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Movie Review: Lion Heart

It’s a wonderful Happy New Year from me to you guys!!! It’s the 5th Day of the first month in the year 2019 and it gives me so much joy knowing that the first blogpost of the year is on one of my favorite things to do – see movies. So, today’s post is not just any movie review but Netflix’s First Original Film from Nigeria, Lion Heart a Directorial debut of one of Nigeria and Africa’s finest actor, Genevieve Nnaji. Suffice it to say that I’ve been a Genevieve Nnaji fan since Blood Sisters and Sharon Stone days through Letters to A Stranger, Warrior’s Heart, Ije, Tango with Me, Half of a Yellow Sun, etc. and I must say that it has been an enjoyable privilege watching and being inspired by her. This is one woman whose effortless and ageless beauty, delivery and gestures keeps you glued each time she graces the screen. More so, it’s her 20 years Anniversary in Nollywood and it’s a hearty congratulations from here to this Queen who has done exceedingly well for herself, the industry and the country at large. I celebrate, adore and admire her and I wish her all the beautiful things life has to offer her and her career in another 20 years!

So, Lion Heart. . .

If you have read my reviews before, you’ll know they are always detailed and different from the normal reviews (I don’t know why! So, I guessed, that’s why I try to call them Dilation instead – I guess I’m naturally epistolary 😂😂😂) nonetheless I try as much as possible not to give too much spoilers cos I really cannot help spoilers 😂.

Plot
Precisely, Lion Heart tells the story of the Obiagus and their transport business company. Lion Heart Transport Company goes through a financial crisis that could cripple the company if a quick save is not found. The Chairman of the Company, Chief Ernest Obiagu (played by Pete Edochie) suffers a health breakdown that hinders him from performing his official responsibilities and in order to keep the company running in his absence, he puts his brother, Chief Godswill Obiagu (played by Nkem Owoh) who happens to be the MD of the Owerri Headquarters of the company in his stead as Acting MD. This decision doesn’t sit well with Adaeze Obiagu (played by Genevieve Nnaji), who is the Director of Logistics and Operations and also happens to be the daughter of Chief Ernest Obiagu. Having worked side by side her father for 7 years, she couldn’t understand how and why her father would choose her Uncle as Acting MD over her. Apparently, Adaeze isn’t the only one disappointed by this choice, an insecure Samuel Akah (played by Kalu Ikeagwu) who is the Director of Engineering Services and who constantly feels threatened by Adaeze is also displeased. In the long run, Adaeze is faced with a N950 million naira debt incurred by her father and also saddled with the responsibility of saving her father’s company alongside her Uncle, Godswill Obiagu who contrary to her fear of being usurped and displaced helped her in achieving her plans to save the company.

My two cents/Attractions
This is a wonderful directorial debut and movie. I must say that I was spellbound with the excellent cinematography, shots and scenery. To say it is not close to anything I’ve seen in Nollywood before won’t be an exaggeration and the cast were magnificent. This is the juncture where I say that the casting was one of the top reasons I looked forward to the movie – from Nkem Owoh to Kanayo O. Kanayo who played Igwe Pascal to Onyeka Onwenu (who got me hooked on her acting since Half of a Yellow Sun) and most importantly, Pete Edochie who is known for his proverbs, witty sayings, facial expressions and delivery like no other in Nollywood. I was also thrilled to see one of my favorite Nollywood Queens, Ngozi Ezeonu, she’s such a thrill. Also, noteworthy and commendable is the acting debut of Ezege 1, the Obago himself – Phyno! It’s right to say that he wasn’t such a bad actor at all and even the one time appearance of Peter Okoye was awesome. I love that Genevieve tried flaunting her music prowess in our faces in that scene. Most importantly, this movie is one that was very intentional about details. The technicality employed was awesome – from Enugu to Kano; the transpositions between scenes and locales were flawless, seamless and detailed, even to the soundtracks.

I know I can never exhaust all the wonderful things there is to this movie and of a fact, people will continue to write on the superb technicalities employed that made this film a total hands down but there are other things everyone may not talk about. . .

