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Should a Woman Downplay Her Success to Keep a Man? Watch Ozzy Agu, Toyosi Phillips, Cornelia O’Dwyer & Uzi on ‘Ndani Real Talk’

Adesola Ade-Unuigbe



5It’s Tuesday and you know what that means – another episode of ‘Ndani Real Talk’ hosted by Cornelia O’Dwyer.

On this episode of #NdaniRealTalk , the discussion is centered around successful women and the question asked is ‘Should a woman downplay her success and achievements to get/keep a man?’

Ozzy Agu, Toyosi Phillips, and Uzikwendu weigh in on the topic.

Ozzy Agu Toyosi Phillips Uzi Kwendu

…and of course, the captions are entertaining as well.

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Watch the episode below.

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - Twitter - @Adesola_AU


  1. chi-e-z

    August 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I just want a guy low key like me since I’m not flashy at all well I ain’t got no money but if I did I wooouldn’ spend it just to brag so I want a guy low key not bogey, flashy,uppidy just simple and both of us hopelessly in love with each other.

    • Jo!

      August 4, 2015 at 4:02 pm


  2. ednutey

    August 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    In all truth and honesty when u guys(the couple) are friends, like u see each other as ‘Friends’ the issue of downplaying would not be an issue, thats’ why i think the best relationships are the ones where both parties started out as friends…when the guy pays all the time, no one is keeping count and when the babe brings out her card to foot the bill its not an issue.As Friends u wont manipulate or take advantage of the other person,all you just want is that your partner is happy and that enuff brings you joy.

    Marrying-up is almost tantamount to gold-digging, guys are not left out these days anyways.Marry-right should be the word here,marry the right person,one who’s got dreams, aspirations,vision, who isnt okay with been mediocre and marry ur best-friend. Cornelia!!!!!!! marry ur best-friend o,(well maybe u have such views cos u shld be the odd-one out as the host,sha marry ur friend Cornelia!)


    • Meah

      August 4, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      @ednutey; I hear your point about friends making good lovers but i dont quite agree with it. Truth is, once romance (or sex) gets into the mix, everything changes. I was best of friends with a guy for ’bout 5 years and at his suggestion, took it a notch up to being lovers and i tell ya, it was a near-disaster! My job, which he was very supportive of and said a prayer for me to get two years before we switched things up, became an issue. I earned way more than him but this was a non-issue for him till we became an item. I would go on work sponsored foreign trainings and he would say things like ‘na wa o, madam the madam!’ I couldnt tell him about getting a bonus or sitting in meetings with heads of industry. It was such a chore. I eventually got tired of apologizing for being well paid and called it quits. It truly was traumatizing because we were actual best friends pre-relationship and i really did like him.

      My advice? dont flaunt your success but sure as hell dont also downplay it for no one because an insecure man will be insecure, irrespective of what you do or dont do.

    • Ada

      August 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Girl u hit it on the head. I like that.

    • Na wah

      August 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      “Marrying-up?” whoever came up with such a word? How do you marry up or even marry down? It totally distorts the meaning of the word ‘marry’ which i understand is the union of two people who love each other. But oh well, what do i know???

  3. BnManiac

    August 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    i dont think a lady need to do that, but at the same time there are guyz who are insecure who cant handle it.
    Guys should step up instead of ravishing in their egostic
    on another note, you attract what you are not who you are.
    A single lady in my office was advised to stop using her flashy car or she wont get a serious guy. Hmmm, things ladies does to get husband, its well.

    but on a more serious note, why must it be the ladies all the time. That was how when Fela durotoye got married to Fela Durotoye, FD was advised to stop her wife from working or that Titi should close shop. FD asked why? He was told when a woman seems to be more successful than the husby, she will be arrogant and unsubmissive.

    • Zeeebby

      August 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Please tell that lady to get back into that car and Turn on the AC……..why will you leave ur car at home nd be suffering under the sun………? Let d insecure man go nd see THE CATALYST or GO HOME TO HIS MAMA ND CRY…. these streets are for GROWN MEN.

    • gurl_wendy

      August 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Who is Titi?, You must mean Tara??

