When you set your eyes on the title of this article the first thing that comes to your mind as someone in a deeply religious developing nation is ‘regular church preacher’, ‘crusade-brand of pastor’ or even ‘sacrifice-demanding end-time prophet’. Well, far from it.
This is Clive Sugar George, a.k.a. Sugar Man, one of the most amazing sports presenters I have ever come across. He is a sports presenter at Brila 88.9 FM, Onitsha. This man needs to be announced to the world as, probably, the only sports presenter whose passionate love for his job cannot be equaled. Believe me, there are several very exciting sports presenters, and a number of them truly have unique qualities; But I have never come across the level of passion, professionalism, panache, fluidity, elegance, and class exhibited by Sugar George on radio.
The name ‘Sugar man’ is synonymous with Brila FM in the entire Southeast and South South Nigeria. Sugar man is popularly called ‘Double Sugar’ George or ‘Sugar Sugar’ man. Do you remember the football legend who was so loved by his fans to the extent that they named him twice? Of course, that’s ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. That was how Bolton Wanderers fans described him. The fans were so thrilled by Okocha’s performance at their club that they said “He’s so good they named him twice.”
So you can relate to the level Clive George is operating in as an On-Air Personality (OAP). Clive is so good as a sports OAP that his fans named him twice – Sugar Sugar George.
You might be wondering why he was described as a Sports ‘Deliverance’ Minister in the title of this article. The Sugar Man’s star programme on Brila FM is entitled “Popular Side”. This is not just a programme but a prayer. Those who listen to it can perfectly relate to what is being referred to here. When listening to that programme you get ‘cured’ of any psychological ailment that was troubling you before the programme came on. Often times, the ailment gets cured while Double Sugar man is introducing the programme. He introduces the programme with an unbelievable artistry, emotional intensity, outburst of innate passion for a job, to the extent that the listener’s state of depression evaporates before the main issues commences. His voice moves like a spirit gripping the entire atmosphere where the radio set is. You find it difficult to leave the area except the programme is over, that is if you’re not listening via a mobile device.
Clive is not called “The Sugar Man” for nothing. His voice sounds so ‘sugary’ that bad mood cannot withstand it. You must get excited when you listen to The Sugar Man. Make no mistake, ‘Popular Side’ is a prayer, not just a programme. The Sugar man runs a ‘prayer house’ in form of a radio programme, bringing joy to so many people in the Southeast. Currently, his prayer house is overflowing with broken-hearted Arsenal Fans most of whom have been there since their club’s performance began to take a tumble (apologies to Arsenal fans). The Sugar man’s presentation style brings joy to all who are exposed to his voice in radio. Spouses heal their marriages listening to the Sugar Man on radio. If you doubt this, just make sure you and your spouse listen to him on Brila FM whenever you have issue. His sports presentation style brings about a transfer process – from bad mood to good mood, hatred to love, despair to hope, capitulation to inspiration, and believe this, from Vietnam to USA (that’s a feeling you get). His love for his job is truly inexplicable.
Clive has amazing on-air and off air personalities. Sometimes you discover that some presenters do not look as wonderful as their voice sounds in radio, when you meet them in real life. That’s why some people only prefer to enjoy the marvellous voices of their loved presenters on radio without making effort to meet them physically before you find out that someone whose voice sounds like that of a high-profile Hollywood star actually looks like the local version of Ngolo Kante (heavy apologies to Chelsea fans). Not for The Sugar Man. He actually looks amazing, just like top models who are only engaged by world class designers such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Giorgio Armani.
Sugar man’s knowledge of sports issues is not what makes him exceptional. Most sports presenters keep in touch with emerging stories on various kinds of sports. What makes him different is how he presents the same news you’ve heard on other stations. He presents it as if the listener was there when it happened. Even if the story is unpalatable, probably a huge loss by your team, The Sugar Man sandwitches the story in humorous mannerism to the extent that you begin to wonder whether your club lost or won a match.
When massmediang’s most profilic female sports writer, Chidimma Nwobu set out to speak with Clive as part of the buildup to this article, we never expected such infectious humilty from someone who has the most listener-friendly presentation style on radio.
On how he grew up loving sports, here’s what Clive said; “I grew up loving sports. My father was a big influence on me in regards to that. I’m also very musical. I inherited that from my mother who is a singer and today music is a big part of my presentation style.”
Clive threw more light on what makes him unique as a sports presenter; “I have the ability to make things that are serious sound quite funny, putting all these together my style of presentation was inborn and it’s been making a lot of listeners happy.” Honestly, we agree with him totally. His listeners have proof of this.
According to Clive, “As an On Air personality I put hardwork and talent in regenerating myself. I bring out new things to entertain, educate and inform listeners. It’s the fact that something is expected of you from time to time that enthralls the listeners and keeps the presenter at the top.”
Clive is a Nigerian. I deliberately decided not to mention his state of origin because his performance is totally Nigerian. He is a presenter who, in terms of ethnicity or state of origin, is neutral. He easily understands how to engage listeners from any part of the country, and that is why he is a delight to sports lovers in Anambra State and other parts of Southeast and South South Nigeria where fans of Brila FM tune in from.
Clive’s sports presentation style is so special that those who do not really love sports hook on to listen to his voice and tap into the happiness he shares on radio. He is truly an on-air icon. If you do not know that sports presentation on radio has a sugary taste, then you should listen to Sugar Sugar George.
NB: The interview with Clive Sugar George used in this article was done by CHIDIMMA NWOBU