For me, Genevieve Nnaji did an amazing job taking #igbototheworld. The creation of dialogues in Igbo language was the peak for me, I mean, if you gonna go up, you gotta go all the way up right? The version I watched had no subtitle and mhen, it didn’t matter. Although I wished my understanding of Igbo was lit but I felt really high on the Igbo dialogues (especially the dining table scene). It is undoubtedly true that Igbo language is one with a worldwide appeal and if you don’t believe, you should read African Fictions often. The way Nkem Owoh kept referring to Pete Edochie as “Odogwu!” was just sweet and a high but this wasn’t the real high for me still. The real high for me is the feministic appeal this movie has. It won’t be wrong for me to say that Genevieve Nnaji has always been one person who identifies with feminism as this film not only gives recognition to the girl child, it celebrates, lauds and redefines femaleness and the girl child through the character, Adaeze and Onyeka Onwenu likewise.

Onyeka Onwenu as a mom and wife held her family together by being there for her two children, supporting them, being sensitive to their needs, encouraging them, their dreams, making sure their self-esteem is healthy, supporting and caring for herself, her husband, her in-laws, household, etc. There was a part where she said “I never come between two brothers.” and the moment she came in to drag Adaeze away from the room because she knew she wouldn’t stop discussing business with her resting husband shows a woman who is totally aware of herself, her children, family and others.

Lion Heart not only gives recognition to the girl child, it celebrates, lauds and redefines femaleness. Click To Tweet

Favourites
Y’all know I always have favourite scenes, dialogues and quotes. These are some of my best quotes from the movie. . .
1. Onyeka Onwenu – “Don’t slouch. Common, let’s go talk. Your Uncle is just here to supervise. . . my daughter, a second hand always helps. . .I’m sure he has his reasons. . .”

Genevieve Nnaji – “If obiora were in my shoes. . .”

Onyeka Onwenue – “Sit up and then shut up! Your father loves and appreciates you and you know it, his reasons have nothing to do with you being a woman. Ozugo! Your Uncle is just here to support you . . .

That moment Nkem Owoh walked in and said “. . .and support I shall.”

2. “Look Adanna, if you want to spray insecticides on cockroaches, snakes and scorpions, you get yourself a vantage position.” – Nkem Owoh

3. Onyeka Onwenue – “look at you!

Nkem Owoh – “Handsome galigali” (ọmọ, i laughed here no be small. Nkem Owoh is such a comic relief😂)

Genevieve – “Uncle, Daddy is resting.”

Nkem Owoh – “let me go and rest with him.” 😂😂😂😂

4. Nkem Owoh – “Adanna, is that your voice. You! Bribe?”

Genevieve – “Uncle, this is different!” (Lmao! Nigerians and the typical double standards)

5. Nkem Owoh: “So, you do your arrest by arithmetic. One man, one woman!” 😂😂😂

6. “God never gives you a burden He has not equipped you to carry. You have your father’s business brains. You are a business woman. Do away with the sentiments and the emotions and get the job done. You have it in you. Dig deep and get it. You’ve always been able to do anything you put your mind to. You can do this.” – Onyeka Onwenu

7. Pete Edochie – “Get out of the seat. . . Your continued stay is an extension of your irrelevance. Could you leave please?” (Kai! This one is the bazooka of everything! Thank you Pete Edochie for always killing it! Your acting was everything! Poised. Smooth. Concise. Face game – always lit).

8. “Ewo Agbomma. . . born baby!” (Nkem Owoh killed me walahi). . .

9. “I’m Onyinye, leaving!” This scene was sweet and silly at the same time.

10. The dance and music – Phyno, Genevieve, Pete Edochie and Onyeka Onwenu gave us some long-throat and never should stop moment at the closing scene as they dance with so much class and grace to Obiagu!

“’I’ve come to realize that most men invest their time in matters of transient value at the expense of what they should cherish, what they should value like love, life, family. I waited 8 years for you to be born. Those are years of trepidation and you came and you became a source of pride and joy to me. I’ve watched you grow and I’m so confident in your ability. The biggest legacy I will leave for posterity is you, my daughter. I’m not thinking about death but Marie Corelli said in the midst of life we are in death, so, usually when we talk about life, there’s always death hovering around. You’re the pendulum of my life, if you stop swinging, then I’m gone! I’m proud of you, you mean so much to me.” – Pete Edochie (This is the sweetest thing ever! Every girl deserves to hear this! This is for every girl child)

