Industry News: Nigerian Idol Signs First Drag Queen Named Linda, Formerly Known as Charly Boy

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“A drag queen is a man who dresses, and often acts, like a caricature woman often for the purpose of entertaining. There are many kinds of drag artists and they vary greatly, from professionals who have starred in films to people who just try it once. Drag queens also vary by class and culture and can vary even within the same city. Although many drag queens are gay men, there are drag artists of all genders and sexualities who do drag for various reasons or purposes.

Generally drag queens are males who dress and act in a female gender role, often exaggerating certain characteristics (such as make-up and eyelashes) for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. . .” -Wikipedia

The, among numerous media outlets, report that Musician Charly Boy, after speculations he would not be returning to Nigerian Idol, will now return to the show after all. The terms? Well, one key aspect is that he has negotiated a return to the show in a persona that can best be described as Nigeria’s version of a drag Queen. The musician will come glam’ed up and will answer to a new name Linda, his feminine persona. This should be interesting, I suppose, to the show’s fans and the producers. It certainly will get them the ratings they are looking for.

There are several thoughts that come to mind. First, in the history of the show’s inception in the UK and USA, I am unaware that there has ever been any drag queen judges. Second, I find it particularly interesting that in a society that frowns on men loving men (homosexuals) and dishes out harsh punishments, the homes of millions of Nigerians will now be open to a man who has kissed another man and has allegedly admitted to being gay (he now sues the media outlet who say they have him on tape making this admission). Rather interesting don’t you think? I wonder if on a societal level, this will mean little boys who have more effeminate qualities or even rename themselves as women will no longer be persecuted because they can point to Charly Boy Linda. By the way, Linda can kiss a boy on television, not so? He is a she for all intended purposes, not so?

Television Host/Presenter/Judges Agreements

For the legally curious, Charly Boy Linda would sign what could best be described as a Television Host/Presenter/Judge Agreement. The agreement should include the parties, the duties and scope of duties, the duration long it will last, compensation terms and an option to extend the term of contract. It should also describe the kind of performances, if any, this talent will undertake as a Judge. The Nigerian Idol producers would obviously want exclusivity because they don’t expect this judge to work for other competitive shows such as Nigeria’s got talent.

The Nigerian Idol producers would also want the ownership/ intellectual property rights in all of the produced work and, among other things, would want the “Right of Publicity” for each talent in the Nigerian Idol show. This means that they would want use of the name and likeness of Linda for commercial, advertising and promotional reasons.

There is a tricky side to this i.e. the legal liabilities that could flow for the producers. When you agree to have Linda as opposed to Charly Boy the musician, it is an explicit and outright endorsement of the outrageous-ness that character may bring. If such actions then cause legal liability, Nigerian Idol needs to be prepared to deal with it. .  . I could talk about the “Moral Clause” in a contract of this nature  as with the whole Charlie Sheen “Two and a Half Men” legal drama. However, I will stop here.

What Are Your Thoughts on the Social Impact of Linda in Nigeria ?
Is this a way of Charly Boy getting the last laugh on his rumored homosexuality? Is it his backdoor access to undermine and laugh at Nigeria’s draconian laws towards homosexuals?

Twitter: @uduaklaw

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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