centre with lots of facilities like computers, auditorium, recreational units, stage as well as a radio and television station whose area of coverage would be soon determined.
It is envisaged that on a weekly basis, a credible Nigerian such as Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Nuhu Ribadu, Dora Akunyuli or Adebambo Adewopo among others would be invited to talk to the youths on how they can build their future.
It's a centre that would keep youths busy and occupied as well as provide opportunity to learn a trade. We've already started to raise the money and I'm sure some of my friends who are well placed and who believe in the project would assist us.
Charly Boy as a name and brand
I look into the future, my works are not about today, but abou future. When I started, many people had wrong perceptions of my dream and that was why I'm misunderstood. People called me names, saying I am mad or that I'm an eccentric. But Charly Boy really is a child of future. I am not a regular Nigerian, I stand out, I don't think like the rest. I 'm for people who have depth, people who see beyond the physical appearance and decode the method to this madness.
My book…My Private Part
The book is a social process which comments om my growth and consistency of what the Charly Boy brand represents.
Constituency helps me to make the dream a reality- and I have demonstrated this in life as much as I reflect through the book.
So, the whole idea is futuristic-it's about what the CB Foundation set out to achieve in the future. Now, the foundation is training about 10 handicapped students in different universities and we hope to train more when the Youth Centre is fully in place.