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Find out How Toke Makinwa’s “On Becoming” Broke Nigeria’s Internet on #LiterallyWhatsHot



Toke MakinwaThis past weekend, the Okadabooks one month book sales records was shattered in less than one day and it wasn’t because of another set of photo-shopped nudes. Nope.

This time, the craziness was over the juicy and sometimes scandalous details in On Becoming, the first book from media personality Toke Makinwa. After reading the book, many women (and men) developed mad, murderous glints in their eyes. Comment sections on blogs spawned solidarity groups spewing pity, indifference and hate over her experience.

Through the fracas, Makinwa has been silent, just like she was when the scandal the book is based on happened …

Sometime in 2014, we woke up to pictures of Makinwa’s wedding to fitness trainer Ayida Maje. There had been no announcement, no noise on her YouTube Vlog or Instagram page. Everyone was shocked senseless when Toke commented, saying it had been a “surprise”.

My reaction? Someone’s pregnant!

Less than two years into the marriage, the couple got divorced. The reason? Maje was having a baby by another woman. Through the brouhaha of people judging and wondering what happened, Toke stayed quiet, kept her cool. No one expected she’d tell it all in a book.

In On Becoming Toke Makinwa walks us through her time with ex-husband, Maje. There are snippets of her childhood, and a flash of her teen years, but let’s just say the book should have been called Maje and I. Forgive my sarcasm, I’m still a bit upset because I expected to read a keys-to-success memoir.

toke-okadaOn Becoming did not inspire me in the way I thought it would. Instead, it reached inside my soul and stirred emotions that’d long been stifled. Off Bravado Street, there’s a scared, unsure woman inside me. This woman has experienced what comes with loving too much and feeling like she wasn’t getting loved back. This woman has been desperate for love; this woman has cried a few unnecessary tears over a guy. This woman hasn’t lightened her skin for a guy like Toke confessed to doing, but she’s been damn well close to doing other silly things. Call me crazy or weak, but Toke is one strong woman for putting her business out there.

The death of her parents at a young age, feelings of loneliness and the struggle to find herself are other things she discusses.

After reading this book, I wondered if those issues contributed to her self-confessed esteem and daddy issues. Did they have anything to do with her choice to stay with a cheating boyfriend turned husband? What sort of person was she to marry a chap who’d cancelled their wedding twice? Sigh. There are brands of pain I’d never claim to understand.

For her, writing this book might have been an avenue for gaining closure. It might have been an angry swipe at her ex-husband’s slowly blossoming career; it might have been an attempt to garner sympathy. I guess we’ll never know. One thing I’m sure of is that Makinwa knew this book would sell like hot cake boli.

With over a 160 copies sold on the OkadaBooks app in just three days, On Becoming has been spotlighted as the fastest selling book on the platform! God knows how many other copies Makinwa’s sold elsewhere, but I know that the shoki she was doing at The Experience was not for nothing! From today, I’m dubbing her Cash money Tee. All hail!

If you really want the juice of the Toke saga, or you’re looking for a fitness trainer to hate, or you just need some good ol’ inspiration, download the OkadaBooks app so you can start reading the book today! On Becoming isn’t a book to ignore. Trust me.

You don’t want to be the last to know.

chiamakaChiamaka Onu-Okpara is a freelance editor with an absolute love for anything weird. When she isn’t wading through punctuation errors, she binge-watches cartoons and writes speculative fiction.
Send her a friend request on Facebook
Email her at [email protected]


  1. Sonia Paloma

    December 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The reason this book sold as much as it did is because WE love to hear people’s dirt. Be it our Neighbors, Friends, Celebrity, et al. I don’t know why some people refer to her as a ‘STRONG BLACK WOMAN’. If for any thing i didn’t see any strong black woman in that book, just someone that sat down and took LOADS of BS from a Man. (one quarter of which i would never dare endure). The only part i felt she was strong was from the loss of her parents (deeply felt for her). As for the rubbish she took from Maje, 12 years is too damn long to take such dirt.
    Just like Tiwa’s story broke the internet and now Toke’s, many more will still break the internet. Most of us are just a bunch of Nosey people that loves to know what is going on in another person’s life. Not necessarily because we care for any advice or to enlighten us more on relationship because a lot of women will still put up with men like this till they too have had enough