  4. Priscy

    August 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I can’t downplay who I am or what I have achieved to keep any man o
    maka why…success is the product of hard work and I am darn proud of my hard work
    I definitely won’t be throwing it in your face and all, but I will not downplay it
    And No, I cannot be the bread winner of the family o, especially in these days and times when men are extremely LAZY
    I can contribute to the growth of the family but I cannot be the sole provider ejoooo

    • Guys Perspective

      August 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I just had to respond to your line, “especially in these days and times when men are extremely LAZY”, I guess the data sample you used in reaching that conclusion includes your siblings, cousins, and very close friends. We really need to STOP with these generalizations, especially on a platform such as this, where people gather to learn, provide an opinion, and even gossip. We can achieve all of this without spewing negative and false generalizations. I work really hard, most of my friends work “extremely” hard. I have been working on responding to an RFP for almost 12 hours, I take a break and I come here to read a vacuous comment like yours, you really ruffled me. And if by chance your assumption is based on real life experience, just stop hanging out in those fora, change your church, change the lounge you chill at e.t.c

    • Hahaha

      August 4, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      That comment really got you ruffled guy, but i feel you, it is an absurd generalization

    • Nne

      August 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      I get your perspective but the sad reality out there is that more women are stepping up these days and more men are beginning to lax with their careers compared to 10 yrs ago. Folks speak based on the reality around them. I live in US and for all the states I’ve lived in, the ratio is ALWAYS the same; ratio of men to women 1 to 0.9 but ratio of eligible men to women who are financially able to start/support a family is 0.4 to 1. More women are on top of their careers than men these days.

    • Priscy

      August 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Yes, Mr Guys Perspective, I know it is hard for you to accept but the truth that in this generation most men are getting lazy. Women are really stepping up and working their butt out. I have studied a lot of marriages and relationships around me both in my place of work, worship center and some friends I have, the women are the ones providing like 70% of income in the house. And it does not even end there. They work hard in the office and when they get home, they work even harder with house chores and what not.
      I know there are still men that are quite hardworking and will do all they can to provide for the family…but the percentage of those men to the lazy ones have really dwindled.

    • Hali

      August 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Bros, You vex oh…

    • Eni

      August 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Lobatan!!!!!!! Bobo don vex

    • kanyin

      August 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

      *clears throat* I might throw it in your face once in a while tho. Just to make you sit up or throw jabs when you hurt me. Yeah its petty. Maybe i’ll outgrow it sha! :-p

    • faith

      August 7, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      i just know this is ky. typical!!! looolz

  5. bibie

    August 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Lol @yoruba sense

  6. Tuu

    August 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Cornelia is quite materialistic, I have heard her opinions on so many other issues on this show to say that.

    • Jo!

      August 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      PUHLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE! This is not “materialism” abeg, it’s common sense

    • cancel Reply

      August 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      From the little I have seen of her, she (Cornelia) is quite materialistic.

  7. Zeeebby

    August 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Downplay what?
    For who?
    Please where were you when I and the rest of your mates who are successful were hustling?
    Abeg park well….our thought process in this country is such a mess…. na so you go downplay finish enter marriage….when its time for you to leave your job to grow your Empire eh go talk say he must be the one on CEO table because everyone already things he is boss…..God Punish Downplay……

  8. Cynical

    August 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    This Cornelia babe is really pretty o,……that being said,this our accents in lagos ehn,o dikwa egwu

  9. prec

    August 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I have a huge crush on Ozzy it’s crazy, I was just smiling like a fool throughout the conversation.

    Anyway me, I’m not downplaying nothing, though i’m not a flash person. But i’m not really going to go out of my way to make anybody feel better about themselves. That is actually not my palava.

  10. ShineShineShine

    August 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I do not believe in keeping up appearances. I am just not wired that way. I can do bad all by myself. I work damn hard and l play real hard too. I got a job straight out of the NYSC camp. A very good job by all standards. It demands blood and sweat. Long back breaking hours and the perks of the job/remuneration is commensurate with the demands of the job.

    Now, will l down play all of the hard work just to nab a man? Hell no! I don’t do servitude. So, what happens after marriage? Considering we all pray for a long lasting marriage. What is the definition of long? If l pretend to be who l am not just to nab him, surely, that is condemning myself to hell fire here on earth while l keep up the act in marriage?. Naah. I refuse to roll with you if you are not bringing the same game to the table. Men have very fragile egos. How long do you want to keep at massaging that ego? Once a girl does that, you have settled for less and that is the beginning of frustration.

