I cannot remember who wrote SUGAR GIRL but I remember clutching it and running to my father to exclaim “It is a Nigerian story!” Before then, I thought Nigerians only wrote textbooks.
My dad must have decided my education was getting one-sided because the next day, he descended on me with every Macmillan book he could buy. BORN TO WIN, KOKU BABONI, POT OF GOLD etc.
I loved them all but SUGAR GIRL held a special place in my heart. I was enthralled by the story of a witch who wasn’t a witch, of village life, of princes. So I returned to Ralia again and again. And she reached out of the pages and started a fire in me that burns till today.
I ran into my parent’s room one night, clutching again, SUGAR GIRL and announced, “I WANT TO WRITE!” And write I did. I drove my teachers crazy scribbling all over my school books. And I also read and listened.
I would sit at my grandparents’ feet and listen to tales of days gone and people long buried. I heard of kings and kingdoms; villagers and gods; the wild and the sea; lands and mountains.
And I wrote!
I didn’t know it then but when I opened the cover page of SUGAR GIRL, I opened a door and as I stepped into the words, I stepped into a world that forever changed my life.
SUGAR GIRL is the reason I do what I do.
Lade A. Lagos.