daughter and second child of Mr. Charles Oputa and Mrs. Diane Oputa. I
have an older brother, Charles Oputa Jnr. and a younger sister,
Dominique. I also have other siblings; Anthony, Margaret Oputa-Justice,
Sylvester McGraine and Yvonne. Professionally, I work with a
non-profit making organisation as its Associate Director of programmes.
It is an education-based multinational non-governmental organisation. I
am extremely passionate about my work and the impact it has on Nigerian
youths and the society generally. I am also a health enthusiast; I love
swimming and an occasional round of golf (at the driving range though). I
have not graduated to the golf course yet.
understood at a very early age that my family was different from others
– and I was okay with that. People always had questions or comments
about my family; particularly my father, and I had to grow a tough skin
to be able to handle the occasional adversity that came with the family
name. Nevertheless, I loved everything about my childhood; my parents
did everything possible to give my siblings and I the best. My mother
ensured that she helped us harness our potential as children. She
enrolled us in several summer programmes, acting schools, musical
instrument classes, and so on. My family is a diverse one, my father is
Nigerian – Igbo- and my mother is American from South Carolina. So, we
had the opportunity to travel a lot and learn a lot about both sides of
our families and that exposure played a vital role in shaping us into
the adults that we are today.
tough skin to be able to handle the occasional adversity that came with
the family name.” Can you kindly explain this statement?
to things they do not understand. My father’s “alter ego” /brand in
itself is controversial, and by association, people have assumed that I
share the same ideals that the brand represents. Because of this, I had
to learn how to distinguish myself at a very early age and part of that
process was to grow a tough skin, especially when handling adversity.
outside his home. I believe everyone in my family has certain uniqueness
about them and that is what makes each person special. Like I stated
earlier, I chose a different path and my path reflects my personality,
beliefs and values.
invaluable lessons of resilience and humility, which I also learned from
my late grandfather, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. These are two vital
lessons I hold very dear, from the two most important men in my life.
the literal sense; they adopted a more liberal approach to disciplining
us as children. We were allowed to question things we did not
understand. We were encouraged to speak up if we felt we were unfairly
treated and so on.
influence on my career choice, at least, not directly. I took a slightly
different path from the “family business.” I am more of a corporate
professional; I enjoy the structure and the fulfillment I get from my
work. However, I’m still a passionate creative at heart, so I steal
every opportunity to express my creativity.
his accomplishments, I have never used my family name as a means to an
end. I believe in hard work and dedication to one’s cause – whatever
that may be. My name will always be my name, at least until I am
married. However, I make a conscious effort for people to know who I am
first before anything else, because as human beings, we are prone to
preconception. I believe I have achieved everything by the grace of God,
hard work and merit and not by association.
teach the Nigerian youth. We need to dispel that myth that you need a
“family name” to open doors. This is exactly how we create a lazy
workforce because no one believes in merit and hard work anymore. It’s a
sad reality in Nigeria and it has to change.
schedule has slowed down a bit now and so he has more time to keep up
with the family. We all have very busy schedules but we somehow make
time for each other. I think communication and spending quality time is a
very integral part of building a very strong family unit.
figure for his publicity stunts, such as bringing a human skull to the
live broadcast of a reality TV show and so on. What can you say about
to comment, I would say that all these “publicity stunts” are based on
relaying a narrative, creating a perception and mystifying a character.
All of which can be associated with the Charly Boy brand.
stir about his publicity stunts and the controversies it generates, what
does he say to you and your siblings?
about these things in the house. A lot of times, depending on how crazy
the media stir is, I may get some phone calls from a few friends. But
that’s the extent of the discussion, unless the stir directly affects me
or my siblings, then we may possibly discuss it further.
speak for my siblings in certainty, however, I don’t think anyone is
really affected by the controversies. At the end of the day, everyone
has his or her life to live.
strange animals in my father’s house either. However, we have two
amazing dogs in the family, my mothers’ dog – a Skye terrier named Romeo
and my dog – a Yorkshire and Jack Russell mix named Ralph.
person. He is involved in our lives and tries his best to give advice
or input when necessary. Charly Boy is a persona created by Mr. Charles
Oputa, so I am not as familiar with Charly Boy as you may think.
relationship, and I have watched their relationship evolve over the
years. Their story is a very interesting one and I think it’s extremely
of many parts, from being a famous singer/songwriter, television
presenter, publisher, producer and one of Nigeria’s most controversial
entertainers. Which part/persona describes your dad most?
much of a politician. But then again, that’s probably what Nigeria
needs. He is still in the process of completing his album; he is also
putting a lot of energy and resources into the second instalment of the
Njiko Carnival, which takes place in Oguta in December.
public letter to President Muhammadu Buhari. What does he say about his
political affiliations and the state of the nation?
He, like most Nigerians, is interested in the development of the nation
and not politics in itself. Politics can sometimes be fuelled by the
‘herd mentality;’ most people have no idea what the real issues are,
they just want to be affiliated with something or someone.
general statement to make, so please forgive me, but most men of his
generation find it very difficult to admit when they are wrong.