Veteran entertainer, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, popularly called Charly Boy, has said that he has become a role model for the institution of marriage.
The statement comes after the 70-year-old songwriter, fondly called Area Fada, went viral for proposing to his wife of about 45-years, Diane Oputa, in front of a crowd in a mall located in Lagos.
In a chat with The PUNCH, the love-struck septuagenarian who has proposed to his partner four times said he was ‘inspired by their friendship.’
Area Fada said, “You know I’m a show person, I’ve come before the public – naked in terms of being my authentic self and in terms of my openness and the confidence about who I am. So it doesn’t bother me because I’m a people’s person.
“I did this to inspire people that there are still good and meaningful relationships, and relationship is not just about who has money or who is bringing money. It’s about genuine friendship because marriage is a difficult institution and if you find your partner that is more or less your friend and you have mutual respect, then those are the qualities that can endure longevity in a marriage.”
When asked why he proposed for the fourth time, Charly Boy said, “If it’s not four or ten times, it wouldn’t be Charly Boy. In our industry, there’s this saying that if music nice, you play it twice or four times, if you like but it’s not like you’re living on La La Land; like everything rosy. We have our moments but the friendship and mutual respect help us to jump whatever. Because marriage is management, so if you’re a good manager, you’ll always know how to handle your matters. It’s not for public consumption. It’s about mutual respect, openness and friendship.”
As the conversation went on further, Charly Boy opened up on his shortcomings in marriage and revealed that he had been unfaithful to his wife in the past but kept off because he was committed to her.
“I’ve discovered in about 70 years in life that I’ve become a role model for the great institution of marriage by being able to last this long regardless of all the distractions.
“Yes, I have cheated one or two times. I channelled off the track. I am not a saint but I have an obligation to my commitment. Commitment is about agreeing to do something, commitment to your vows and I take my vows seriously. If there’s anything I commit to I defend it with my heart, from a very deep place in my heart. I’m not a hypocrite or pretender. There are lots of issues in marriage, marriage is about hard work, it’s not about love stories, this is not Shakespeare era, this is reality and that’s why I said marriage is management. If you see people who have been married for long, know that they are good managers of their responsibilities. It’s not about finding someone you’re compatible with but about dealing with the incompatibilities.
He continued, “My tips will be, if you stand on the note of mutual respect, it goes a long way because if you have mutual respect, you will be cautious of each others’ sensibilities. Friendship will also go a long way. It’s a sure banker to get you to a long distance. It’s not just about being compatible but mutual respect, friendship and truthfulness, that’s what I learnt in my early marriages.”