    That being said, I know BN will not let this Toke story rest, dem put am for head like say dem they hawk Abacha. SECONDLY, ANY INSENSITIVE/INSULT FILLED OPINIONS DIRECTED AT MY POST SHOULD BE KEPT TO THEMSELVES OR ELSE THE THUNDER………

    • Loki

      December 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

      No need for the threats- most people agree with most of what you’ve said.
      That being said, it appears Toke’s book has somehow brought out the article writer in everyone. Everyone now seems to have a literary piece based on this non-issue….

    • tunmi

      December 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      I just have to say that all the personal stories sharers like Toke, Christy Teigen, anonymous commenters on BN/SDK/LIB, name to face (nonanonymous) bloggers or Facebook page owners have actually helped me in some way or another. You have all given advice, warnings, and encouragement whether in life, love, personal wellbeing and career. Truly. You are right, people are nosy. And you all have enriched my life in one way or another. So, thank you.

    • EKPO

      December 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Your fantastic

    • Anoy

      December 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      so its ok to write insensitive post about Toke but u too can not take the HEAT .. ….. then u are a hyprocrite like Toke and no different

    • Random

      December 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Exactly. No need for the threats Sonia, why so passionate? Yet you blame Bella naija for carrying the story on their head. Not only were you the first to comment, you wrote an epistle and ended it with a threat. Please breathe. You will be ok.

      Toke dared to whistle blow in a very brave way about a situation many encounter in silence and yes whilst many might have been drawn to the situation because of gossip, many would also realize that we have a society that’s very harsh, judgemental and quick to lay blame and become experts on other peoples situation.

      Yes she may have taken trash but the fact still remains that it was trash. A lot of it and she obviously got saturated with the trash…..some get saturated and it costs them their lives in the case of physical abuse or mental health in the case of emotional abuse but guess what? Hers just cost her cheap talk and lots of money.

      One thing is important though, maybe if we did more whistleblowing, people will be cautious on how they misbehave…both men and women. If you become a nuisance in a relationship, you should lose your privilege to privacy.

      To all those involved, those who will love them will always do regardless of the shaming and blaming and those who hate them would do so regardless. Everything passes in it own due time.

    • Jadiel

      December 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      I absolutely agree with you, whistle blowing is what we need in this country. A lot of women are thought to be silent in d name of being ‘home builders’.

  2. J.M

    December 6, 2016 at 11:33 am

    #1: the three parties are at fault. #2: toke comes across to me like someone with a confused personality. #3: toke is a very beautiful lady, she should work on her self esteem. #4: if there is one thing I strongly disagree on, is d fact that she blames maje for changing her skin colour. #5: there is one thing u can’t take away from toke, she is one hell of a business savvy lady.

  3. esther

    December 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Every bold celeb will want to copy this trend.

    • Peaches

      December 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Smh. Not everyday begging, you know!

    • le coco

      December 6, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      peaches.. u r mean.. If u dn’t wna help just move along..

    • toto

      December 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      join MMM

    • Chika Alice

      December 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      You send well educated. Not like someone who should stoop so low!

  4. Mahka

    December 6, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Ughhh, am tired pls….Kudos to Toke.
    BN, one Toke post a day, sounds fair na… Thanks in

  5. o

    December 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    When you use one side of your mouth to praise the author that she broke the record but in the same breath use the second side of your mouth to abuse her stylish…. Lol @ Maje and I

  6. Jezebel

    December 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Hmn I bought my copy off Amazon and correct me if I am wrong but a large percentage of the book offers comfort to women going through the same thing Toke went through. The book stripped Toke of all the glitz and glamour and showed us this bare, broken, put-back-together, sometimes hysterical in a funny way human being. I don’t know which book you read writer but mine was inspiring.

    Maje was lucky and got two women with serious self confidence issues to mess with. Anitas issues must even be worse than Toke’s to put up with the shit she got. It’s a shame that she doesn’t realise this. As for oga Maje who’s only selling point is his family’s wealth, letter writing and mediocre D game, I hope he is finally “becoming” a man.

