Beautiful on air personality, Toke Makinwa may have outgrown the challenges and hurdles life threw at her last year. Amidst it all, she is stronger and has written a book entitled On Becoming, where she let it all out, her challenges, experience and who Toke Makinwa really is. She had an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly about her book. Toke Makinwa wants her fans to eagerly expect the book which would be on bookshelves this month.
What inspired the book, On Becoming?
On Becoming is a very personal project. I started working on it over a year ago. When I started working on it, it was somehow. It wasn’t as if I woke up one day and decided to write a book. Writing a book has never really crossed my mind. May be I could do that much later. Maybe when I am retiring, then, over the years, I found out that a lot of people look up to me with the platform that I have been given. I went through a very tough time last year. In the middle of all of that, there was a need for an outlet to let my voice be heard. I believe in telling a story well enough so that people would not tell it for me. I started to put my thoughts together, it could be voice note, I was trying to speak to myself and also trying to survive. So, I decided to share it with the world because it would change the perspectives about people and Africans, it can also help someone in need.
Can you let us into the content of the book?
It has about 14 chapters. It is the journey of a girl who is travelling through time with the things life has thrown at her, working with the negatives to make it a positive situation, painting her victories and becoming who she is meant to be.
Why the title On Becoming?
That was what resonated within me while I was doing this. When I started it, I had no title but my praying took me there. I prayed a lot and I was learning about myself. It was a new experience for me. With all the noise from the outside, perception that people had, it was important that I stayed grounded and I found my feet in there. I was becoming stronger, more open, and more receptive and who I was meant to be. This is my purpose. This is my journey. I chose that title and I want to show the world who I am now.
How challenging was it putting your personal experience for the whole world to read?
The book shared my challenges and my thoughts about that. I would like you to read the book.
We are Africans and Nigerians. We believe in keeping it all together. No one should see that your life is not perfect but I am here to change that. People should see you in your worst, which is how they can appreciate your success story. People should see you when you are down and under because you would still come up. If you reach the bottom, there is only one place to go which is the top. We need to eradicate shaming people to silence, most especially women. Women are held in high esteem. You can’t show to the world that you are heartbroken, you can’t show to the world that your marriage is not perfect, because people would look at you and think there is something wrong with you. But there is nothing wrong with that person. She is walking through life. She is becoming what she is supposed to be. It is important that we unmask ourselves, let go off this tradition because people die in silence. The book shows that there is more to life than the shame.
A lot of people see the beautiful, happy Toke, what is it that people don’t know about you?
I can’t wait for them to find out from the book. I can’t wait for them to buy the book. They can read all of that. It is definitely going to do so much in terms of people seeing me in a different light. I had to share so that someone somewhere who is going through challenges can know that they can come through.
On Becoming is talking about advocacy for women but contrary to that, you spoke about kissing and one night stand. Can you throw light on what you mean?
I was being misunderstood and that was also acceptable. I can’t reach everyone and by telling them this is what I meant. It is not every dog that barks at you that you throw a stone at. I have a vlog and it is part of my brand. I talk about everything. I was trying to say to people don’t take yourself serious, live and let live.
Again, society holds you to some standard and so many people are heartbroken today because they fall below that standard, some already feel it is over for them. If someone is doing something such an individual should have done in his 30’s and 40’s and the person is doing it at 50, people would say such a person is suffering from middle life crisis. We have to be open and honest to accept certain things. Life is a journey. You are becoming who you choose to be. Who you were years ago is not who you are now. You are allowed to grow, it is a journey of growth, and be open, do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it, so that you can learn from your mistakes, become who you are supposed to be.
That is why we have to make sure the book is everywhere.
What I am trying to say is that, unveil who Toke really is, for those who may not have an opportunity to read the book?
People must have opportunity to read the book, a lot of work went into it. I don’t have all the answers. If I do, we wouldn’t be sitting here. I am just excited about my journey. I am excited about a lot of critics who are now believers. Let us not focus on that, let us focus on the book.
With all your challenges, what is your perception about marriage?
It is a beautiful institution. If you read my book, you would realize what I am saying. I am not coming from a bitter place, you would accept what happened. For me, it might be a marriage, for the next person, it might be a sick child. The most important thing is what you do with what you learnt from the situation.
When everything happened, did you blame yourself for it or were you bitter about it?
It was a journey, which is why I have written this piece of work. I was very honest about it in the book. We all go through different stages, we learn from them. I really want people to read it.
Would you like to give marriage a shot again?
Marriage is a beautiful thing. Next time we would be talking, I might be a married woman, who knows. Life is a journey.
What is you plan for the book?
It is going to be available in stores in Nigeria. We had to change the notion that people would not have access to it, they must have access to it. We need to share the message of On Becoming.
How long did it take to come up with it?
A year and some months. It would be out this month. It would be affordable as well.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN