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The 'NITA Friends' And How I Stepped Into The World Of Writing - Grace Oji

Grace Oji

Friends always have a way of influencing one another because a friend is a person you have agreed to walk and talk with, someone who has something about them you can relate with. 

This brings my mind to best friends I call the 'The Nita friends' largely because of their names. They did and probably will always mark the beginning of my writing career.

I was nine at the time and very much in love with storybooks like others my age. It seemed there was never a lack of it around me as somehow you could always find a girl reading something in one corner of the classroom. These stories projected the perfect worlds we would have loved to be a part of and kept us holding onto them like a pillow on a cold night.

If you didn't have one you'd always find yourself on the borrowing side which never went down well for me with constant refusals slapping on my face for reasons that didn't seem to fade away. Leaving me to the mercy of wishes and desires for what was out of reach.

It kept me sad and angry at once with two choices, forgetting about storybooks or buying them for myself. I had no money to buy nor parents too willing to get them for me and the other option almost brought me to tears.

Then I was saved by a third choice, a light at the end of the dark tunnel. It could afford me the companion of a storybook that will be mine without spending a dime, which was the choice to write my own stories.

It made me so happy that I wasted no time bringing it to life. Thus, my first experience with the Nita friends'. 'Juanita and Anita' became my first story scribbled on an old exercise book with blank pages. They were friends who like many of us were hit with a force to drive them apart; But rebuilt their friendship to stand the test of time.

I remember doodling some childish drawings to go with it. This work gave me nothing less than happiness and satisfaction.

I suddenly realized I wasn't constrained and the thing I so longed for was with me all the while. It's an experience I'm grateful for and a solid proof that some valuable gifts in you tend to show up when it's all rough and tough.

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