On Becoming by Toke Makinwa
Published by: Kachifo Farafina
Date of Publication: November 27, 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction; Memoir
Toke never envisaged that she would be a successful media personality. She began her journey as a bubbly child but grew into a lonely teenager after the devastating loss of both her parents. For so long after, it seemed as though she would never find herself.
On Becoming is the real Toke Makinwa telling us what it is like to be one of the most talked about celebrities in Nigeria. She reveals the truth behind her 14-year relationship with the man she finally married. A marriage that ended in an atrocious scandal that nearly brought her to her knees.
In the wake of the peaks and troughs that characterise Toke’s experiences, she now shares her struggle with blinding betrayal, finding forgiveness and drawing strength from her faith in God. On Becoming is Toke’s journey through pain to victory.
First, I feel I should mention I’m not a fan of Toke Makinwa. As in, I never followed her vlog; I didn’t even know she was on the radio until this past Sunday. I was aware of her, I knew her name but I never bothered to find out anything about her. So, I didn’t follow the drama around her marriage.
Now, I am not here to psychoanalyse the dynamic of her relationship with her ex or express my dismay at the level of naivety she displayed through it and the amount of crap she put up with in the name of love. I hope she has truly learnt and grown from all the pain and heartache she has gone through.
I would talk about the On Becoming by Toke Makinwa though; first, the title is very misleading and this book is not what I expected.
Here we have a woman who is successful in her chosen field, and then we have a book called, “On Becoming – Toke Makinwa”. Call me crazy but I expected to read more about how she made herself into a brand, and the challenges she went through to be successful in our society.
Maybe a chapter or 2 dedicated to her failed relationship, I don’t know… but this book was a bit of a let-down.
This book is basically a well packaged expose of her personal life. There’s no inspirational message in here, as the title would lead you to believe. As in, she could have easily written an essay about this, sold it to a tabloid, or pulled a Tiwa Savage on us and still gotten the same effect.
Well, almost the same effect; It is a mark of how business savvy she is that she will make you listen to her side of the story and make sure she gets handsomely paid in the process. It’s pure genius, really. I just wish she had shared some of her career making experiences with us as well.
Having said all that, On Becoming by Toke Makinwa makes for very salacious reading. She is brutally honest; she doesn’t make any excuses for herself for spending so much time of her life in such a dysfunctional relationship. In fact, she shares so much information, it’s almost too much.
There are no giggles to be had here. In fact, I don’t consider it gossip, just the Toke Makinwa and her side of the story. I didn’t enjoy it so much as it broke my heart and made me a little afraid for my poor, quiet heart in the hands of Nigerian men.
Would I pay #5000 for this book? Nope, but that’s a matter of how much this story is worth to you. Because, unfortunately, this is the reality of a lot of women all over the world and to have someone as huge as Toke Makinwa share her pain and healing process without holding back might be worth more than 5k to many people. Also for people who like Aproko.
I’ll admit I didn’t care one way or another about the Author before reading this book. Right now, I’ll say I have developed some respect for her for pulling off her version of Lemonade so well.
I’ll like to say a big thank you to the lovely Naijasinglegirl for making sure I got a copy of this book. You Rock!!