Around this time last year, Toke Makinwa was the subject of a post on cyber-bullying - read here - which concerned Linda Ikeji always making Toke the topic of snide blog posts. Then it was about Toke's relationship and whether it was still on or not. Few weeks after that, Toke secretly got married and will be celebrating her anniversary in a few days.
Again, while Toke was having some nice time out with hubby Maje Ayida, some columnists, now in newspapers have made Toke their focus again. From what I have read in their respective posts, Toke is one of those people you can either love or hate, and for a lot of people, there seems to be no in-between.
ThisDay newspaper columnist Azuka Ogujiuba, in her latest Saturday column titled, ‘The Good, Bad and Ugly of 2014 Headies Awards’, went in on Toke very hard. She wrote a lot of stuff about Toke Makinwa, that just boils down to bashing the OAP.
She obviously loves the limelight; she enjoys being called and seen as a celebrity, and she loves the good life of being a star, which sincerely is not a crime and it is equally her business anyway. For me as a journalist, if I am to pick any of the known on-air personalities to interview then Toke Makinwa will never make number 50 on my list because I don’t know what she wants to tell the world about her career and personal life again. Her life is practically on the social network but it is truly her choice. There is no doubt that she works hard and can be aggressive. She probably wants to be the most popular radio personality and, of course, probably has to add the ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude into everything she does. Her strategy is working for her. I actually used to think Toke was loved and revered by her fans until she co-hosted the 2014 HEADIES awards. Initially, I thought she had butterflies in her stomach, because I have been a victim before, when I had to present an award to the family of the late Dagrin, who died a month before the award in 2010. When I saw the crowd watching me on stage I was scared and immediately become dumb, I was so overwhelmed by stage fright that D1 came to my rescue. Through that short time the crowd booed me off the stage, and it should be worse for a wanna-be celebrity like Toke whom I used to think has more fans than the likes of Funke Akindele, Tu face, Geneveive Nnaji and co, because that is how Toke Makinwa rates herself. Maybe she thinks she falls in the category of A-list celebrities. Well, to some people she might be.
She almost cheapened and marred the show with her dry jokes and her ‘fake-ness’, trying to be who she is not. I think Animashaun imagines his event as a huge joke that was why he opted for Toke. The fact that Toke presents ‘Trends’ does not mean she has the capability to host such a big show and a large crowd. And the crowd was not merciful at all, as the audience made Toke realize she was not wanted on stage; nobody replied her calls or laughed at her jokes. They just wanted her out of the stage every time she came out in any of her horrible outfits which, as usual, were given to her free by designers, who also have fallen prey to her ‘fakeness’. The response was so bad that at a point I felt so sorry for her. Less I forget, I also wore an outfit courtesy of Kina Buti to the awards night.
Her second outfit was a sequin jumpsuit, which got the audience laughing when she walked up to the stage. I didn’t see her at first because I was actually chatting on my blackberry phone, but the laughter from the crowd made me look up quickly. People talked openly not caring who was listening, and I heard from the seat behind me someone asking ‘Why is this girl fooling herself? What nonsense is she wearing and why would she wear a ‘Padded Butt’ in this kind of outfit? Another said she looked like she wore pampers, and the comments and laughter at Toke’s foolery went on and on. And I just thought to myself who is actually her stylist? Who is doing this to Toke? Or is she her own worst enemy? She made it worse when she tried to thrill the crowd with her various dance steps which she did badly as the crowd continued to bully and boo her. It was so hard not to laugh, as she kept making jest of herself on stage. Toke invited Julius Agwu on stage to assist her in dancing shoki, and Julius Agwu flawed and also threw jibes at her and her ugly/funny jumpsuit. It was then with the large crowd that I realized Toke has this ‘we love to hate you kind of personality’. She’s liked as much as she’s disliked and draws negative and controversial attention. In a way, I think she loves anything negative or positive as long as she is seen on the pages of newspapers, magazines and for her stories to be on the blogs. For people like Toke any publicity is cool as long people know or read about her. As long as it makes her join the league of ‘celebrity world’ she does not care.