Reservations
1. Storyline – I expected more. More like, I expected a ghenghen sturv because it’s Genevieve, number one and two because of the hype. This is not to say that the movie is not amazing, trust me, it is! But the storyline was just there – not really spectacular kinda. I mean, at a very early point, I could tell how the story was gonna end and along the line it became a cliché sort of when Nkem Owoh walked into that scene where Hamza Maikano was about to be duped by two Igbo men and then he saved the day! I knew right there that they were gonna meet again and he was probably gonna be the solution to the menace created by Pete Edochie. In short, I could say the storyline didn’t quite keep me glued but the characters like Pete Edochie and his facial expressions and proverbs, Onyeka Onwenu’s flawless delivery and diction, Nkem Owoh’s ability to make even the slightest utterance comic, Jemima Osunde’s unhidden awe for Genevieve Nnaji (her Madam), the scenery, the soundtracks and the Igbo language did.  I guessed the simplicity of the story resulted in the overall perfection of the movie. Maybe if the storyline was too complicated, the perfection might have been lost and moreover, sometimes, depth lies in simplicity and this is one thing this movie has – depth!

2. Realism? – Okay, this is still about that Nkem Owoh – Hamza Maikano scene. First of all, Nkem Owoh is not familiar with Peter Okoye’s house and he was supposed to wait for Genevieve outside and then at a point, it felt like he was following the lady that supposedly caught his attention only to find himself coincidentally in the room where Hamza Maikano was being duped. Second of all, it was obvious that those guys were trying to dupe Hamza because by dressing, looks and the use of an interpreter (definitely because the other Igbo man is supposedly uneducated enough to speak English), Hamza is an Hausa man but then, that’s even not the point, the point is, how real is it that Nkem Owoh walked out unscathed, unbeaten, having spoilt business for those guys? I mean, they had no guns, no knife, nothing! How real is it that people would run that kind of business and not be armed? Even if it has been a seamless business run over the years – and then the other guy was like right behind Nkem Owoh as if he wanted to hurt him but he did nothing. The craziest part was that Genevieve walked in too, I mean, how did she know to look for him there? (Just my thoughts) and then she was like, Uncle, let’s go and just like that, they left.

3. The Police Station scene too (there was something off about it) and please, is it weird that I noticed that Genevieve Nnaji wasn’t really wearing Jemima’s clothes and vice versa cos I believed the Costumier definitely made two pieces cos they really don’t have the same body size and type (this is just on a lighter note though).

Conclusion: This is a movie of its own kind and class – not one to be put side by side another for comparison or contrast. It celebrates;
I. Nationalism (the story builds on the historical rough relationship between the Igbos and the Hausas and this was shown in a scene where Chief Obiagu was hesitant about merging with Maikano motors because of the tribe and another where Alhaji Danladi Maikano came to meet him and there was a long silence before he broke kolanuts and the more he tried, the more brick wall he met with Obiagu until he spoke Hausa out of frustration and Obiagu responded in Hausa and he was surprised and then he goes “ka na jin Hausa?” and then everything became smooth from there enough that he referred to him as “my brother” at the second to the last scene.)

ii. the girl child, women supporting and admiring women (the healthy relationship between Onyinye and Adaeze) and it also rewrites the conventional narration of the boy child always being interested in the family business/business in general as Obiora (Phyno) was more interested in his music than his father’s business which was everything to Adaeze (Genevieve Nnaji).

iii. Healthy family – let me say, every girl child deserves a father like Chief Ernest Obiagu and a mother like Onyeka Onwenu. As a father, Obagu was sensitive to his daughter’s feelings and well being. “. . .I know that she’s not happy and I can understand why. . .” Also, an Uncle like Chief Godswill Obagu. I mean, an Uncle who won’t hesitate to punch a nincompoop for you and cover your boobs with a newspaper while you slay a pervert with your Harvard knowledge! Go, family goals!

iv. culture, values, natural hair, humour (thank you Nkem Owoh for the effortless humour). . . the list is endless.

In all, Lion Heart is a movie for the girl child that says she has value, she’s is order, restoration, she’s passionate, smart, intelligent and every good thing they don’t hear often like how speedily ticking and ticklish their… Click To Tweet

Lessons/Notes from the movie
1. Two good heads are always better than one.
– Adaeze sustained her father’s business and proved herself when it matters most and even beat deadlines because she allowed herself to share and receive ideas. The journey is always easier when you run with and alongside someone.

2. Be open minded about receiving help – Help is not always competitive and it doesn’t undermine your strength and ability to survive and pull through all by yourself.

