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When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming - Literature - Nairaland

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BISI - The Other Woman (SHORT) By Jon Doe / Toke Makinwa's On Becoming E-book For Free For Five Nairalanders / A Dilation Of Toke Makinwa’s ‘on Becoming’ - Ibukunwrites (2) (3) (4)

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When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 5:16pm On Nov 30, 2016
You’ve heard the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover or in this case, its author. While others elect to see Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming clouded by the controversial personality of the author, this article seeks to appraise it as a work of literature embodying social consciousness; the reality of what African women go through in marriages with unfaithful partners.

Like books written by most female African authors, its main focus is on marriage, family and relationship which is usually the forte of a typical African woman.

The narrator, Toke Makinwa is a Nigerian from Ondo State and a Christian background. Her traditional Yoruba culture like most African cultures is patriarchal and upholds the importance of the family with the mantle of leadership falling on the man.

Unlike some other Nigerian families that relegate women to the background, in the Makinwa family this is not so as the narrator’s fondest memories of her mother is as an educated, enterprising and valid contributor to the home. Thus the narrator grows up with a consciousness of not limiting the scope of the roles she can play in the society to only a wife, mother and daughter but as a career woman with a job that contributes financially to the family and society at large. The narrator goes as far as to encourage economic independence in women, according to her;

"I was thankful for financial freedom, and I wondered about the millions of women out there who didn’t have the choice of moving on if they were in bad or unhealthy marriages…To stay with someone who abuses you emotionally or otherwise because you have nowhere to go must be another level of torture. Women need to begin to work more, save more…" (p. 102)

In the African setting, the family is regarded as the bedrock of society. This is because the value system of the society is handed down and preserved through marriage and family. This is why society sees marriage as the most important achievement of a woman. It doesn’t matter if she’s rich and famous, if she’s unable to attract a man enough to have him marry her, then her achievements are useless.

In On Becoming, not only is the African woman expected to get married but she is expected to stay married irrespective of whatever happens. According to Big Mummy;

"…most men had vices that their wives had to deal with. It could be anything from drunkenness to mismanaging money, womanizing or working too much and neglecting his duties as husband and father." (p. 100)

So despite the narrator’s “success” as a wife tolerating her husband’s excesses, she is finally confronted with his child outside wedlock but finds it difficult to let go because of the shame associated with being seen as a failure at marriage;

"The shame of failing at marriage brought what I imagine to be a rare form of pain. First, you have to deal with the shame that your lover exposed your life to someone else. Then there is the fact that you have failed at an institution that has existed since forever. Your beauty, degrees, job and everything else don’t earn you any points in this situation". (p. 83)

Also as “the prevalent African mindset that tells a woman not to give room for another woman” (p. 82) is a real issue;

"My former landlord and his wife also called for an ‘intervention’. They found out I moved out and so they reached out to me. We met, the husband with Maje and the wife with me. She said to me, “No woman is woman enough to make you leave your home.” (p. 82)

For the narrator, self awareness is the key to the objective viewing of her choices which inevitably leads to her social and emotional development and freedom from a cheating husband. Thus, she is armed with an education, economic independence and qualities such as courage and persistence which opens an avenue for freer expression of self and enables her take charge of her life and destiny. Her choice of getting a divorce goes against the grain of the African society and allows the other woman win. But for the narrator, it is a choice of being true to herself which springs from an awareness of who she is and what she wants to achieve in life without the undue influence from others.

"I struggled for a long time...Was I a weakling for moving out of my home? Maybe, but it felt necessary. It was clear that if I didn’t change the pattern that had me running in circles, I would be stuck on the rollercoaster for a very long time…I chose to build myself up again and take it one a day at a time. I started to tell myself that I wouldn’t accept blame that wasn’t mine. I couldn’t be blamed for someone else’s choices, but I was responsible for my reactions. So I started to work on those reactions, telling myself that I deserved to be treated right…It was only then that smiles, hugs or stares from strangers stopped bothering me so much. There was no reason for me to feel ashamed." (p. 101)

Thus, through self-consciousness, the narrator is able to assert herself and get out of a toxic marriage. The diction of the book is simple, the author elects to use language which can be understood by the majority of the audience she hopes to reach. This audience being other women who are suffering states worse than hers in their marriage or relationship. The message is simple and clear, ‘you don’t have to stay on in a bad relationship for fear of what people will say or think.’