  7. Bey

    December 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Meeee ama gonna buy d book sha..
    I know we all criticise Toke and all, but for sum reason I have a soft spot for her and I just over-look d wrong she does (as we all do wrong).
    I cant imagine what it feels like to loose both parents very young. She has really done well for herself despite that tragedy. I actually think it affected her in holding so much unto Maje.

    @BN na only you ppl no do Santa (wink wink)
    SDK and LIB are doing.
    Any gift for us your loyalist?

    • Fair play

      December 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      “…and I just over-look d wrong she does (as we all do wrong)….”

      Are you ready to overlook the wrong Maje did too….?

  8. Nessa

    December 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    So did all that noise and hype increase her low self esteem and sense of worth. She should use all the proceeds on intensive therapy.

  9. bim

    December 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I read d book over d weekend,and so many thoughts came into my mind which I discussed with my sis.I quite agreed with sisi yemmie on d fact that d book never rily highlighted how toke rose in a career.on becoming just reflected how maje defined her whole existence.toke made it clear in that book dat she wanted 2 b somebody so as 2 accepted by maje nd his family.2 my understandin I feel dat toke rily hustled 2 become a big girl thinkin it will keep maje,and from Wat I understood she knew maje was a cheat and wuld Stil cheat on her,she was insecure,she had low self esteem wen it comes 2 him,and instead of letting go,she still fought 4 him,his love nd his respect.and I think d book was a way of gettin bac @ him nd anita,!y destroyin their character and also a form of closure 4 her cos with all dis things she wrote bout maje,there is no chance they can ever get back 2geda again.i feel toke has not totally gotten over him.and my advice 4 her is to give it time,time heals every wound.4 me dis book came 2 early.toke wuld ve taken time 2 pray 4 healin before reflectin nd writing about dis book,but I get she wants closure fast.d book is also a lesson 4 d younger girls.never let a guy,not even any1 define your existence,let God define your existence,no 2 never patch up a relationship in hope it will get better,it will only get worse,see things as dey truly are and love and respect urself enuf,2 walk away,in yrs 2 com u will luk bac and luv urself 4 makin dat choice.thirdly marriage is meant 2 b enjoyed not endured,do not lead a guy 2. Marry you,do not aspire 2 become great nd successful so you will become attractive 4 a guy 2 marry u,be successful 4 u,add value 2 urself 4 u,d right guy would luv you and find you d way you are.let d guy make d decision 2 want 2 marry u alone on is own and mean it and go 4 it,let d guy adore u and want 2 spend d rest of his life wit u. Becos it’s is choice,never lead him 2 dat point..we kep seein d struggle btw toke and anita,maje Stil kept goin bac 2 d simple anita.toke shuld ve just left d guy nd not keep trying 2 win.dis is a lesson 4 every1.toke I pray U put God 1st in everything from now on.let God lead u dear.all will b well.

    • pweetcucumber

      December 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      thumbs up

    • Selfesteemers

      December 6, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      because men that chase their beautiful and educated wives for years don’t end up cheating. I see that we are all now relationship and self esteem prophets. We now all have high self-esteem and have never put up with abusive or cheating exes meanwhile Shiloh and MFM are filled with educated and beautiful women praying away their husbands side chicks because they’d much rather die than leave. It’s SO easy for Nigerians to ignore Maje, Flavour and Tuface and make up reasons to explain their adultery. When it’s time to insult Toke, Annie Idibia, Anna Banner and Sandra we now suddenly become relationship experts with no skeletons. The way Nigerian women are suddenly acting like many of them aren’t putting up with adulterous husbands that have children outside. The same Nigerian women that insult women who won’t cook or clean for their boyfriends that they also fund. The same Nigerian women that kiss up to prospective in laws too. The same Nigerian women that insult Lillian Esoro for leaving, The same ones that congratulate Sandra Okagbue and Annie Idibia for staying and being the ‘winners’. Even the ‘other women’ and children of other women are talking too. Oh well, Toke is the one in the limelight. It’s easy to judge.