    Women are wired to respect men they can look up to. I believe in birds of the same feather flocking together. By this, l mean shared vision and respect for one another.

  11. Alias

    August 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t understand human beings anymore. How can someone enter a relationship and be pretending to be someone else? If you like a Bentley and can afford to drive a Bentley and you feel like driving your Bentley, pls drive your Bentley. The man who appreciates you owning a Bentley will appreciate you. If you’ve a first class degree and got the job of your dreams, pls appreciate yourself. The man who appreciates first class degrees will appreciate you. The world is full of so much variety, there’s someone for everyone. And all this talk of the man feeling that a woman is overshadowing him, it’s the work of the devil. When two people are married, they are no longer two but one. Even if jealousy tries to rear its ugly head, you tell jealousy to go away because that’s not the fruit of the Spirit of God. A man’s accomplishment and his wife’s accomplishment are one and the same. They both bring something to the relationship.

  12. Man this, Man that

    August 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    No other thing to talk about than man this man that?
    You better gaan get a life

    Does your whole and entire life revolve around getting a man?
    Abeg leave man matter jo

    Y’all do as if you can leave/exist without men but your actions, debate, interview, articles and write ups all border on men this men that


  13. Who cares?

    August 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Down play success???

    Many of you be acting as if it is only ladies that are successful these days while the men folk are not. The ratio of successful men to women is still unbeatable. This is why you all crying feminism and other organizations aiding females and encouraging them to apply for vacancies, just to bring you people up.

    Who cares about what you have or dont have?
    Since 19….gbogboro, men have been on that scene and no one ever heard about “the downplay of success” as many of our fathers married many of our mothers with nothing. Many of them sent our mothers to school in fact.

    Why is it now that the female folk are coming up that you hear all sorts of nonsense philosophy? All because you allow what you have get into your head. Men have been providing since 100AD even with 24wives and 48 children, and yet no one heard nada. Now some people are earning some miserable 150k-250k (in a country where the 150k is even valueless) and we wont hear word again.

    No one cares about what you have. keep it to yourself!

    • LOL

      August 4, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      You just made me really laugh out loud!

  14. Cj

    August 4, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    [email protected] comments
    Have read biographies of Rich women, they have same Rich male -dominant traits of self confidence,self assuredness compartment ,decisiveness and more recently pretty educated.
    So if a Boss-lady(if I may call her that) brings with her that ferociousness into a relationship/friendship with a brother that only sees such traits from his boss or someone he answers to at his job, brother be like “Ogini kwa bu nkaa” (warrisdiis). If a brother is not on same level with her economically but have dreams and is hardworking and busy . A true Boss lady would recognise that and help a brother grow as. Game recognise Game. You will just know there is something special about the guy. So she tones it down a bit and come a step lower ,hear him, talk things through and help him achieve his dreams. Win win!!
    But not same for the 1% up there,in that circle na answer your papa name and better Bring your A game. No body got time to baby sit when Ibiza and LA is 6hrs away and u have no Ticket money :)#What!!Blame it on social media if you may as we can be liking eachother now from afar-LondontoLagos

    So I stay in my circle to avoid problems.

  15. Tunmi

    August 4, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    There’s that f!boi mentality. Again, there will always be men, and all types of men. Abeg, widen your circle

  16. anonymous

    August 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I am just wondering if it’s my 250k salary, or cloth, make-up and shoe that will intimidate the future dangote I have set my sights on.

    • DMX

      August 5, 2015 at 4:07 am

      @anonymous, 250k a month or for a year? Pls i need to be educated on salary range in Nigeria because I might be relocating.

  17. Do you

    August 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Downplay ke? Still amusing how people pretend while dating and when they enter marriage they start crying that their partner has changed. As the woman dey downplay, the man dey up-play. 3years into marriage, wahala enter. Please be yourself! As someone already said, there is someone for everyone. If you start stroking ego now while dating, just be prepared to stroke it your whole marriage and please don’t complain. To be honest, this discussion is a non-issue. If you are married to a man who cannot appreciate the fact that baba God blessed him with a strong successful woman, Then Nne you have bigger problems Biko. Women should just stop pretending in the name of getting married. Just be diligent, watch and pray. God will surely give you your destiny partner and all these won’t be issues. Simple.

