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At 40, Obi-Egbe reflects on making of a woman in Sugar And Spice


Ruth Obi-Egbe

Humanity lives in a world of opposites — the good and the bad, the negative and the positive. While some people bury their past, others refuse to let go, a few just smile over those negative things and move on, believing that greater things lie ahead.

Ruth Obi-Egbe captures this general truth in her new book, Sugar And Spice, The Making Of A Woman, where she did not only talk about the complete woman, but counsels people to be ready for both sides of life.

According to the author and founder of Sugar and Spice Network, sugar is sweetness, while spice has a pungent substance; but in the making of a real woman, there must be equal parts of both.


Disclosing that the book is a memoir that chronicles the journey of life of today’s virtuous woman, she notes that she was spurred to write the book, when she realised she was turning 40 and felt the need to give back to the society and leave a lasting impression.

Thinking about my 40th birthday, I recalled the saying, a fool at 40 is a fool for ever.’ I don’t want to be addressed as a fool, so, I thought of what to do to mark my 40th birthday in a way that it would not just be a celebration, but also something that I can produce and give to the world, especially young ladies. So, I settled for a book.

Through books, one can talk to as many people as possible that one might never meet in life or could meet casually. Some of the items dwell on the lessons I have learned so far in life, she says. At 40, are you not too young to begin to talk about life’s lessons? The author, who doubles as a cleric and women mentor says she is not too young to do so, adding that many of her lessons have to do with understanding who she is as a woman and being able to harness her uniqueness for the good of mankind.

She notes: “I mentor women and have come across a lot of them that are struggling with what they are supposed to do and how to live their best life. So, some of the lessons I have learned in my 40-year-old life, which comprise things I teach the women are captured in the book. Though, I call the book a memoir, in the real sense of it, it is a manual or handbook that readers can draw good lessons from.”

Writing such a wonderful book, you would expect Ruth to say she began putting her ideas together right from when she was 20, but she reveals that the whole work took just four months.

I write for a journal. I am also a blogger; this helped me to easily put my thoughts together. But the writing and compilation took about four months. I was able to do it within this short period because of the encouragement my husband gave to me; his understanding and ability to take care of the children, knowing when I was busy and when to be left alone gave me the strength to complete the task in good time.

The 207-page book is broken into two parts and subsections. Each chapter represents seven years of my life, which I referred to as ‘weeks of years.’ Every week that is every seven years of my life captures the bittersweet of the period. I hope by the time I would be doing a second edition, there would be more insight to expand some of the ideas and then I would have the expanded version, she notes.


On why she added ‘sugar and spice to the title, Obi-Egbe says, the book is not all about the sunny side of life, explaining that sugar changes the taste of something bitter for good, while spice makes something bland to taste better.

While saying the title aims at bringing out the opposites of life, encouraging people to always use the sweet side of their lives to suppress the ugly side, she added that doing this, would make a person to forget the pains and ugliness of the past and chart a new life.

What I am trying to say with the book is that there have been sweet and bitter experiences in my life, but I have been able to pull from my sweetness to overcome my bitterness. I want women to be prepared and learn from the lessons expounded in book because those situations will surely come, she notes.


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