FOLAKE Awosanya is just like any 11-year-old girl one can find around, however, her love for literature knows no bound. At 11 years, the Grade 5 pupil of Ibadan International School, Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan, has already written three books.
Folake actually began by summarising any book she read, or television programmes she watched as young as seven years, and by the time she clocked 11 years, she published her first book, Alice, the Mermaid. She had watched a movie, and found a way of adapting it into a book.
“In 2008, I had watched a very interesting movie, and I realised it could have taken another turn; that was why I ‘twisted’ it, and it became my first book,” Folake said.
After her first book, the second, My Naughty Baby Sister, soon followed, and it focuses on two sisters, Alice and Stacey, and their challenges through life.
“Alice is a very nice girl, while Stacey is very naughty; so the book focuses on these two sisters,” Folake said. However, she didn’t adapt the second book.
“I just thought of the idea; it just came to me, and I found myself putting the story down.”
Her third book, Your religion or Colour: Does it really matter?,” tries to bring to the fore equality in the society. Although the book focuses more on racism in America, it is, however, also applicable to the Nigerian situation.
Even at the age of eleven, Folake already knows the challenges we are facing in the country, and she says her book explains to Nigerians that we are all equal, and no individual or tribe is greater than the other.
“I know if we can love one another more, then there would be peace in the country. I don’t really like the way some people are killing other people in some parts of the country. We should see ourselves as one, and embrace peace; it is only through this that Nigeria can develop faster,” the eleven-year-old who wants to become a lawyer said.
On whether she would continue to write after she achieves her dream of becoming a lawyer, the Grade 5 pupil says, “I love writing; it is my passion, and there is nothing that can make me abandon it. I have a lot of story ideas I want to develop, and I won’t feel fulfilled if I just don’t publish all of them.”
An avid reader, Folake loves Professor Wole Soyinka for what he has achieved in literature.
“I have read Ake, and it has given me an insight into Professor Soyinka’s childhood, and I also love Professor Femi Osofisan. I have seen some of his stage plays and they are really humourous,” Folake, who belongs to various literary organisations in her school, said.
Having admitted to have sold a huge number of her books, the 11-year-old is, however, not bothered by the financial rewards. All she wants is to get her stories across to the public; that alone gives her joy.