Source: http://pulse.ng/bloggers/pulse-blogger-when-the-other-woman-triumphs-a-literary-review-of-toke-makinwa-s-on-becoming-id5833018.html

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 5:17pm On Nov 30, 2016

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by Brymo: 5:20pm On Nov 30, 2016
Don't waste your time trying to provide people with proof of deceit, in order to keep their love, win their love or salvage their respect for you. The truth is this: If they care they will go out of their way to learn the truth. If they don't then they really don't value you as a human being. The moment you have to sell people on who you are is the moment you let yourself believe that every good thing you have ever done or accomplished was invisible to the world. And, it is not!
Shannon L. Alder

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 5:38pm On Nov 30, 2016
Brymo:
Still wondering what I would gain, by reading this book

A lot especially if you're female

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by Nobody: 5:47pm On Nov 30, 2016
cc: lalasticlala, mynd44, Obinnau
...

It's not imperative for a woman to make a marriage work. If a marriage isn't working, it isn't an automatic pointer to the failings of the woman as a wife. And if a woman has lost faith in the union and no longer believes the marriage is worth investing in – either due to [repeated] emotional and/or physical abuse – she should be able to extricate herself from the murky quagmire without fear of being tailed by the shadows of stigma.

[...]

This is brilliant work, Kelly. Your review deifies the book and has succeeded in making it mouth-watering. I wish I could read it soon; my crowded reading schedule however cannot allow for that.

I think Toke's story should be made into a Nollywood movie. It would be box-office!

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 5:54pm On Nov 30, 2016
DarkRebel101:
cc: lalasticlala, mynd44, Obinnau
...

It's not imperative for a woman to make a marriage work. If a marriage isn't working, it isn't an automatic pointer to the failings of the woman as a wife. And if a woman has lost faith in the union and no longer believes the marriage is worth investing in – either due to [repeated] emotional and/or physical abuse – she should be able to extricate herself from the murky quagmire without fear of being tailed by the shadows of stigma.

[...]

This is brilliant work, Kelly. Your review deifies the book and has succeeded in making it mouth-watering. I wish I could read it soon; my crowded reading schedule however cannot allow for that.

I think Toke's story should be made into a Hollywood movie. It would be box-office!

Thank you dear, its the kind of publicity Toke would appreciate being who she is, that is the Nolloywood movie part cheesy

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by uruba23: 5:56pm On Nov 30, 2016
Took time to read this book remaining the last chapter, in as much as i don't think Maje is faithful and wasn't committed to the relationship, I can't help but notice Toke's mistake, she saw all the signs from Aisha to Hauwa to Anita yet Maje was too good looking to let go,happy she took me through memory lane the Guiness story I got the power.I think she should have been cooking for him,but girls of nowadays they are too influence by the wrong media.Anyway Maje has his own very big fault but it would have been easy if the melodrama isn't much,he isn't a saint when u meant him so he won't be a pope after,it is even tough when there is no trust.Well to be quite honest the only thing I learnt from this book is that my sister Toke is a very strong woman who had gone through and tolerate a lot of bullshit but dear it is a man's world it is our nature to be drift away by beauty while women by emotions.Anyway I hope Maje published a Rejoiner I can guess the Title :Maje Not my will

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 6:02pm On Nov 30, 2016
uruba23:
Took time to read this book remaining the last chapter, in as much as i don't think Maje is faithful and wasn't committed to the relationship, I can't help to notice Toke's mistake, she saw all the signs from Aisha to Hauwa to Anita yet Maje was too good looking to let go,happy she took me through memory lane the Guiness story I got the power.I think she should have been cooking for him,but girls of nowadays they are too influence by the wrong media.Anyway Maje has his own very big fault but it would have been easy if the melodrama isn't much,he isn't a saint when u meant him so he won't be a pope after,it is even tough when there is no trust.Well to be quite honest the only thing I learnt from this book is that my sister Toke is a very strong woman who had gone and tolerate bullshit but dear it is a man's world it is our nature to be drift away by beauty while women by emotions.Anyway I hope Maje published a Rejoiner I can guess the Title :Maje Not my will


