I know I am late, but I just finished reading On Becoming by Nigeria’s sweetheart, Toke Makinwa, and I must say, “WOW!”
Warning: If you have not read the book, please, download the Okadabooks App. For those in the States, it should be a little over $6 [okadabooks.com].
Makinwa narrates the decade long search for happiness in a man she loved despite the lies, infidelity and deceit. Her story begins with the horrid loss of her parents at a young age and describes her relationship experiences to fill the void of her loss She mentions countless instances of his infidelity, warranting clear grounds to leave the relationship. However, because of love she stayed and endured 14 years of emotional abuse. Just in case you didn’t know, what makes his book ironic is the fact that she is a famous YouTuber who gives relationship advice. While many called her a hypocrite, her loyal fans commended her strength and resilience.
The release of Makinwa’s book may have shocked many, not because stories like this are unheard of, but because she made a public revelation of her private relationship to the world, which in the eyes of our people, is deemed foreign. In many African homes, women have traded their happiness to stay in abusive relationships confusing deception for forgiveness, lies for truth and hate for love.
I debated on writing a review of this book, but I feared it would be longer than the book itself, so I picked out 7 things that I thought would be beneficial for ladies to learn from Toke’s experience.
- Marriage is NOT the answer!
I’ll just leave this here. Moving on…
- “Not Every Time Heart, Sometimes Brain”
I don’t say this to be funny, but honestly, sometimes we need to rationalize some things. There should be a healthy balance between listening to your heart and thinking some things through. “… I am a helpless romantic”, Makinwa says. Every time Maje apologized, her “heart softened” only for him to do it again and again and again. When you are entering a relationship, your feelings may blind you to certain things, but it is up to you to think through what you are getting yourself into.
Learn to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. In the book, Maje tells her that his family thinks she is not good enough for him because she is not from the kind of background his family recognizes. Don’t let anyone tell you, you’re not good enough. Be confident in yourself and what you have. Her lack of self-love and worth seemed to ooze off every chapter but the last one. In realization, she states “how can you claim to love someone, if you don’t love yourself?” My advice to all the ladies! Don’t depend on any human being for love you can give yourself.
I’m sure everyone has heard the quote, “everyone can hear, very few listen”. Yes, there is a difference! Toke was told on countless occasions to leave Maje. She was blessed enough to be surrounded by family and friends who loved her enough to tell her the truth. Ladies, if you hear something about your man cheating from more than 3 different people, it’s grounds to inquire about it. In Toke’s case, she did. He admitted he was cheating and had babies from other women. Even Maje’s sister advised against being with her brother. “Don’t marry my brother until you hear from God directly” she says. For a man’s sister to not recommend her blood to her fellow woman is a BIG red flag! Yes, we all have haters but this was a classic example of an open book exam.
- Independence and Financial Freedom
One of the up sides to her whole story was her financial freedom and being somewhat of an independent woman. Despite her difficulty in the love category, she worked towards her dreams of becoming a radio/ television personality. According to her, it was the only thing she looked forward to and gave her joy. This is a lesson to all the ladies who plan on depending on someone else for their financial needs. God forbid you end up in a situation like hers’, how will you be able to support yourself? That’s why it is important to work on yourself and become financially stable before going to any relationship. Make sure you have things for yourself and not depend on your fellow human being for your means of survival. Toke’s heart went out to those women who had no means to leave abusive relationships where they have to endure brutal treatment.
Honestly, her faith is the only thing that gave light to the horrible experience she suffered for more than a decade. She narrates how she came from a Christian home and how her walk and relationship with God was strengthened through her experience. If you believe in God, I strongly suggest you build a strong relationship with him before embarking on a relationship with a fellow human being.
- Forgive for your own sake!
Last, but certainly not least, forgiveness. Forgive not for the purpose of the person, but for you. There is a huge sense of relief when you forgive someone.
by Ivery Arie