      *ps, for those of you asking if Toke would have left if the news of the baby didn’t become public, ask first if Saul would have converted if God didn’t arrest him on the way to Damascus. The point is that Saul is now Paul, and Toke is now ‘Becoming’ abi wetin the book is titled

    • Girl

      December 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      The only thing i blame her for is staying when, 2 months in, she already started dealing with “other woman” issues. Naive at best, self-devaluing at worst.

  10. Grammar Police

    December 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    *Maje and ME. Toke and her editor don’t seem to understand when to use “I” vs “me”. You won’t make it to NY’s Best Seller list with anyhow grammar o

    • The Real Grammar Police

      December 28, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Dear Grammatically Incorrect Police,

      Hope you know what stylistic choices are? It’s something you’d understand if you were a creative writer. Clearly…

      Maje and I is correct. As long as there is no phrase before or behind it to determine whether those words are used as subjects or objects, it can be written this way. Even without this, rule one (stylistic choices) still applies.

      Blame creatives for this.

      P.S Google Grammar Girl.

  11. bobosky

    December 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    the book is a load of over exagerated crappy story written like ” stories that touch the heart sold by softsell magazine”, Toke blamed everyone but herself. her quest for celebrity status knows no bounds. mtchew

    • Netizen

      December 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      She should blame herself for her husband’s adulterous ways. See enablers o. Come on keep quiet there.

    • Tamales

      December 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      That’s not true…. she blamed herself in the book.

  12. Chika Alice

    December 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Abi! heheeee…

  13. By Cece

    December 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    The book sold 160 copies in 3 days and it broke the internet? Really?? Ever heard of a new song being downloaded half a million times in 2 days? Using the sentence ‘broke the internet’ is not justifiable or you simply don’t know what it means especially when compared to the population of Nigeria. Before the voltrons come at me asking if my book will ever sell..well I would certainly have my own biography one day and it will be shared with close friends and family; all without the embarassing sexual details like what I heard about this book. Oh and it would focus more on my life achievements; not on some old flame like hers to feed the appetite of the rumour mongers.

    • Lagosismyhome

      December 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Nigerians celebrate mediocrity ………………broke internet indeed smh

    • Jezebel

      December 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Well, only a tiny percentage of Nigerians read. A friend used to say “if you want to hide money from an average Nigerian, put it in a book”. They won’t touch it with a barge pole. Maybe if Toke had sang it as a song feat Tiwa…maybe it would have broken Nigerian internet.

    • Sally

      December 7, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Only a tiny percentage of Nigerians read. Really? Why do people say this untrue statement. Maybe it makes people feel superior? Nigerians read a lot more than you think.
      FYI even in the north, thousands read soyayya books.

    • EKPO

      December 7, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Best comment??I’m dead

    • ThatGreenTea

      December 7, 2016 at 5:37 am

      Other publishing outlets like Amazon,Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, iTunes

    • Cici

      December 28, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Hey Cece,

      Sold 160 on the OkadaBooks platform and several thousand copies elsewhere. And it’s how it broke the Nigerian Internet, sweetie.

      Maybe let us know a Nigerian book that’s done this?

  14. Someonecute

    December 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Why do ladies endure and forgive their boyfriends a zillion times when he cheats, and then when they get married, she divorces or cries foul when he does his ‘usual’ again. Like it baffles me seriously. Forgiveness is easy for them when not under a vow, but its difficult when under one. Don’t take my words wrong, Adultery is of course breaking a vow! I don’t support staying in that kind of marriage if you don’t want to, but most of these ladies take this*t and then expect you to pity them. A leopard doesn’t change its spots!. My mum told her niece that was planning to get married to her lover of 8 years, a philanderer who has cheated severally in which she lovingly takes him back. MY mum called her and said, “Are you sure you want go ahead?, don’t come crying to us like before o, I for one, won’t listen to you o, cos it’s different when you’re married, you will need to carry your own cross! I don’t want to see your crocodile tears o” Toke saw all the signs/warnings from in-law, friends, etc she went ahead, now she has put her foolery in a book. I mean, a man didn’t tell you he had a son, till you asked him, he saves a s*x tape he had with his girlfriend on his computer and you still opened your yeye eyes to marry him, In Jenifa’s voice; “mtshew. Radarada!”