The truth remains she brought most of the problem on herself when she overlooked the important signs and that was a big sign of LSE (low self esteem) but at the end of the day, I'm happy she learned from it. And i agree with you, the story is really one sided. Maybe one of these days Maje and Anita will tell us their parts

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by Brymo: 6:05pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


A lot especially if you're female
sell the book to me, as if you are Toke, in three lines.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 6:19pm On Nov 30, 2016
But you won't see Nigerians taking this keen interest in other worthy and highly educative books published by young scholars daily,each to his own i know but the level of publicity we give this let's face it ordinary people is alarming, why would i want to read a book that details a persons failed marriage

Now say uncle Olu and aunty Joke decide to write a book on marriage,now that's one I'd spend my money on cus even though they may not be a perfect couple, they've been together long enough and have been a model example of what Marriage in general should be like not some colourful character writing a book and our so called "youths" jumping on the bandwagon like bees to honey


Again to each his/her own i guess

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by bitingcool: 6:23pm On Nov 30, 2016
Brymo:
sell the book to me, as if you are Toke, in three lines.


Player meets fall back girl.
I actually feel pity for Anita the most.
'cos he was and probably is still cheating on her too.
She's even more stuck than Toke. In love with a man who would never 'stay put' even if he has d deepest feelings for her (his pr.i.ck would agree otherwise)

Toke created the disaster, she should have walked away but then, the heart wants what it wants.

I'll give her a big hug when I see her. I admire the strength she has, Thhe bullsh.!t resiliency and the fact that she was truthful to herself. A broken relationship is never a one sided affair. You have to sink deep to acknowledge that fact

Good read actually. Captivating too. Money well spent I'd say.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by uruba23: 6:25pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:



The truth remains she brought most of the problem on herself when she overlooked the important signs was a big sign of LSE (low self esteem) but at the end of the day, I'm happy she learned from it. And i agree with you, the story is really one sided. Maybe one of these days Maje and Anita will tell us their parts
I don't think it was LSE (low self esteem) I think Maje was quite romantic he was every woman's dream, he was worth fighting for,but he wasn't good at keeping his slate clean.He was a fairy tale story but life is no fairy tale.Think about it if a guy told you he doesn't want to disrespect his ex,it definitely would look obvious he respect women but in actual fact he was just acting a line from Robert Greene :The art of Seduction

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 6:33pm On Nov 30, 2016
uruba23:

I don't think it is LSE (low self esteem) I think Maje was quite romantic he was every woman's dream, he was worth fighting for,but he wasn't good at keeping his slate clean.He was a fairy tale story but life is no fairy tale.Think about it if a guy told you he doesn't want to disrespect his ex,it definitely would look obvious he respect women but in actual fact he was just acting a line from Robert Greene :The art of Seduction

No matter how romantic a man is, there's a limit where the woman should draw the line. There were obvious signs that he was cheating even while they were dating. Friends saw him with other woman, she saw messages, even saw some of the women. At one point he gave her an STI and she allegedly had proof he also gave his mistress same so what are we talking about? She saw everything, yet she chose to stick with him believing that he would change. Well, the saying goes, once a cheat, always a cheat.

She said it in the book too that she had self esteem issues, she broke up with Maje but still went back to him many times just because she didn't value herself. To me thats not love or affection or even romance, that is looking down on yourself, seeing yourself as unworthy to stay with a man who loves you and proves it by being loyal

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by uruba23: 6:37pm On Nov 30, 2016
"Among the men, when they attempt comforting words, they usually end up with statements like: ‘It’s a man’s world and what he did was bad, but forgive him because we are all not saints." Quite weird was reading the last chapter and I saw this and this" Women, on the other hand, tend to be more emotional so they rarely speak directly. Instead they give a hug or recite a Bible verse and expect you to get it. "

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 6:39pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:
But you won't see Nigerians taking this keen interest in other worthy and highly educative books published by young scholars daily,each to his own i know but the level of publicity we give this let's face it ordinary people is alarming, why would i want to read a book that details a persons failed marriage

Now say uncle Olu and aunty Joke decide to write a book on marriage,now that's one I'd spend my money on cus even though they may not be a perfect couple, they've been together long enough and have been a model example of what Marriage in general should be like not some colourful character writing a book and our so called "youths" jumping on the bandwagon like bees to honey
Again to each his/her own i guess

The truth is, Toke is popular, like her or hate her, she's become a force to reckon with in the TV/Radio industry and who told you we can't learn from failure? We can learn from failure as much as we can success. She didnt write a book on what marriage should look like, she wrote a book on what her marriage was like with a philanderer.