3. An enemy is not always a stranger; He’s a kinsman. Igwe Pascal tried taking over Lion Heart and was almost successful with the help of another kinsman/brother, Samuel who gladly invited an enemy in for his own selfish gains. In other words, love and loyalty is not by tribe.

4. A Healthy family is a treasure and it’s not overrated. Likewise, fatherhood is important in every girl child’s life. Thanks to the characters of Pete Edochie and Onyeka Onwenu for showing what a healthy family should be and means.

5. A great, fierce and stable support system is everything – self-believe is great but there are moments you will need other people to believe in you to find your self-believe again in moments of doubts. A great and fierce support system keeps a woman on the high and with that, it’s easy for her to become all that she hoped to be and more. Onyeka Onwenu and Nkem Owoh were examples of that for Adaeze. The merger that saved the company was all Nkem Owoh’s idea and even though he brought the plans, he allowed her to execute it and reaffirmed his trust in her by telling her. He didn’t try to usurp her. . . “Adanna, you will discuss with this man alone, I will stay on the flank. . . Look, you’re a leader. He is a leader. Leadership is not easy. . .” And the beautiful thing is, knowing they’ll always be there for her is such a treasure.

6. Allow people to try. Encourage. Don’t discourage. Don’t rubbish people’s plans. Don’t shove suggestions down people’s throats. Allow them to come to a place of understanding what you suggest; if they want to take it or not. Nkem Owoh allowed Genevieve try and exhaust her options before he tabled his suggestion again and even in the process of trying it her way, he was down for her all the way! Don’t make people look stupid for trying out their plans, let them discover the reality or the lack thereof. let people come into their place of understanding a thing and at their own pace. Don’t always be in a hurry to be right. It’s not always about right and wrong, it’s about surviving, conquering and winning as one and together. . . “The major thing is to understand at your own time. . .” Nkem Owoh.

7. Maturity and experience is not always underrated for expertise – Sometimes, what makes expertise isn’t just book knowledge or smartness but maturity and experience. When Adaeze finally received her Uncle’s suggestion, she wanted to place a call to meet Maikano but he told her No and told her how to do things properly.

8. Be open minded about love and life – Love is not always dressed in Akpoche, Agbada, Iro and Buba, etc. Love is creating familiarity in unfamiliar places. Never say never.

9. Collaborate – sometimes, it takes coming together with someone else to make magic to expand, discover and rediscover the depths of you, your dreams, your abilities and more! Collaboration (Merger) is not just a one-time save but could be a lifetime savings! You don’t always have to make magic alone; explore the dynamics of your magic. Merge resources! Exchange strengths.

Rating: I’m rating this movie a 9/10. I’ve seen it almost three times now and will I see it again? Definitely! The little glitches in the storyline are nothing compared to the total delivery of the movie. I’ll see this movie again for its richness, depth, dialogues and technical expertise. Congratulations Queen Nnaji on this one! It’s nulli secundus. It is phenomenal.

And that’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed this very long dilation. Don’t forget to leave a comment, share and follow me on all social media spaces @ibukunwrites. I wanna know what you think of this review and the movie.

Till I come your way again, keep refreshing this space and I remain your love and light girl,

Ìbùkúnwrites. 💕


Mckayla Robbin's 'We Carry the Sky': The Immersion

It’s been days since my last post and a Happy Weekend to y’all! And I just deleted a published post mistakingly in the process of trying to post this. . .?
Anyways, It’s Friday so we counting already. I want to apologize for my inconsistency on this blog (after all, some of y’all have probably gotten used to it ‘cause not that I’m proud of it but yeah, I’m an inconsistent blogger even though it might not make so much effect pacifying y’all with my amazing posts yea I like to feel that way about my post each time I come around ? but the thing is it can be pretty difficult juggling everything together. Some jobs do pretty well making room for working bloggers more than you can imagine to blog consistently but for some of us, we probably have to worry about getting a lot of things done and still think about how not to frustrate you lovely readers to stop reading but I can smell a great deal improvement come next year. . . by then, you would probably be getting daily doses of Ibukun and probably with a domain name too and a new look but till then, please bear my inconsistency?).
To the business of the day or better still, to the blogpost of the day?
If you read my last book review, you’ll remember my narrative about getting a parcel of books and my intention to review them all as I read them. So in that regards, I’ve decided to bring you another book review! 
Title: We Carry The Sky
Genre: Poetry
Author: Mckayla Robbin
Publisher: Hachette books
Year of Publication: 2016
Number of Pages: 145
ISBN: 978539367383z