    • The heart is not so smart

      December 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Someonecute I don’t think Toke ever stated in the book that she was looking for pity…..and sometimes in life, people learn the hard way and in hind site. I actually believe she threw a lot if punches at herself and was very self admitting that she goofed.

      What many are failing to realize is that she not only pointed the mirror on herself, she did so on Maje who represents a lot of men out there that get away with bad behavior whilst the girls keep carrying the burden or blame for loving them. Go easy, the heart is not so smart. Both parties need help but abusers have mastered the art of manipulation and how to make their victims look like the dumbest fools on earth.

  15. Yonce

    December 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Again BN? ? The more you push this, the more irritating and sad it becomes. We get it! She is a strong woman for tolerating domestic violence… she has also cashed out big time! We get it! Sigh!

  16. John

    December 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    160 copies broke the Internet. .lol..delusions at its best

  17. AB

    December 6, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I’m sorry hun you say ‘For her, writing this book might have been an avenue for gaining closure’ you dont gain closure by writing a book spilling your tea to the world and to we Nigerians for that matter. Real closure comes from having a heart felt , open, honest conversation with the person who did those hurtful, terrible , bad things etc to you , to really understand why they did it, it may never be entirely clear after that conversation but it does go a long way to an extent. I do not believe that Toke has gotten real closure as to why Maje treated her the way he did and my dear all that shoki she is dancing is good oh but its the end of a matter that truly matter not the beginning and the money sitting in your account! She is the one who will go to bed and ask herself if she has truly been liberated and gotten the closure highly needed for her to move on! Like some one on BN said until she deals with her lack of self esteem and truly have a deep, profound conversation with herself & Maje about the hurt and pain that they both contributed to and most importantly accept that she also played a role in allowing this hurt, my dear she never start! This will be last comment I have on this Toke matter…cause the more I comment the more time I accord to it. #

  18. nene

    December 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    i must commend toke’s effort to force herself down the throats of nigerians on the internet, as it has resulted in more money for her. i’ve not read the book, and i won’t, but from reviews online and from what i gathered from other readers, everything about the book is poor. she wrote a book too soon, which i think has to do with her making as much money from the maje story, since she didn’t talk when everything was happening. i also hope toke has truly repented. i remember before the whole maje incident, she was judgmental of people with christian values, she was saying that she was not religious, and recently she was encouraging young girls to have one night stands. nigerians always call God, even when God has nothing to do with anything. She should have named her book Maje and I, cuz most of it was about their relationship. And she has to take responsibilities for certain things that happened in her relationship, she was not underage, she was an adult who chose the wrong man even when all the signs were there, and she even had the guts to make “advice” videos on youtube. She needs to check herself and work on herself to avoid attracting such men. I see a few “celebrities” writing books in the future, though i would like to buy a book about Genevieve Nnaji though. Nigerian women please work on yourselves!

  19. Karo's Story Blog

    December 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Hmmmmmmm…….. I see that Toke’s On Becoming is still the talk on everyone’s lips….

  20. Letty

    December 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Tokes story is the story of most Nigerian women and women in other parts of the world who take and give a lot of crap. She thought she could intimidate her way into letting maje love her. She is very very needy for attention and has little humility. She craves for accolades and validation and in fact refers to herself as vain at the same token plays the Christian woman card. If she suffered all this it is really bad and makes Maje a true jerk, the sexually transmitted disease part is the most cringe worthy however she helped to enable this. All Nigerian women then need to write a book and flood the market with tell all books because at least 70% or more women have gone through and will go through things of this nature. Most women will kiss many frogs before they find a prince if at all. This book is the ultimate revenge and hope it gives her closure.

  21. Letty

    December 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    The lesson for nija men is hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. If you scorn a woman brace yourselves for being the topic of a tell all book ir other wise. Women lets build ourselves and character so we don’t feel the need to tolerate crap. Let’s be comfortable with who we are. Nigeria has made women obsess over marriage and want to get married regardless of how horrible some partners are.

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