Toke Makinwa

Lessons from and Review of Toke Makinwa's Book, On Becoming.

Hi folks, trust you are doing well.

Have you heard of Toke Makinwa’s book, On Becoming? If yes, have you read it yet?

On Becoming

Well, I got a copy of the book from a friend late in December 2016.
In a day, I finished skimming it and I was wowed. I was amazed by her life story; it takes courage to go through such situations and then write about it.

As I went through the book, I knew I had to do a review, and yeah I’ve had this coming for a long time.

There are many lessons to learn from this book and I’ve tried to summarize my review of the book plus the lessons to learn all in this post.

First off, I’ll like to give this reply to the question of “Who Am I?” addressed in the prologue of the book.
My thoughts : We might not totally know who we are in this life, but we can choose what to live for and what guides us.

Secondly, a cogent life lesson from the book:
Pain, tears , mistakes and sometimes failure are part of Becoming. It is what happens after these (the choices made and the actions taken) that matter.

One of the saddest moments in the book for me was the story of her parents passing. If not that the book is an autobiography, one would have wished it was just a paragraph in a storybook.

A short excerpt : In movies, you sometimes see a scene with someone burning from head to toe, screaming and trying to fight the flames. It happened right in front of me. Everyone ran back trying to figure out who it was and how to put out the flames, shouting advice from a safe distance. It took me a moment to realise that it was mum. I stood glued to the spot, watching her burn.

Lessons Learnt/ Inferred:

1. Try to understand people and their stories before judging them or coming to a conclusion on who they are. Fine, they may not be good enough, pure enough, etc., but, so were we until Grace found us. Try to understand them, and find ways to help them if possible.

2. Marriage is not a game, do not ever settle for less. Know what you want, and if it doesn’t look like it, Be wary.

3. Never assume that you can change a guy/lady after marriage, remember, you aren’t God.

4. Your virginity is your gift, don’t let just anyone sweet-talk you into giving it up for them. Abstinence is best.

5. Never assume the position or direction of your relationship. If you are in doubt ask questions and look for yourself too, and if you’ve been “blinded by love”, seek the opinion of a trusted individual like your mentor or parents.

At a point in the book, I got tired of the break-up and make-up game she had going with Maje. I asked myself “Why did she have to go through all that for a guy? “, and this is the conclusion that I came to: if you have trust issues in a relationship, I think you should take time off to think and evaluate where the relationship is headed.

Are you staying in a relationship just because you are scared of losing the person? Or you think you can’t be good enough for another person?

Before going into a relationship, you should have come to a realization of who you are and what you want in that relationship.    -Esthitude

Before going into a relationship, you should have come to a realization of who you are and what you want in that relationship. You must have a sense of self-worth; stop feeding on junks and dung just because you don’t know if you are good enough for the main meal.

Stop feeding on junks

Sadly, there are lots of ladies that are going through emotional, verbal, mental and physical abuse in relationships, and they are scared to leave. Girlfriend, my simple advice is this – A BROKEN HEART/ENGAGEMENT IS BETTER THAN A BROKEN HOME/MARRIAGE. There is someone out there that will love you for who you are, but you need to first discover who you are.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book :

— “Don’t marry my brother until you hear from God directly.”

— I have come to learn that we are all preachers; our lives are sermons and it’s up to us to decide what the sermons say.

— In all of the tribulation, God provided, guided, revealed, and I started to find the power inside of me to dictate how I should feel. Instead of weakness, I spoke strength. Instead of hatred, I chose to rise above it.

— Today, I gladly attest to the fact that God has a plan, and that whatever happens, He is always there.

— I had to make a choice to forgive her, as I was not going to let anyone live rent-free in my head.

Though I do not concur with some of her actions and decisions, I’ll conclude with this statement she made: “ My past led me here, and my present gives me hope for a tomorrow where I become all that God wants me to be.”

If you’ve not read the book, I’ll suggest you get a copy. Toke Makinwa really did a good job in writing this book and like someone said Toke Makinwa has definitely gotten Nigerians reading.

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