BY OMOTOLA OLAIFA
The day marked a new beginning for him. It was Tuesday, June 19, 2012 and Charles Oputa otherwise known as Charlyboy had just turned 61. On a day he should be celebrating with his family and friends, the maverick singer chose to do otherwise. The weird one shocked many when he walked into the Lagos High Court and filed a lawsuit of one billion naira (N1,000,000,000) against National Mirror newspaper, over a publication where Charlyboy was quoted to be gay and a member of the Illumminati.
Even though Charlyboy admitted that he laughed over the issue when he got wind of the story “but where I drew the line was with their unprofessionalism,” he blurted in anger. “If we are saying the position of our country is not favourable then why are we enemies of ourselves? We are suffering in all areas. Is it the health sector, entertainment sector, just name one sector that is not suffering? So, as journalists we have the ultimate duty to present the fact as it is. If somebody is talking about their opinion, their personal opinion, or talking about rumours or speculations then they should not state those speculations or personal opinion as facts. National Mirror crossed the boundary by quoting me with what I did not say. That is what I call gutter Journalism. And so if I allow that to go on, that means that I am a fair play for everybody.”
The man who would rather not allow a blemish on his brand has many things to be grateful for. “When I look at my life, I know I am a blessed person,” he said. “God has blessed me with beautiful children. God has blessed me with ageing parents too. They are very healthy; you know what it is to be carrying your aged parents from one hospital to the other? I am not doing that. God has blessed me by giving me the courage to be myself at all times. I am happy for the journey so far. I just want to thank the fans for being with me so far, the people who have grown to believe and have faith in the brand.”
His lawyer, Ope Banwo, also talked on the brand Charlyboy and his failed pleas to National Mirror newspaper, where he demanded for an apology to be published in four different dailies but received no response from them. ‘It is unfortunate this is happening to Charly boy the ‘false story’ had already begun taking a devastating blow as companies working with Charly Boy were already considering dropping him from their brands. The position of the MCSN (Music Copyright Society of Nigeria) is already being threatened,” he explained.
“You all know me, I’m never bothered about any of this news,” Charlyboy added, “but I’m shocked at this timid, Mungo-Parkish way of thinking. I have put tenacity, focus and hardwork in the 35 years of building this brand. I think I deserve more. You can’t appreciate the brand if you can’t look past the antics of the brand. You have to have depth. You can think and have your own opinion but as responsible journalists, we all should know there are rules of the game. I have nothing against people. I have gay people as friends, everybody is my friend as long as you are positive thinking.”