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Charly Boy: The Good Old Days of the 50s



Charly BoyMy people say old age no dey hide, dat na proper truth.

For those of us who are blessed with good genes and still maintain our youthful looks, let’s thank God o!  It isn’t easy, shey you know.

I’m a baby of the early 50s, which means I was born when things and people were very normal. Thank God that I was opportune to at least experience a better Naija in my life time.

I grew up in the garden city of Pitakwa, now known as Port-Harcout in Rivers state. I lived on Port Johnson to Ohafia Street in Gborokiri. Meeeen it was the good old days; I remember it like yesterday!

Every day was like a carnival in our house because my parents were always entertaining that I actually used to think that there were many Christmases in a year.

What sticks out in my mind the most was the love that my siblings and I shared with our parents.

Permit me to say it for all the early 50s babies, we are the blessed ones.

I come from a regular middle class family; our parents were not rich but they enjoyed a glowing reputation for integrity. They never chased money.

We were loaded with an overdose of morals, values, principles and how to protect our golden name. We were warned that a good name was better than money. It still is, I can assure you.

Parents, those days, gave only love, nothing materialistic.

I remember our first TV, it was Black and White, and even photos we took then were black and white. I still have a bunch of them, with many colourful memories looking at them.

Yes o! I am a baby of the 50s; unique and understanding because we are the last generation that listened to our parents and also the first to listen to our children.

Premium was placed more on morals and integrity than money and treachery.

As a growing playful kid, I had many friends and toys. No, we didn’t have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or yahoo yahoo. We had real friends and our parents knew who our friends were including their parents too.

We used to visit our friends’ homes unannounced and enjoyed food with them. We never had to call ahead to ask for their parents’ permission to visit their home. Oh, there was trust amongst us; people were kinder and more sincere. Our hearts and souls were truly happy because people genuinely loved. Hence we never required any insurance policy, we watched over one another in the true spirit of good neighbourliness.

The 50’s babies are very awesome people, very special. Some of us are still alive, horrified by the stench of our environment today, and what our country has been changed to. Most of us are in hiding, shocked by the criminality of the now and the treachery of today, absolutely having no clue of what air permeates the atmosphere and what our once luscious, peaceful and rich environment has been turned to.

The bitter truth is….a few of us like me, are still frantically trying to make sense of the whole nonsense, building a bridge between old and new school; still trying to understand the mindset of this present generation who are all living on their iPads, android phones, Linda Ikeji’s blog and what have you. We are trying to catch up with the amount of information assessable to them. I am proud that I am a baby of the 50’s.

Our parents taught us values and qualities that may be old-fashioned in the Nigeria of today, but I am grateful because these are the qualities that have become my bedrock and mantra in a system that honours thieves, riff raffs and yahoo-yahoo leaders.

Jesus is Lord.

I don talk my own sha!

Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa aka Charly Boy is a seasoned broadcaster with over thirty years of media, socio-cultural and street experience accrued via ‘the Street University’. He has an outstanding academic background with a diploma from Harvard University, a degree in Suffolk University and a Masters from Emerson University. | Facebook @charlyboy | Instagram @areafada1


  1. AB

    August 20, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Love it! Wish that era still existed but more the honesty, kindness and ingenuity of those time… I have a love/hate relationship with social media etc…They are great for a lot of things in this age and quite clearly shows how far the human mind can go and can create but obviously some human minds are also twisted and makes social media an evil invention! All in all its all down to the quality of training parents give to their innocent children who know not but what is given to them…I will really admonish parent men and women alike to teach their kids right, condemn what is wrong (don’t say because its your child they have your blood so they cant do such and such, these days kids are exposed to mind boggling things its scary), teach them truth, humility, respect for men and women alike amongst other things, and like Charlie said teach them that a good name is far better than gold coins!(aka money)! If we do, I believe that the same invention that destroys can be used to uplift and make us all better!. Thank you Uncle Charlie for sharing what your times felt like, by reading this you clearly had fun!

  2. Bodunade

    August 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Reminds me of me a song by Baz lurhmann – Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen).
    Even as recently as the 90s, Nigeria was a much safer place (in my little mind).

    Who remembers the story of the Israelites? They told Moses they lived like Kings because they didn’t want to eat boring Manna.


    August 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Love love love! I’m an 80s baby and even in the 90s things seem much more similar to the 50s Charly Boy has described than the present. I miss the simpleness of those days. These days things and people are so fucked up and the world is filled with sociopaths. I don’t know if people were actually kinder in the past or social media is simply revealing that most of us are monsters.

  4. Sek

    August 22, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    This article is cute. But it’s you 50s babies that drove Nigeria to the ground. “The 50’s babies are very awesome people, very special. Some of us are still alive, horrified by the stench of our environment today, and what our country has been changed to. Most of us are in hiding, shocked by the criminality of the now…..”
    Yeah right.

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