In the promotional episode of Toke Moments, the hour-long spinoff of her YouTube vlog/hot takes corner/gossip centre of the same name, Toke Makinwa tells her audience that this will be her new home.
But the underpinnings of her new home are no different from her other previous homes; Twitter, Instagram, Rhythm FM, Ebony Life TV, and other places where she has monetised by giving her opinions on relationships and experience with cheating men and favourite reality tv shows, not without getting into hot water for them.
At any given time, TM, the public persona she has summoned into existence in the last few years, is both the staunch feminist and the sugar baby. Like she was when she went to the other EggCorn hit podcast Tea with Tay and bragged about asking men for expensive gifts. And in the same breath spoke about how she can afford the gifts. And then finally claimed to be low maintenance.
Starting out with Toke Makinwa
Just in its first episode, the cosplay that Toke Makinwa continues to drench herself in behind the microphone already bares itself. As she and ace radio presenter, Toolz dive into Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine’s cheating allegations, it is difficult to tell where TM’s loyalty lies. With women? With men? Or with the feminists?
She dips herself into the pool of opacity and comes out with different contradictory takes on the topic, or more specifically on the women that surround Adam Levine. Even as she builds her conversation around the women, she wonders mid into it why society over the years has failed to apportion blame to the men who cheat.
Then she dives into her own experience with a cheating partner, an experience she agrees to have “milked.”
But she quickly runs into a split-screen on the matter. When Toolz asks her later in the conversation if that experience and the flurry of negative PR she received catapulted her to fame, she demures.
“I wouldn’t say that that skyrocketed my career. I’ll say that it was already going there. And just the way that I handled it, is what I feel sort of got a lot of people curious.”
When she started the narrative that she was a reverent Christian, she no sooner was criticised for making quotes from the bible that are just not factual. Later she will give up on posting passages of daily devotionals on the internet entirely and claim to not be the first point of contact when people think of a Christian.
After she launched a line of lip stains, Twitter branded her “Ikorodu Kylie Jenner.” Initially, she played with the idea, owning the narrative as part of a joke she’s in on. But the audience won’t quit laughing at her, even as she demands they laugh with her.
That didn’t work out and so she dumped it.
One time she said that she would prefer men not call on WhatsApp because she wants them to spend their money, calling on WhatsApp being cheaper. She was met with backlash. She hadn’t considered her Twitter audience when saying that.
How then did she manage to occupy such a significant space in our consciousness?
More conflicting conversations
What is certain about Toke Makinwa’s rise to popularity is itself tied to this new public display of extravagance and excess, which she has criticised in her “days of humble beginnings,” as she refers to her early days on radio. She has succeeded in building a brand that is shiny enough to be a lightning rod for men who gloat at successful women in media but also for women in media who wrestle with the narrative about women in media that TM represents.
In doing so, she has been able to create a niche for herself, where she has become the most agreeable woman on the internet. If you want to know in what fire TM, the brand, was forged, her agreeability is where the secret lies.
TM, the brand, is emblematic of this new age narrative that to be a wealthy internet-famous person is the highest achievement that anyone can attain. The only morality that the country, in this cultural moment seems to care about is “thou shall not be poor.”
But you see in the modern cultural moment, in this new world order, TM finds a place that suits her perfectly where she can claim to be “breaking those barriers with conversations because that’s what I’m good at,” because frankly, she has been able to build a successful career and that is all that matters.
And so Toke Moments, the podcast, will keep listeners wondering what barriers TM seeks to break with her lite conversations on relationships and experiences with cheating men and favourite reality tv shows.
Or you can just take her word for it; “This is the new beginning. As the queen of talk, I’ll be here with you.”