Area Fada, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa (fondly called Charly Boy) is a renowned Nigerian singer/songwriter, television presenter, actor, publisher, and producer. One of Nigeria's most controversial entertainers, he is best known for his alternative lifestyle, political views, and media productions, most notably, The Charly Boy Show.
Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria on the 19th of June 1950, and having lived there up until his early teens, the Imo native aspired to be a priest and as a result attended a seminary school where he spent just a year, and in his late teens, relocated to America where he attended college. He joined the music industry in 1982 and released his first highlife single Obodo Giri Giri in 1984. Few years later he was nearly denied a record deal with Polygram Nigeria because of his unconventional appearance which formed the new punk persona Charly Boy embodies till date, earning his unofficial title His Royal Punkness.
Pioneering the punk movement in Nigeria with his style and music which combined African Pop and Afrobeat, Area Fada released his most popular album 1990 in 1998, referencing Nigeria’s corrupt military rule which was expected to hand over power to civilians in the year 1990. The album earned Charly Boy mixed reviews due to its political nature and caused national controversy, with a number of radio stations refusing to play the title track. Despite this, 1990 was one of Nigeria's best-selling albums of 1988, and he was credited with using his music to stand up to his government.
Asides his music and fashion style, Charly Boy is also well known for his advocacy of the masses as he has fought for the rights of the average Nigerian through his popular TV Show, The Charly Boy Show -a weekly sketch/variety show with political undertones, and featured music, comedy, and celebrity appearances-, his publication, Charly Boy Magazine, and the general platform his works earned him.
He is a strong advocate of Okada riders in Nigeria, most of whom are poor individuals who earn their living by using the Okada for commercial transportation. In the mid-nineties Charly Boy fought for the rights of military pensioners during the Abacha-led military dispensation. He has also headed campaigns for Nigerian Widows, and frontlined the 2012 fuel subsidy protest in Nigeria, where he got arrested alongside other activists. There was also no stopping him as in 2017 when he started the Our Mumu Don Do movement, and participated in a daily sit out protest, calling for accountability from the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who had at the time spent over 60 days outside the country on a health visit to the UK. Charly Boy’s unwavering efforts with political activism earned him the title Area Fada.
“Area Fada is not a nickname, it is a lifestyle. I am the father to their fathers.” -Charly Boy.
Honouring his works and Legacy, waf. has released a collaboration featuring his persona on Tee Shirts as well a documentary video which narrates his journey through his career.