Who is Toke Makinwa?
A cheated wife? The controversial Vlogger? A fashionista? An orphan?
There are many descriptions of the young, enigmatic lady.
Toke Makinwa is widely known as one of the most popular female broadcasters and on air personalities (OAP) in Nigeria. She was born on the 3rd of November, 1984 in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a graduate of University of Lagos (UNILAG). She came into prominence through the “Morning Drive” on Rhythm 93.7 FM as a co-host and has since grown in leaps and bounds into a media force armed with the most popular vlog in Nigeria. Toke Makinwa is a co-host of Moments on Ebonylife TV (DSTV Channel 165). She co-hosts with Michelle Dede and Bolanle Olukanni.
In 2010, Toke hosted the Most Beautiful girl in Nigeria (MBGN) beauty pageant. She won the Outstanding Female Presenter of the Year award at the 2013 Nigeria Broadcasters Awards. The light-skinned presenter has featured in major editorials such as Fame Extra Magazine, City People, Complete Fashion Magazine, Exquisite Magazine, This Day Style and many more.
On the 15th of January, 2014 she married her longtime partner of 8 years and fitness guru Maje Ayida but their marriage barely lasted for 18 months before hitting the rocks due to infidelity on the part of her ex-husband. On June 13, 2015, social media and mainstream media went agog with the news of Toke’s husband, Maje Ayida’s infidelity. Bouncing back from the dangerous brink of depression and all the negative emotions arising from a marital scandal that threatened the very essence of her being, popular On-Air-Personality, Toke Makinwa, has wrapped her stormy experience into a calming volume.
Here are the 10 biggest nuggets about the epic book, straight from Toke!
The singular scandal of her crashed marriage is the inspiration behind her first self-penned book.
The 14 chapters of her debut book titled ‘On Becoming’ which was published by Farafina, is a journey into her soul. It portrays Toke like you have never seen her before.
According to Toke, the book is about that shame that society puts on you when things are not going the standard that society wants things to be. Toke wants people to know that a lot of people are scared of others seeing that all is not perfect with them which is a sign of weakness. But being vulnerable is strength. It’s much stronger to be vulnerable than silent, than trying to hide it.
The book is one of the biggest projects she has ever done. Each chapter is different from the other. It’s a whole new process for her.
Contrary to public opinion that her recent endeavor is an ambitious effort to put the spotlight on herself and perhaps reap cash benefits, Toke revealed that writing a book was never part of her plan. It was reserved for her retirement from the media.
She wants young people to draw many lessons from her life. She wants those who are looking up to her and those who are coming, to look at her and say if she did this, they can do that as well.
Toke thinks it’s a wrong perspective to look at someone else’s journey and project that for yourself. She thinks that’s one of the mistakes young people out there make. That’s why there are lots of frustrated people and that’s why people don’t support each other as they should.
When her confidence was nearly swayed, she reached into herself. The incident taught her that there’s a voice that speaks to her from the inside. An inner voice. Toke found out that she is a person who likes to focus on her goals. She does not dwell too much on the noise out there or the things that are being said. According to her, she’s grounded in her faith and prays about everything. People misunderstanding her doesn’t put any pressure on her. She’s more pressured by her own goals.
In all the confusion, pain and shame, and all the things that had happened to her at that point, she started to document how she felt. Some days when she felt good, she would write. She was her own shrink. Eventually, it became a lot of voice notes.
The book ‘On Becoming’ is all about inspiration. It’s about telling young people not to give up on anything and to constantly push themselves. Accept what God has given to you. Look for what is in your hands and work with it.
What’s the latest?
Toke’s life was still under scrutiny after the scandal. More controversies trailed her. People abused her, they criticized her Vlog sessions which has a notoriety for controversies because of her topics that many deem inappropriate. Will it be limiting to conclude that the sensational Vlogger courts controversy or is she simply misunderstood?
Have your say in the comments section.
*Inspired by Toke’s interview in This day newspaper (Nov 27)