  18. MC

    August 4, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Rude the way she talked down on mechanics!

  19. Nina O

    August 4, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    This Cornelia girl… I don’t understand. I’ve been rooting for her from the start but wow wow wowwww. You’re opinions girl… I cannot.

  20. Nina O

    August 4, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Ok I’m back – Do you know what I hate? Comments like “Its not like we’re going from here to Ajegunle”… I’m sorry, are the people in Ajegunle animals? Are they dogs? What the hell does that even mean?

    Cornelia, your view are worrying and even more worrying is that thought of a large proportion of Nigerian women agreeing with you.

  21. SugaMama

    August 4, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Cornelia so gorge.

  22. dee

    August 4, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    You said my mind mehn.. I pray she doesn’t perish.. I like the way dey attacked her wt questions.. hahahaha*witcheslaff*

  23. New wife

    August 4, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    No matter how be urself u r n down to earth when u r married to a man n living with a man r woman , remember living lifestyle and professional life etc u gave to deal with every day for ever
    My new hubby while we r dating can eat spicy food for me even though he does not like it now we r married he does not want to or am even begging for compromise … Imagine me cooking pepper soup with no pepper …
    Mean while am nit down playing anything for any bdy , I having bring work right after secondary school , while in university I work , while doing master I worked … So after all this wahala I will now downplay cos of one man … I told hubby when we got serious everything , if. Wan ran or leave … Shot d down behind u … Must eat all d fruit of my labour can’t b sorry abt it

    • I said so

      August 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

      Go back to that school that gave you a “master” degree and demand a refund ASAP!!!!! While you are at it, let them know they will be losing thier accreditation imminently for conferring an advanced degree to the likes of you. There is no excuse for this incompetence…

    • Mrs Exclusive

      August 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Hahahahhahahahhaahha, i cant stop laughing, LOL, i will like to give her a benefit of doubt and say, i think her auto correct was playing tricks on her. OMgoodness i cant deal LMAO.

    • Doxa

      August 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Have you considered that English might not be her first language? She could be more proficient in French or Portuguese.
      Bad english yea, illiterate not likely.

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      August 6, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      hahahahahah I struggled….as in struggled to read/understand. lol

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      August 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Doxa I cannot but agree with you, African countries with French as their general language, most times write English like this, they literary translate from french and the conjugation really makes it come out weird. But I give it to them, they try with English. I want to assume this is the case with “new wife” unless her story is fiction. “cos the kind of strange tenses and omissions in this comment could not have passed Jamb..Mbanu! Masters kwa?

  24. tralala

    August 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Dear Cornelius, I like that you know what you want but you come off a tad materialistic. Your love is clearly for the highest bidder. Girl I pray your life is that golden fairy tale otherwise…….. Toyosi is such a beautiful girl. Much prettier when the camera is close up. The show is nice, like the informal approach.

    • I said so

      August 5, 2015 at 1:51 am

      Why is it when a successful woman states she intends to marry an equally successful man, she is often labelled a gold digger, materialistic , and so forth….

      I don’t see people shaming men who only date certain types of women; skinny, lightskin, long wavy hair etc into silence or calling them shallow, superficial etc…..

      Abeg live and let live!!! Wanting a successful spouse does not make you materialistic or a gold digger…..after all, you are bringing a substantial income into the family. Marrying down does not make you “humble” or a freaking martyr either so Abeg! Get over yourselves.

  25. yemu

    August 4, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Cornelia is such a typical Atlantic Hall person. Atlantic hall was a school filled with rich kids who were most of the time conceited and quite small minded so I am not suprised that Corneila comes across as such.

  26. Omo'badan

    August 5, 2015 at 3:56 am

    “since 19 gbogboro” lmao, a term my mom uses.

  27. Tres Chic

    August 5, 2015 at 4:40 am

    You all need to chill, she is the host, how interesting do you think the show will be if everyone had the same views and there was no balance? I bet if she expressed the same sentiments as the others we would say the conversation was boring, obviously it worked because there are over 30 comments so far. If there is no one with a different view on the matter then she has to appoint herself as a representative for those who feel that way. Kudos to her, she turned a potentially boring situation into one worthy of your comments and debates

    • Who cares?