Yes I'm part of the youths jumping the bandwagon of reading the book and even taking my time to review it, you know why? Because knowledge from whatever medium is not wasted. smiley

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 6:42pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


The truth is, Toke is popular, like her or hate her, she's become a force to reckon with in the TV/Radio industry and who told you we can't learn from failure? We can learn from failure as much as we can success. She didnt write a book on what marriage should look like, she wrote a book on what her marriage was like with a philanderer.

Yes I'm part of the youths jumping the bandwagon of reading the book and even taking my time to review it, you know why? Because knowledge from whatever medium is not wasted. smiley




Well good for you if you've picked up something from what she wrote,hopefully you've learnt one or two pitfalls to avoid when you tie the knot

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 6:43pm On Nov 30, 2016
Brymo:
sell the book to me, as if you are Toke, in three lines.

Someone beat me to it and he did a nice job of it too smiley

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 6:45pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:

Well good for you if you've picked up something from what she wrote,hopefully you've learnt one or two pitfalls to avoid when you tie the knot

I have dear, every woman should learn the lesson too; love yourself first wink

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by Warfibabe(f): 6:48pm On Nov 30, 2016
Reading Toke's book, that their relationship from the beginning na LAWMA get am. my first reaction was anger, at Maje for cheating on her serially with different women and expecting d door to always be open when he wanders back. Then at toke for always opening the door everytime he knocks. How the hell did she even breathe all through?.



BRB to edit pls.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 6:52pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


I have dear, every woman should learn the lesson too; love yourself first wink


See the thing here and sorry I'm over stretching this discussion but I'm sure without reading that book you knew you had to "love yourself first", a lot of the excerpts I've read are basic things everyone knows and I'm sure there are folks who have/are going through worse in their marriages, the whole book ish and the attention its gotten just gets on my nerves cus she's not really written anything special


But its like you said,she's a public figure so i guess that explains it

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by uruba23: 6:58pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:



See the thing here and sorry I'm over stretching this discussion but I'm sure without reading that book you knew you had to "love yourself first", a lot of the excerpts I've read are basic things everyone knows and I'm sure there are folks who have/are going through worse in their marriages, the whole book ish and the attention its gotten just gets on my nerves cus she's not really written anything special


But its like you said,she's a public figure so i guess that explains it
I don't think we should rant over the book been published I think we should take the lessons with us recently she celebrated her dogs birthday and the question was why,I think after reading the book you should let Toke be Toke she had admit her mistake, and she is moving on.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 7:04pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:

See the thing here and sorry I'm over stretching this discussion but I'm sure without reading that book you knew you had to "love yourself first", a lot of the excerpts I've read are basic things everyone knows and I'm sure there are folks who have/are going through worse in their marriages, the whole book ish and the attention its gotten just gets on my nerves cus she's not really written anything special

But its like you said,she's a public figure so i guess that explains it

There's no need to apologize dear, i welcome any opportunity to have an enlightening discussion even if our opinions are polar opposites.

I think from her stand point, she decided to tell her side of the story maybe to gain some sympathy, some say its for money but I strongly believe its to speak up for celebrities that have been blamed for the failure of their marriages. Some of the mistakes she made could have been avoided but at that time, according to her, she allowed her heart rule her head.

Plus there is nothing wrong in reinforcing a lesson, she was a relationship expert who dished advice left, right and centre but couldn't follow her own counsel when it came down to it. That is to say, some of us actually know these things but following them nko? That's another ball game entirely.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 7:12pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


There's no need to apologize dear, i welcome any opportunity to have an enlightening discussion even if our opinions are polar opposites.

I think from her stand point, she decided to tell her side of the story maybe to gain some sympathy, some say its for money but I strongly believe its to speak up for celebrities that have been blamed for the failure of their marriages. Some of the mistakes she made could have been avoided but at that time, according to her, she allowed her heart rule her head.