Drum roll (sorry, can’t find an emoji?)
First, I’d like to say that this book right here is Mckayla Robbin’s first self-published book and as a Writer, self-publishing somehow scares me because it’s just pretty easy not to sell out especially in Nigeria here and believe me, maybe we don’t say it or admit it like that, but there are lots of eBook publication among young and rising Nigeria Writers because many of these writers are trying to push themselves and saving ahead for their hardcopy release and then it can be scary thinking about the probability that it may or may not sell but with Writers like Mckayla Robbin, Rupi Kaur, and a host of others, some of us are daily being inspired that to own your truth is worth any risk at all and never to let the fear of what may and may not be stop us from going for what we want.
We Carry The Sky

This book is divided into four powerful parts filled with short yet powerful poems that attack loss, love and freedom. It’s a collection that challenges us to be uncomfortable with social injustice we’ve been conditioned by ourselves, situations and the society to be okay with. 
We Carry The Sky will take you on emotional and critical reasoning rollercoaster. I read this book at one-sitting and it the way it made me feel never really left. It was so much about how  Mckayla powerfully and deeply sprung her words together to leave her reader breathless and craving for more. It tackles issues like violence, racism and most importantly, the rape culture and so many other topics anyone might be reluctant to talk about.
 

In fact, it wasn’t just talking about them; it was the way she talked about them without fear.
Mckayla Robbin’s We Carry the Sky is a book that brings you something to always connect with. This right here is darn feminist! It is loud, blunt, wild and vocal! 

This is a poetry that helps you to realize the depth of the pain. 

It is the truth. . .


It helps you heal, fall in love and love yourself all over again, helps you accept your body and heal it. It is a book anyone who has been sexually abused and assaulted can relate to and find succour in.


This poetry is hope! It’s peaceful! It’s magical. It’s inspirational and female-empowering. Above all, it encourages women to be unashamed; that freedom is attainable in a body that has been through so many wars and there is no need to despise the wound ‘cause something beautiful grows there. 


It’s says take it easy, don’t be too hard on yourself, go through the journey and enjoy the process! One day at a time!

It’s a call to love; self love. 


Reservations:
Absolutely none! This is a book that gets all of you! The content of which you wanna sleep and wake in! Thank you Mckayla for being so vulnerable, blunt and inspiring❤
. . . till I come your way again, never stop reading!?
©Ibukunwrites. 2017!
@ibukunwrites on Twitter and IG

Sarah Kay's 'The Type': A Poem for the Woman

Halllllowwww fabulous readers! Welcome to the weekend and y’all know what the weekend is all about! Reviews!
I’ve been away for some time and first, I have to thank the terrible Glo Network for that and in fact, I have decided that after this sub finishes, no more Glo! Where’s the pride when the network slows instead of glows? ?

Birthday selfie

Second, it was my birthday last week and it was a rollercoaster of emotions. Even though I had to work that day, I still managed to take some selfies. It was a very rough and traumatic old year but thank God that above all, I am what I am by His Grace?. 

So, three weeks ago, I received a parcel of books from a fellow Writer and a Sister as healing gifts all the way from NY and this parcel had a total of 13 books in it and I can categorically say that 4 books are down outta of 13! And I want to use this medium again to say a very big thank you to Oyindamola Shoola for this very rare and kind gesture. There is one thing I always say, friends who invest in your healing are keepers. 



Posing with Oyindamola’s latest book

Having established that, I’ve also decided to do a review of each of these books and today, I’m starting with Sarah Kay’s The Type!

Title: The Type
Genre: Poetry
Author: Sarah Kay
Publisher: Hachette books
Year of Publication: 2016
Number of Pages: 23
ISBN: 978-0-316-38660-9
This particular book is all about identity and taking control of it. 


Sarah Kay emphasizes that the choice to be defined solely belongs to her alone 
If you grow up the type of woman

men want to look at
You can let them look at you.

. . . and never up to another person. She simply says that the definition of the woman should not be looked at through the eye of the man.

Do not spend time wondering if you are
The type of woman men will hurt

This poetry is a clarion call, an awakening addressing a social topic of women objectification and stereotyping, sexuality and gender equality. 
This is a call to the woman to defy the pattern and create what her definition of right, wrong and limitation is.

