Justice Oputa: Charlyboy is Not my Son
What do you think about your son Charlyboy
Point of correction, Charlyboy is not my Son. I
think Charlyboy is a character. I don’t have any child as Charlyboy, I have Charles Oputa. I don’t allow Charlyboy into my house, but I have a caring son called Charles. Maybe, you will need to rephrase your question again.
What do you think of Charles today, what kind of child is he?
He has his own will, he has been doing what he likes,
he has been happy with what he is doing and that is
the aim of life. If you are satisfied, contented with
the day to day existence, then you are considered a
happy man. You may be very rich and happy but not
satisfied, but if you are in an atmosphere you like and
you have a wife who agrees with you like Charles,
then you are lucky. My son is very understanding, loving
and shows so much concern and respect for me and
her mother. That’s all we need from him at this age.
He has lofty visions seemingly impossible to actualize.
He pursues those visions with a single-minded doggedness, exhibiting an amazing capacity to build a team and drive them relentlessly toward the
realization of his dreams. His advice to the youths to
never let anybody kill their dreams is his personal
mantra which rules him. I salute that.
What is it that you respect about your son?
He has his own will and if you try to bend him and
discover that it is not easy, then all you need to check
is to see whether what he wants is for good or not. If
you do, you will see the sense in it, and then you will
probably join him. Most importantly, I respect him for
who he is today. Having told me that he was going to
get me to like his own kind of profession, and he did it,
is what everybody must emulate.
Will you say he has accomplished more than you have?
Life is an ongoing struggle and you don’t judge until the
end of the struggle, obituary usually portrays what we
have been while we were alive and then says whether you have succeeded or not. Normally, you don’t have an obituary of the living, so it is at the end of the journey that you can assess what and what have being his contribution, input. We are all expected to contribute something to life. If you have contributed nothing to life then it is too bad. Charles has tried, but
you can only assess our achievement when you read
Do you think he is living before his time?
Every revolutionist lives before his time; otherwise you
are not a revolutionist. If you want a change from
what used to be to what you think will be, you are a
revolutionist. Life is not stationary. Life is moving and
if you don’t move with time, time won’t wait for you;
it will move on and leave you behind. So in this dynamics of change, our part is to see if we can interpreted the course of events, see if we can tread safely on this or that or that part to see if we can reach the goal which we all want to achieve. He is a revolutionist, hence he sees past now. He is ahead of many of us. I think I know where he is going.
What was he like as a child?
Well as a child he had his own will, as I said every
father wants a son to be like him, but he did not want
to be anybody, he wanted to be himself, and he
showed that early in life. You choose a school for him;
he will go to the school he wanted to go to and not
the one you wanted him to go to. You choose a career
for him but no, he wanted what he wanted for himself, otherwise a son of a lawyer now a musician is not something to easily comprehend, but that is
what he wanted because of his will power. Truly, he
is living up to it.
What are the similarities between you both?
Well, every child takes part of the father and part of
the mother. It is difficult to see a child who is just
himself, what he does will be part and part of what
he learnt from his father or what he inherited from
the father. Blood is very precious; you can’t beat
blood once you have the same blood running in people.
Part of me is in him, that may or may not be the
dominating part, what people see is the dominating
part, they see him as a musician but he is playing a role
like a character in a field, when he comes home he is
different. It is no longer the Charly boy you used to
see, he becomes Charles Oputa not Charly boy. So we
are all playing roles on the world stage, Shakespeare
said, “the entire world is a stage and all the men and
women are players, we are all playing a role. All we ask
is that you play an honorable role so that when you
exit, when you have ended playing your role, you will be
remembered. Charles is so hard working, and that was
a big concern for me until I recalled what I used to do in
my younger days and even until I retired from active
professional life and service. Hard work and tremendous focus are certainly our common traits. He is also just like me; a man with a strong attachment to
his family. He just does not joke with that. I am also
very proud to note that like me, he has zero tolerance
for injustice of any kind. That is again related to a
deep compassion for the less privileged and down
Why do you live with him?
I live with him because I relax better with him. I rest
better here. I think my house is his house, and his
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