      August 5, 2015 at 8:53 am

      cornelia, i see you in 7d

  28. DD

    August 5, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Cornelia comes across as shallow, shallow, shallow. I really hope it was deliberate as some of the commenters here are saying. I enjoyed the others’ opinions, especially Toyosi and Ozzy.

  29. ednutey

    August 5, 2015 at 8:08 am

    @meah:i get where ure coming from….my opinion which i still stand by is that when 2 people see eachother as friends they are more tolerating of eacother, does it mean some characters would not play out? no, but you would be able to tolerate more.

    With regards to ur situation, it was just a matter of time before the character in ur bf played out, and the earlier it did for you the better. Even as girlfriends, if u as a girl cant handle my success after we started out together struggling, then u were not my friend from the get-go, this handling-success issue isnt only peculiar to the opposite sex relationships, it happens between girlfriends too(na that wan even worse pass sef).

  30. Soraya

    August 5, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Why should any woman downplay her success??? If her man can’t handle it, then he should bugger off- no be by force!!

  31. Daz

    August 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Nice show, I don’t believe the host meant all she said. It is all spice to the whole argument.

    I am just wondering ni o…. All these ladies saying i work hard and earn a lot…… How much do you really earn per month? I tell my single female friends to buy their choice cars and live their life, not pretend by going for a lower car and still unable to get a guy thereby becoming irritable. But i say this, if you drive that car,try not to be arrogant…don’t use what you see to judge a person’s success. A range rover does not equal success o, celebrity is not equal to wealth o, A guy is driving a 2001 model of Benz, and you happen to be driving a 2015 model of Benz. Don’t be conceited and look down on him, as far as he is earning his own and is not depending on you to survive, i am sure you can work things out.
    Personal experience…. I am not into cars as such, so i have been using the car i bought since 2008 (2008 model too), omo, i bought that car when it just came out and it is still serving me very well, so did not bother to change the car… At the gym, chatted with this lady and we got along fine. When we were going out of the gym, she got into her 2014 car and i got into my 2008 model car. The next day, babe started giving stiff responses and was cold to me. Found out from an ex female colleague who uses the same gym that she told her she could not step down and date someone .. (she sha called me a broke ass). I told her not to say anything about me to her….. What she did not know is that i know what she earns technically as i had consulted for her employers in the my former place of work. It was a lol for me…. the PAYE tax i pay monthly is less than her pay by only 20k. she used my car to categorise me… that’s all right…I think she later got to know that she made a mistake but i rebuffed any friendliness from her. Sometimes, we need to get down from our high horse. I have several tori on this matter, but i will leave it for now.

    • Munachimso

      August 5, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      @Daz, I think its only in Nigeria people measure your status by the material things you flaunt. I sincerely think its very fickle minded. The truth still remains that game recognizes game, for crying out loud i wouldn’t want my partner to be excessively indulgent in material things. You drive a 2008 model and so what ? Does she know how many side hustle you do? Or she thinks you survive on salary only? Anyway, personally as long my partner has a plan and we are working towards then its fine. Because aunty is driving 2014 model she no wan follow you talk, im sure you hadnt asked her out before she started the drama.
      Only God knows how person wan integrate back into this lagos social and dating scene!!

    • Lawan

      August 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Her loss!

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      August 6, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Its a shame we judge people by what they wear/drive.
      We need to be blessed with discernment and foresight.
      Having said that though, if she was genuinely feeling you, she would have tried except if she was not. My opinion, women are generally more understanding so if they don’t show that side its a combination of different factors.

  32. Quirky

    August 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Ozzy Agu is cute..

  33. Lawan

    August 5, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Love Toyo’s view! Ozzy is tres sexy!

  34. Peaches77

    August 5, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I love Ozzy Agu and Toyosi Phillips!

    You better preach Daz! It’s not always by physical appearance / possessions that are easily sight-able..

  35. Man

    August 9, 2015 at 12:05 am

    My God! This host irritates me. Is she like 16 years old or something.

  36. dee

    August 12, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Irony of life at daz! there are guys who are not that boxed up but drive pretty expensive and latest cars while some peeps can actually afford it but just choose to go simple. Bottomline, do not always judge a book by its cover

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