It is hard to stop loving the ocean 
Even after it has left you gasping, salty.
Forgive yourself for the decisions you have
made,
the ones you still call
mistakes when you tuck them in at night. . .
__________
Let the statues crumble
You have always been the place




Reservations: A lot! Because honestly speaking, I was dumbfounded to discover that the whole of the book was 1 poem spread all through the 23 pages. Like really! Cos I want to believe this book must have cost a fortune and if that’s right was she trying to be creative with having just 1 poem spread through the book? I think this is a poem that could have effortlessly made it into a collection of her poems like Still I Rise of Maya Angelou you know and it could have just been left a spoken word poetry because I actually watched her read this poem on YouTube. So what is it? A great financial move? Or was she just trying to showcase the skills of the illustrator with all the drawings? But whatever the reason may be, the poem was a good one.
Rating: Yea, I’m giving this book a 5 out of 10 because of the reservation only! Why a book?
And that’s all for the weekend guys! Do enjoy what’s left of the weekend! Till Monday???
~ ©Ibukunwrites. 2017.

​Tomilola ‘Coco’ Adeyemo’s DANGEROUS PASSION: An Aphrodisiac

Okay guys. . . before I start this review proper, I just wanna ask have you ever read a book that is this sexual and you say to yourself the author of this book better be getting this much in real life cos mehn. . . if not, I’d wanna ask her how she survived the torture of writing this e-Spartacus???? (like for reals mehn! But you know the funniest thing, I never saw Spartacus – don’t even know if it’s a movie or a series but I knew it has this sexual appeal that comes with it when people talk about it???). . . 
Moving on. . .
A very quick and sincere apology for the delay of this review. . . a lot is going on in the offline world and albeit the lot, girl’s gotta keep it all running and moving!?
Strutting real quick back to Dangerous Passion!

I don’t do romance (it’s always silly to me) but not since I started reading Tomi from the days of 360nobs to reading The Reunion last year. If you’re one of the people who still find it difficult to believe Tomi as a Writer is in a class of her own, then you need to get your ass ASAP to okadabooks.com and read this particular book in review.

Dangerous Passion is an orgasmic and suspense-filled narrative enclosed in secrets, mysteries, twist and turns, crime, passion, friendship, ego-defying attraction, lots of sex, betrayal, defiance, loss and most importantly love. It is a tale that could never have been written any better! This is where passion births love and love breaks secrets; it’s a story of inconvenient love. 

Oluwatonifise Garrn, a School Proprietress and an academic had not even the slightest idea that the night she swung into Eros Strip Club in company of her best friend, Tania was the night that was gonna mark a permanent swap in her life. That night, she was baptized into the journey that took her from being a widow who protected the memories of her late husband, Michael Garrn by keeping her vjayjay from external affairs as she met Olumide Okubanjo (Lummy), a covert billionaire, Pharmacist and strip club co-owner who drove her mind, soul and body insane. . . he didn’t stop at that, he set her emotions on fire as she started catching feelings
. . . but Lummy had more plans for her or at least was forced to have more plans for her but he could never bring himself to hurt the woman that had ended up becoming the air he breathed.
Oluwatonifise (Toni) Garrn didn’t realize how much insanity Lummy had brought her until she watched Tania’s brain scattered all over the floor of her mansion with one gunshot to her head leaving her to realize how much danger she was in and how it had everything to do with her late husband.
Who was Olumide Okubanjo? What was his mission? And how much of her late husband, Michael does she really know? What would she do with the feelings or better still, what would she do with the little Lummy in her tummy?
This is one hell of a read. The plot is lit! It is everything-everything?. Tomi took us on a suspense-filled drive with sexual-commercial breaks in between ??? and most importantly, this is one of the best crime meet romance novel I’ve ever read in a longtime. Personally, this is quite a commendable effort and introduction by Tomi – like this is another side of Tomi in writing! She’s gone all Shonda and I’m super-convinced with this book she’s beyond redemption ? ‘cause believe me, there is little you can predict in this book – this is Tomi in all her Shonda glory saying so many people gotta die in this book but damn, the story goes on and even got better with their deaths. . .
Tomi didn’t disappoint! She just kept getting better and better. Her writing style was super convenient and endearing. She murdered this book with the conversations, the dialogues and her descriptive power coupled with imagery was dope and trust me, I would have been surprised if I didn’t see some things pop up like the part where she wrote about the parents of a student sitting in front of Tania acting as if they’d rather be at a Small Doctor concert. . .??? and Tania was my favourite character! She reminded me of my friend, Doyin!
In short, Tomi remains that writer that is hard to fault even with a little typos (I think I noticed just two – sometimes we can’t help these things (typing errors).
Now what do I think overall?
I think Dangerous Passion is an orgasmic and suspense-filled narrative enclosed in secrets, mysteries, twists and turns, crime, passion, friendship, ego-defying attraction, lots of sex, betrayal, defiance, loss and most importantly love. It is a tale that could never have been written any better! This is where passion births love and love breaks secrets; it’s a story of inconvenient love. 
Rating: 10 (I promise you, you’ll read again and again and again. . . )
Outside the review: Don’t go and be touching yourself when you read this book (aunty, ko le to yen walahi??? . . before you go and be saying iz Tomi that caused it; she’s not the one o! and this book is 18+ abeg! Don’t come and be forming I love novels when you’re under 17 o! 
Once again, thank you Tomi for a ‘black-buster’ (in my Ghanian accent). . . nothing beats this for me this year!
Y’all know it’s always an honest review here!
How to get this book
Go to Okadabooks.com
Search for Dangerous Passion at the Store
And buy for just N750 – this is way too affordable for a mind blowing romance and fantasy!!!!
By the way, she recharged my Okadabooks Account just so I could read and honestly review! Thank You Tomi!!!!!
So guys, go make my review worth it by storming okadabooks to invest in her ministry by buying en masse?
NB: if you have a book and would love for me to review, I’m always open to receiving copies!
And yea, you can follow Tomi on IG – @tomilolacoco
Do have a lovely week!!!
If you’d love to read more reviews on this blog, say Yay!!!!
Byer. . .❤
©Ibukunwrites. 2017.