Her third outfit was made in adire with a funny big bow. It was equally ugly and drab; I don’t know which designer made the outfit and, the fourth outfit reminded me of a turkey for thanksgiving. I don’t understand the dress or is it the feathers? Biko, who is her stylist, I ask again and, the exchange of wigs, was that really necessary?
During the awards she did everything she could to make the crowd happy but they were very hostile to her, to the extent that at one point she plead with the crowd to accept and laugh at her jokes or even applaud her efforts to make them enjoy the show, but the crowd still ignored her until Basketmouth as usual came to her rescue. Even her jokes at Basketmouth’s marriage was quickly hushed and halted by him.
The truth is Toke Makinwa has no business hosting the show, because her presence almost marred the event. She is what people in the crowd described as ‘a die-hard wanna-be’ and it is working for her l guess. And her accent is a gist for her another.
After all this bashing, is there any good points about Toke Makinwa? Of course. As is common, everything has it's good and bad sides. Shade Ladipo, co-host of The Grapevine on Smooth 98.1 FM, Independent TV Producer and a Travel Entrepreneur, had this objective analysis of Toke.
5. Looking Good is Good Business.
Although everyone called Toke the MTN of 2013/2014, Mrs Ayida has proven that looking good is a definite step in being seen. Every event she appeared she looked like the belle of the ball from her hair to her nails and of course her clothes/shoes. Without a doubt if you want to be noticed then this is a very important step (If you can afford it of course)
Tip A: Get a stylist If you can afford one)
Tip B: Raid you friends and family's wardrobe but please dont sleep with men for clothes and shoes oh
4. Social Media Ready
Without a doubt being social media ready is something everyone thinks they have on lock down but did you get noticed tho? From her Vlog to Instagram, Keek, Facebook et al, Toke was prepared for every opportunity to upload the right pictures (always taken properly) and every video seemed real and fun to watch
Tip A: Get a good phone (Samsung is probably the best, you can get 2nd hand from an uncle or father)
Tip B: Always have an attache friend who will always be willing to take all the pictures and make sure you pose plenty until you find the perfect picture, also make sure you post the picture before you go for the event and of course filter filter filter
3. Celebrity Friends Dont hurt
Friendships are usually hard to cultivate in these days of over-exposure and 'fakers' but if you go the Toke way its possible to have almost every celebrity wanting to be in the same mix with you without even being as close and tight as everyone would think. Everyone likes a good support system and Toke seems to provide that with her various platforms and been available to meet and attend personal events of these celebrities and truly having some celebrity friends doesn't hurt one bit (As long as you also have some value to provide them oh)
Tip A: Make friends with upcoming and insecure artistes, they are willing to be friends with almost everyone
Tip B: Target celebs that dont have cars or dont have easy access to things you have access to
2. Live Your Life Like Its Glamorous
Toke seems to have a GLAM life and in the world of Social Media that is a big plus for getting the world to look in your direction. Even if she doesn't have a glamorous life, from the outside it sure looks like it. So you want everyone looking then live it up, turn up with class, hang out with the hottest ladies, be seen at the IT events and trust me it all looks like you're hotter than Kim K (You better have money to buy some event tickets oh)
Tip A: Every picture you post make sure you look like you're having fun, laugh hard, stick out your tongue, cover your face with a cap, get a tattoo, anything that will make you look wanton and happy
1. Your personal Life is Up For Grabs As Long As You Make It Work For You
A lot of criticism followed Toke in 2014 on how much she over exposed her personal life but hey She don marry innit?? All I'm saying is as long as you make all the Negative/Positive Press work in your favor then that is a big WIN in my books because from the Looks of things Toke is still happily married and nowadays you don't see anything unintentional in the Media about her personal life anymore. GBAM
Tip A: Take pictures with only the cute members of your family or preferably the yellow ones, cute babies and cute older uncles work
Tip B: Find a cute male friend, cover his face while sitting on his lap and call him Bae (also put a cute long story of how long you guys have known each other)
So now that you've read the good, bad and ugly, can we just let the lady rest? Like Chigul will say, Toke is just selling her mar-kay-tee, like the rest of us. And if you ask me, it seems she keeps winning. Wishing her the best in 2015, you go Toke!