Last week I finally managed to get my hands on the book by Toke Makinwa titled On Becoming. I am a huge fan of African movies, I know some of them are not as good as the Hollywood films but in watching them I celebrate the great strides that they have accomplished. If you watch the older ones and you watch the new ones being released now you can see progress and I feel inspired. I suppose I am saying all this to say that I watch a lot of African content and that is how I got to know Toke. I saw a “glimpse” of her story when I watched a series on Ndani TV(YouTube) titled rumor has it. The series was about a vloger who had her relationship fall apart in a very public way. A lot of people kept mentioning that the story was very similar to that of Toke and so I started actively searching for her on the internet. Toke as it turned out also has a vlog and she was on Moments with Mo (a talk show) and is also a radio DJ.
Toke’s story is one that sadly many African women go through (cheating husbands) but what made it worse for her is the fact that she is a public figure and when the news broke that her husband had impregnated another girl after only one year of being married (Imagine!), her career had taken off and it well and truly happened in the public eye, the news was all over it. The husband really did wrong, the lies, the deceit, the going back and forth to such an extent that it started affecting her confidence, her situation was not good at all. I think that in her heart she really felt he was the man for her and she loved him. I suppose when you are in love you hope things will get better and during the hard times you just hope that things will go back to the way they were in the beginning.
What I really admired about Toke was her ability to take what was a horrible situation and turn it into a teaching moment, she really has a strong spirit. Most of the time when we experience heartbreak we gather our girlfriends, have drinks, cry about it and talk about how much of a jerk he was and how it’s his loss. Sure that’s good, it is part of the healing process but when the dust settles and we have dried the tears can we then become honest to ourselves and start taking responsibility of how we contributed to the whole situation not working out. I am not saying that the guy was not a jerk but did you let him get away with it, did he even in a subtle way say you need to change or by his actions show you that you were not a priority? It is always easier to put all the blame on the other person but in doing that we also forfeit learning the lesson and are likely to make the same mistakes.
Similarly, in other areas of my life, I have found that I find it easier to blame the circumstance, the people, my background for the way things have turned out. In doing that I am saying that I did not at the time and still do not have full control over the situations and circumstances in my life hence essentially giving myself a pass and allowing myself to be passive.
And so here is to taking control, to learning the lessons, picking ourselves up and making the best out of any situation we find ourselves in. I will just end with Toke’s words, she says “All my mistakes became clear to me. I hadn’t lost my marriage to another woman. I had given my marriage to her. She had been more of a partner to Maje than I had been for a while. I’d stopped asking him about his work and never showed enthusiasm about his projects. He’d needed a partner but got a housemate. It was not enough to ask God for forgiveness. I would have to agree that I had not been perfect and ask my husband’s forgiveness in the spirit of true repentance. So I called Maje, and after I apologized I felt a weight lifted off me. ”