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Toke Makinwa: In my pain, I found purpose

By Esther Ijewere-Kalejaiye
26 November 2016   |   9:21 am
Toke Makinwa is one of the most popular media personalities in Nigeria. She recently became an author with the unveiling of her new book “On Becoming”, in which she shares her story and pain to inspire women who have gone or are going through similar situations.


Toke Makinwa is one of the most popular media personalities in Nigeria. She recently became an author with the unveiling of her new book “On Becoming”, in which she shares her  story and pain to inspire women who have gone or are going through similar situations.

Penning the book was informed by her decision to document some of the personal losses she has suffered over the years and how she successfully made it through the most difficult time of her life.

In this exclusive  interview, Toke reveals why she wrote the book and her aspirations.

Childhood Influence
I like to think that we are the sum of all our experiences and the past definitely is the bedrock which the future is born. So, yes I will say my childhood played a vital role in the woman that I am Becoming. I learnt independence at a very young age, I watched things quickly change with the loss of both my parents at a very tender age, I became very aware quickly of how things can quickly change and not until recently did I realise that I held on to the familiar and feared change and change should be embraced not feared. In the book “On Becoming”, I share my journey to overcoming that fear.

Inspiration behind the book
It is important to tell your story or else the world will tell it for you. There was a lot of mystery around the Toke Makinwa brand and last year I had my life thrown into a storm that shook my very core. My journey to healing and getting my life back in order was not an easy one, In my pain, I found purpose and the message of “On Becoming” was conceived. My faith was questioned but looking back now I see that it has all worked out the way God ordained that it would.

In the fire I had a peace I could not explain and that could only come from God, I knew somehow that there was a message in all of the mess and when the word came to write a book, I was weary, confused, unsure, scared but I thought about the million and one women out there and men who are currently or at some point have dealt with a setback of some sort and it made me feel like i had a mission to spread the word, to share their pain and make see reason to get up and fight the urge to give up! It is very easyto let go, there is a lot of pain in the world today we need more successful stories of survival to encourage everyone who reads ‘On Becoming’.

Marital challenge as a propeller
The thought of writing a book never crossed my mind, I wish I could take credit for it all but a book was the last thing on my mind. I thought maybe when I am old and about to retire, I didn’t think my life was interesting enough. At the start of every year I usually talk to God about the past year and my plans in the New Year and in 2015 it was no different. I heard the word to write a book but I quickly dismissed it. I would meet people who would mention the idea of a book and I knew it was no coincidence. It would make me toy with the idea but I wasn’t sure still what the idea was and then June came and everything changed. While i was trying to find my way out of the murky waters, writing became a way out and I would document how I felt everyday. On Becoming was a message from God and sometimes all has to fall apart so things could come together again so beautifully, so it had to happen.

Every woman deserves to “Become”
I think every woman who reads On Becoming will have different emotions at different times. It is honest, it discusses so many things that we do not talk enough about and It is my belief that women need to speak more. To share more, It is my hope that anyone who reads the book will have the courage to Become and that is why the title is open “On Becoming……’ I want people to fill in what they are becoming after they read the book.

Nervous while writing
Writers block, there were times I just didn’t know how I felt and I would leave the project to nurse myself and get back into it again. I went through a lot of emotion, it was as if I was reliving certain events and it was difficult. I was also nervous about sharing intimate parts of my life but that was quickly replaced with the purpose I felt beat through my heart. It had to be done. I want people to read the book “On Becoming” and know that its ok whatever way life has dealt with you.

Giving up
Yes, I had a lot of moments where I felt like running away but something inside of me kept pushing me. They say where God leads he provides, even when we encountered so many hiccups, God showed up all the time. It became clearer as we progressed and at some point fear turned into excitement. The book is going to change lives and It is not because I wrote it, well….Maybe, but in all honesty, it will leave you determined to make the changes that you need to, it will also bring healing and closure and it will help anyone on a journey to discover themselves

Being an Author
I’m only just getting comfortable with my new status as an Author, I am excited and also ready to fill in the big shoes. To whom much is given, so much more is also expected so I am looking forward to becoming a bigger brand, I like how I am doing so many things and they flow into themselves. I cannot wait for the world to see the major plans we are working on.

Do women really support other women?
To be candid, we have come a long way but there is still so much to be done. We can tolerate each other less and love more. Support more, be a source of inspiration to another woman today, look out for her, share her pain and rejoice in her joys. The Book “On Becoming” shares some insight on this particular issue

Rising above Controversies
When you find your purpose, you are pretty determined to pursue it like your life depends on it and on that journey, it is a special journey (walking in purpose), you drown out the noise and stay focused on becoming more. I am so passionate about my platform and how It can inspire a lot of people out there, I don’t dwell on the negativity. It comes with the territory so I don’t lose sleep over it.

The Movement “On Becoming”
Every woman should get ready for some honesty, I shared to encourage you to also get the courage to speak up, I hope the book encourages you to take a chance. The movement of ‘On Becoming’ is only just beginning, 2017 is looking like a very busy year already and I am ready. The 6 months tour will take ‘On Becoming’ to different countries and I cannot wait to meet so many people and hear their stories too.

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