Plus there is nothing wrong in reinforcing a lesson, she was a relationship expert who dished advice left, right and centre but couldn't follow her own counsel when it came down to it. That is to say, some of us actually know these things but following them nko? That's another ball game entirely.


Your last paragraph,that there just kinda buttresses my point altogether, do as i say not as i do,i mean who does that


Look maybe I'm old fashioned like that but i come from the school of thought where people who are celebrated in society should have done something really tangible or made a significant contribution to society not someone whose claim to fame is "E-advice" that such person doesn't even bother to follow

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 7:20pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:

Your last paragraph,that there just kinda buttresses my point altogether, do as i say not as i do,i mean who does that
Look maybe I'm old fashioned like that but i come from the school of thought where people who are celebrated in society should have done something really tangible or made a significant contribution to society not someone whose claim to fame is "E-advice" that such person doesn't even bother to follow

You did notice my use of past tense right? She was that woman who gave advice and couldnt follow it but at the end of the day, she finally sees the light of her own advice and takes it. You should read the book tho, maybe you'll get a more objective look at it and not be influenced by media hype or snippets of scandalous statements.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by rachealfst(f): 7:24pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


There's no need to apologize dear, i welcome any opportunity to have an enlightening discussion even if our opinions are polar opposites.

I think from her stand point, she decided to tell her side of the story maybe to gain some sympathy, some say its for money but I strongly believe its to speak up for celebrities that have been blamed for the failure of their marriages. Some of the mistakes she made could have been avoided but at that time, according to her, she allowed her heart rule her head.

Plus there is nothing wrong in reinforcing a lesson, she was a relationship expert who dished advice left, right and centre but couldn't follow her own counsel when it came down to it. That is to say, some of us actually know these things but following them nko? That's another ball game entirely.
Hmm, Thats just the basic truth. some of us knows this things, but it's easier said than done.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 7:29pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


You did notice my use of past tense right? She was that woman who gave advice and couldnt follow it but at the end of the day, she finally sees the light of her own advice and takes it. You should read the book tho, maybe you'll get a more objective look at it and not be influenced by media hype or snippets of scandalous statements.


Maybe just maybe one day when I'm not so frustrated at how messed up this country is, I'd give it a read,maybe learn a thing or two too
Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by skarlett(f): 7:34pm On Nov 30, 2016
stan241:


Maybe just maybe one day when I'm not so frustrated at how messed up this country is, I'd give it a read,maybe learn a thing or two too

cool
Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by stan241(m): 7:37pm On Nov 30, 2016
skarlett:


cool


Even though your signature has awon werey, was nice discussing with someone who didn't throw a fit at the first person to disagree with them

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by pweetixandy: 7:39pm On Nov 30, 2016
Toke just wanted to do to maje what tiwa did to teebillz, kill them off.


however, I wonder why Toke never mentioned her dating other people whenever she and maje were on a break. is she insinuating that maje was the only man she had ever been with in those 12 long years? she shld have mentioned it, but she was to busy portraying herself a saint.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by helovesme(f): 7:40pm On Nov 30, 2016
Finished reading the book at 3am this morning. grin

its a rather interesting book i must say.

. . . . . how she lost her parents in very tragic circumstances
. . . . the part where she wanted to take the largest TV in the house and that was all maje cared about grin
. . . . the part where anita told her point blank that her son was planned
. . . . .what about maje's planned press release to pulseTV
. . . . .maje's numerous girlfriends, lies and antics

sigh!!!

i think what really attracted her to maje from the very onset was his ''big boy'' status. He was British educated, his family owned a bank, he worked at the family's bank and his family had 'pedigree'.

i wish she had dwelt much more on her career, her fashion/style, etc.

overall, a very good book. i will rate it 7 out of 10.

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Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by remmyton(f): 7:40pm On Nov 30, 2016
Hmm
Re: When The ‘other Woman’ Triumphs: A Literary Review Of Toke Makinwa’s On Becoming by Pavore9: 7:40pm On Nov 30, 2016
A toxic marriage is not worth dying for! Real Happiness starts from within you, why should anyone waste the short span of our earthly existence trying to seek validation from the inconsistencies of a fellow mortal?

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