In a recent interview, popular entertainer, Charly Boy reveals more titbits about his life;
As an advocate of the masses, accompanied with your passion for bikes.,What is your stand on the ban of bikes in some parts of the country?
I don’t know what informed that decision and wouldn’t want to talk about the rational of government in accepting this kind of policies that are not favourable to the masses. It is insensitive that despite the fact that there is a huge problem of employment; a lot of people who live from hand to mouth are being incapacitated without an alternative means. As far as my eyes can see, what is building up in the country is doom and destruction except we wrestle out our stolen future.
Research has it that your stylist and associate singer Tina Onwudiwe created your persona, how true is it and what motivated your style?
Right from time, I have always been wired differently, with the drive to do things different and for the fact that everybody takes a right turn, doesn’t make it right. For me, it is only natural and I have been comfortable in my own skin.
Tina came about six years after the Charlie boy’s image was built, way before the Boy George came into lime light and created a masculine kind of image by introducing the image on power bike and mohawk hairstyle. She came at a time when I wanted to change the brand and she helped me find out something else and I also became serious about my body building hobby.
My father use to say these things won’t work in Nigeria, why do you want people to see you as irresponsible? Why are you dressed like this? But I told him that when it is time for me to show what is in my head then I will prove to them that i am a student of mass communication and we deal with perception, how things look that being different is not being crazy, stupid or an idiot but being distinguished and not like every other person. I have never lived my life for the public, I live my life for myself to find out what makes me thick and enhance my environment.
As a publisher, producer, presenter, actor and musician, what possible ways do you think our entertainment industry can be improved to encourage international patronage?
There are so many things to do; we are lacking the infrastructure, creativity. Mediocrity has become the order of the day, for every street in the country, talents are born but how many people could make it to the front line, just because we don’t have is no structure.
There is no music industry in Nigeria because you can’t have an industry when you don’t have a real recording industry that seeks out, nurtures and invests in talent, we don’t have it here. It’s only a few who know where they are going, get lucky and also get the big money, although it is not that easy. The ones that are may be top eight, top ten are the ones that I consider lucky because they have managed to have some kind of exposure on the international scene.
This is what we all started during our time in PMAN, when we advocated for artistes must be paid properly, respected and treated same as other foreign artistes. And of course, It was during my time as the PMAN president when Guinness was the first to organized the command performance, All Nigerian artistes, Wyclef and some other foreign stars get to meet us and we had the opportunity to shake hands with them and was the first music collaboration with foreign stars, and that was how that area opened but before then, there was discrimination between Nigerian artistes and foreign artistes.
But even at that, there is no structure and in our Nigeria way, there is always a propensity to do things anyhow, ‘na the witch wey dey worry us.’ Because of mediocrity, we don’t have a concrete structure on ground, it just becomes no man’s business.
It is all over the news that you sleep in coffin, what do you have to say?
I don’t sleep in coffin, I lay in it, I get bed for my house naw. I only go into my coffin when necessary and this is what I have been doing for the past three to four years now to meditate because it’s a symbolic, its may be spiritual in a way but It’s not a ritual thing.
People see things from where they stand, if you are fetish kind of person, that’s what you will see, but if you are a Christian, you will see a reality of death and trying to understand it because people just run away from what they don’t understand, they just label it, how can he be sleeping in coffin? I use it for meditation to zero in my focus, also as a body warmer when I finish my exercise in the morning, you could turn it on to heat myself just like in a solar, I further use it to remind myself that life is frail and have conquered my fear of death, so I live like everyday is my last day and it inclines me to do more of good even though doing evil is the easiest thing in life and good people are covered.
But because it’s in form of coffin, people who don’t understand will misinterpret it, and whatever I do is subject to interpretation. You could see it the way you want but am not going to allow your myopic thinking or interpretation to frustrate my living open. I have never looked for miracle because I believe that the life we live is a miracle in itself, even though they are evil people who think they have life forever but we don’t own life. I have chosen the hard way in life that is why I have worked in the path that have allowed me to strengthen faith in myself not in the external things, not like people who are myopic and looking for quick face, am not looking for anything that is exotic.
That is what Nigerians believe in, the young people don’t want to work and focus and where are they getting these things from? It’s obvious because there are no role models, your leaders are wolves in sheep clothing, they are fraudulent people and even the few who want to do good have been prevented. The mediocrity we have today is because good people have ran away, some have taken cover and the few left are being frustrated
Talking about role models, who is your role model?
I have gained inspiration from different people depending on what am looking at a particular time. I cant say there is just one person who is my role model. I have been able to draw inspiration from different people even starting with my family, my father for his act of contentment, he doesn’t have money but he is content, peaceful and a happy man, as for me, that is the essence of life because nobody can give you happiness and that is something we have to learn how to seek for ourselves.
Even as a spiritual being, I have always asked myself, what my mission in life is because everybody has a purpose in life and thank God, I was able to find my purpose in time and my purpose Is to enhance the life of people am privileged to meet.
So in terms of role model, I will say my father but it doesn’t just end there because I have drawn inspiration from all the people I have tremendous respect for, either crossed their path, have worked with, or for how they stood out in their community, society, and have also given me something positive.
As an influential Nigerian, most of your fans will like you to seek political appointment, how will you respond to it?
I know that you can’t effect change from the outside but already what I do is politics, the politics of change and I have used my life as an example that all things are possible as long as you believe and stay in focus, I have written it on the rock and other social network, everywhere.
I have been the most consistent after Fela, for the past 38 years in terms of focus and still maintain that even in a messed up country like ours, with all the bad things going on, there is still room for great values like integrity, honesty, I know they are becoming extinct but there is a space for them. I have said loud and clear that I did not get the little success I have by becoming criminally minded but by being focus, consistent and hardwork.
It is possible, so, let no one especially the young ones keep thinking that it is by any means necessary, I have said it in so many ways and I have lived it. But there comes a time people must take charge of their future because the salvation of this country does not lie on all these people that call themselves politicians but in the hands of its exceptional youths. I have always been in politics but that of change and succeeding under the most extraneous, harsh and brutal environment. I am politician but cant go for partisan politics.