On Becoming by Toke Makinwa

The moment I found out about On Becoming, I knew I had to read it. I guess by its true definition, I am a fan of Toke. Not one of those off the wall crazy fans but I admire her and her career. I’ve watched her videos on YouTube and follow her on Snapchat and she seems to be an amazing person who is always happy, living in light and grounded in faith. To read about what she has endured in her life and how she was able to overcome it was interesting.

Honestly, it wasn’t the drama of her marriage that made me want to read the book. I thought it would be a memoir of her life and her career so to have found that the book was mostly about her relationship with her ex husband, I was a bit surprised. Above all, it is a book I would recommend for everyone to read, especially females. It is more than a story of the breakdown of her marriage, it is a book about the adversities and tragedies that she faced and how she was able to overcome them and become the person that she is today. It is a quick read but it contains so many lessons that readers can learn. I don’t want to give much away otherwise I would go through the entire book in a post and talk about everything. Instead, I’m just going to list one or two parts that I loved and some of the lessons I got from the book.

1. No matter what you do, people will have opinions. You can do bad all by yourself. It’s bad enough when you’re telling yourself off for decisions you’ve made but when everyone and their grandmother is putting their two cents in… it’s a lot. The only opinion that counts, ultimately, is yours so you might as well do what you want, unapologetically. Only the opinions of close family and friends or people that you respect matter.

2. It’s akways good for anyone to have a small core group of people around them – a rock so to speak. In times where, terrible things happen and one is not thinking straight, having the core group around to help makes a great difference. When Arese told Toke that she shouldn’t be the one to leave her house, internally I applauded and screamed ‘Yes!’. I know that if I’m ever in need of advice or on the verge of making what seems not to be the best decision in a terrible situation, I’ll have people that genuinely care around me.

3. I’m sure that everyone has seen this a million times but if people show you their true colours, believe them; especially when it comes to relationships. Potential is never a reason to put up with an arse hole. Titles such as boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé/fiancée and husband/wife will never be a good enough reason to put up with an arse hole. Being naive doesn’t help either. Some of us see the signs and know better but instead choose to make up excuses for their crappy behaviour. It’s easier said than done, but don’t bother with the excuses and walk away. Unfortunately, a lot of us have to learn the hard way – through experience.

4. No one will be able to mess you around or treat you less than you deserve without your consent. I admit, in previous years, I’ve had a lot of anger towards people and thought more of what they had done to me, overlooking what I may have contributed to the situation. Last year, I learnt to accept that some of the situations where I felt wronged, happened because I let them, others because I contributed to them. I believe that the key thing is for one to retain their power and set standards of how they should treat people and others should treat them. At the end of the day, it is easier said than done. We all see signs. It’s about what we do with said signs that makes a difference.

5. Losing a parent is a powerful experience. Toke lost both of her parents and from the book, the effect it had on her was clear. I have lost a parent and when asked by people would tell them that they’re dead and before they could say sorry, I would beat them to it and say “Don’t worry. I’m ok. It’s fine now.” It was fine for the most part but it wasn’t until nearly ten years later that someone pointed out how it may have affected me and it occurred to me that I had missed out on certain things. I am still lucky to have one remaining parent that has done everything in their power to provide and fill both parental roles. It scares me to imagine what will happen when they will no longer be here but I always try to remember that I should enjoy and value them while they are still here.

6. It was interesting to get a view of her life when she was younger. I read the first part on the bus and I nearly laughed out loud when I go to the part about her spitting on her neighbour’s bald head.

7. Don’t hang around waiting for someone to make a decision for you. Get a hold of the situation and make the decision yourself. It will save you a lot of time and stress. If the person is causing you unnecessary stress, do yourself a favour and leave them be. We don’t know how long we are going to be on earth and it’s bad enough when part of it is wasted dealing with things that are not relevant enough.

8. I may not go to church enough to qualify as a Christian in some people’s eyes, however, I do believe that if something is not meant for you, it will not happen or it will not work. Things can’t be forced and they happen in their own time. This goes for jobs, relationships and so on. Remembering this helps me when I’m frustrated about not having a certain thing.

9. There is no chapter ten. It is titled, The Other Woman, and contains a quote by Toke. I was a bit confused so I went back a few pages a couple of times as if it would magically appear. It wasn’t until I went on twitter that I found out that I wasn’t the only one with a missing chapter. There was a reason behind it – she didn’t need to talk about her. This is unlike other people that will be ready to curse the living daylights out of the person and it really shows internal growth.

10. I loved the part of the book where it showed how Toke was able to heal from everything that had happened to her. She was able to stay silent throughout media and public speculation and held her head high. She even went to work after the news about her marriage had broken. She forgave her ex husband and what I loved most of all is she looked at the situation and was able to see how she may contributed to it. She took the good from the bad and became more determined than ever to fulfil the purpose that she was sent for. At the end of the day, we can survive anything.

11. Love yourself.

It was so interesting I forced myself to read it slower than I usually would. I really enjoyed the book and I do recommend for those who haven’t to buy it. It’s a quick read and it will capture your attention.


3 thoughts on “On Becoming by Toke Makinwa

  1. Pingback: On Becoming by Toke Makinwa — NaijaBrit88 – ShayDbooks

  2. I like that you highlighted things to learn from her story, cause usually one may just read through just for the sensationalism the book caused. No 4 resonated with me the most as I have also realised that many times I give people the power to treat me how they do. When I express and stand for myself I feel less implosive.
    I enjoyed getting to know Toke through her book and also liked that she was able to own her mistakes and even apologise for it. I just recently heard that she’s being sued (by her ex) for defamation of character due to the fact that she used their real names in the book. I hope she gets out of it!
    I agree that it was easy to read and very much a page turner. I hope the book helps a lot of women in similar situations out there.
    This was a great post, thanks for this!

    • Thank you! Number 4 resonated with me too. I’d like to think that I’m better now but I have to keep reminding myself not to revert to old habits. I find that people have seen me behave in a certain way for years and when they see me stand up for myself more or act in a different way, I’m being aggressive, they ask me what’s wrong or they act shocked.

      I heard she’s getting sued to and I hope that she was advised properly by her lawyers and management team before writing it. In my opinion, if he really wanted to, he could have tried to stop her from releasing the book before it got out.

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