Rite Of Passage

Rite Of Passage


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.

32 thoughts on “Rite Of Passage” by Lade (@Lade-A)

  1. aww, lovely Lade. Your 1st paragraph shows how long you’ve had your sense of humor. “Sugar Girl” does sound familiar and “Ralia” rings a definite bell but memory, as always fails me. Must be old age. lol I am glad for the consciousness this book awakened in you Lade; I’ve been blessed by your gift.

    1. Lol, Abby, i was born with that sense of humor. God knew i would need it.
      You, old? At just 16+? Lol
      Thank you, Abby, your words never fail to encourage me.

  2. You must be really old ‘coz I don’t know that book,just kidding but I’ll definitely look for it ‘coz of the way you described it.
    May your ink never dry up.

    1. did you say ‘old’? Moi, old?! Admin must hear, Lol.
      Try and get SUGAR GIRL. It’s a sweet story.

  3. I read Sugar girl too!!!

    1. Yes, oh! Methinks we need a SUGAR GIRL group.

  4. Ayawa you cant kill us, our blood is bitter. lol!
    I read sugar girl over and over again, cos that was the onlly book around for a long time…
    But men u are good, even Koku Baboni, read that over and over too.

    1. Elly, i’m smiling as i’m writing this. You are my partner in Nigerian children stories. Remember AN AFRICAN NIGHT’S ENTERTAINMENT, RETURN OF SHETTIMA, EZE GOES TO SCHOOL, ONE WEEK ONE TROUBLE etc. Gosh, i can go on and on.

      1. Kai! All these children stories you are mentioning brings back memories man! I enjoyed reading all this books. Back then – I couldn’t stop reading till i got to the end. Thanks for jostling our memories & appreciating the works of Nigerian writers. P.s Does that mean me a young man am old if i can remember reading them too :)

      2. Wow…this is really going down memory lane…good simple yet not so simple writing of old…I hope my writing will be such a legacy someday.

  5. Sugar Girl! The illustration of the witch used to creep me out! But yeah, Sugar Girl was the bomb. Most of the stereotypes about in-laws and stepmothers probably stemmed from that story…

    1. lol, Cikko. What was there to scare you in poor, unfortunate Ayawa?

  6. That book was amazing, but seriously it does make me feel kinda old. I wonder what kids are reading today.. I think we are blessed to have rocked the Era of Ralia.. Keep writing.

    1. I hate to tell you this, 44words, but if you rocked the era of Ralia, you are old! That includes me, lol.
      What are today’s kids reading? Frankly, i think i’ll be better off not knowing. Their level of exposure these days scares me.

  7. Lade, you made me want to get that book!And by the way,so glad you read it since it is the reason you do what you do!

    1. Jef, you really need to get the book. Its just a small children’s book but its a really lovely story.
      I’m glad i read it too. It helped me discover talents i didn’t know i had. It acted as my ‘wake up and write’ call.

  8. Geebee (@Gbenga-Olowosile)

    Wao, that was some memory-evoking stuff you put down. I read Sugar Girl like a zillion times along with Without a Silver spoon and so many other ‘Nigerian’ and these days I still think we’ve got loads of talent in Nigeria as far as literature is concerned. I can’t readily remember what inspired me to write but i think it was inborn.

    1. I always say i was born to write and Sugar Girl was what God used to show me my path. I don’t know why that particular book but even before it led me to writing, i was already ‘in love’ with Sugar Girl. Right from the time i read the story.
      And i agree with you, Nigeria has never been short of literary talents and we never will be.

  9. I vaguely remember Sugar Girl. But I remember liking it. Must find it. Hmmm… u guys are bringing back memories! Thanks Lade! And the part of Nigerians writing only textbooks was trés hilarious. I think I remember a certain book series called Pace-setters or something. Does that ring a bell anyone?

    1. how can i ever forget pacesetters? I still have a couple of them – Evbu My Love and Second Chance.
      I discovered pacesetters after Macmillan.
      Those were the good ol’ days.

  10. You and admin!is your husband in there?lol
    You guys are old,seriously I don’t even know any of those books.

    1. You know the bratty kid in school who is always reporting everyone and everything to the teacher? Well, the teacher here is Admin. Don’t dare ask who the brat is, lol.
      You sure missed the good ol’ days if you don’t know any of those books.

  11. Wasn’t around during the good old days but I’m enjoying this bad new days so much,you ”brat”/bratty kid
    Don’t knock me,lol

    1. Is it your Senior Lade you are calling a brat??!!!
      Get down and give me twenty frog jumps now now, then face that corner, kneel down and raise up your hands.
      Nonsense and ingredient! Lol.

  12. Somebody help me out here. Can anyone remember who wrote SUGAR GIRL? I’ve been racking my brain but i just cannot remember.
    I know KOLA ONADIPE wrote a lot of children books back then but i’m not sure if he wrote SUGAR GIRL.

    1. Y’all guys are old fa! lol

  13. All said and done, I NEED YOUR VOTES! lol.
    Seriously, please vote for me, y’all. Thanks!

  14. awwwww, how lovely, i hope you win

    1. Thanks, Adeyinka, so do i. But i cannot do it without you. Vote, please!

  15. you brought back lots of memories,Sugar girl Second Chance,Bottled leopard,Time changes Yesterday,Eze goes to School.By the way after Eze goes to school,there was so many goes to school.There was Kola the superstar.Good old days indeed.

  16. I will there!

    “You and me must make a pact
    we must bring salvation back,
    Just call on me…

    Yes, I will be there.

    Thanks for the gift of you.

  17. well since am a bro cant join the sugar girls group when formed-lol. yes Nigerians write more than text books unfortunately most lack the opportunity to get their works there, many are fighting to be heard i hope this chance will come and i can see our landscape being dotted with quality world class materials.cheers

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