Jolaade Philips' 'EDEN' – A Pure Bliss!

Today, I am bringing you a long overdue review. . . told you I read quite a lot while I was away, well, this one is by my homeboy (I hope I’m allowed to do that) ‘cause believe me, I’ve got to be an homegirl to get a signed copy ?

EDEN is pure bliss! This book takes us to the place called healing – the place that says ‘hurting didn’t make you miss the best. . . that every hurt was meant to be and that yea, you’ll fly again because the wings were never broken.

Title: Eden
Genre: Poetry
Author: Jolaade Philips
Year of Publication: 2017
Number of Pages: 129
ISBN: 978-154-515-543-1
EDEN is that very relatable book that takes us on a journey in poetry through chronological and in-depth account of pain in relationships, feelings and meditations that come with pain, agony and being brokenhearted; the lies we tell ourselves, the questions we ask ourselves and desperately seek answers to but may never find, the consolations we give ourselves while we struggle for the rope of hope in the pain and try to be okay.

When the feeling isn’t mutual
you smile and tell yourself it’s okay 
but it’s not
when you gather all your emotions
just to tell them how you feel about them
but all you get in return is a fake smile
you smile and tell yourself it’s okay
but it’s not
what hurts isn’t that they don’t love you
it’s the fact that you have to watch them love
someone who isn’t you.  (page 5)
You leave and 
return as you please
you see my heart as a wick
that you can set 
on fire as you wish  (page 38)

Furthermore, EDEN is that book that tells the tale of pain within pain; letting people in and being taken advantage of or being wounded again;

I told you about my heavy heart
you knew the reason 
behind my soaked pillows
I was grey when you met me 
but you left me black
you promised me a rainbow
but it never rained
I made you my strength
but you left
you gave up on me
so I gave up on myself
I’m here now
a boy in the shadow of a man. (Page 7)



Jolaade Philips also reminded us in this book that to every pain comes certain truth and although sometimes, we may fight those truths, they are constant and they go a long way in determining what we do with the pain – to heal or to agonize; are we moving on to healing or are we staying back, nursing our hurts, wallowing in self-pity and probably getting more?

I could have stayed with the hurt
but I didn’t have any reason to
after spending so much time
crying over the pain I realized
that I wasn’t helping myself
the sleepless nights could have
been spent on my dreams
the lazy mornings could have
been occupied with my ambitions
so I got off my mourning garments
and I let myself be crowned once again
as the king that I am 
before you made me forget my throne
page 55)

Most importantly, Jolaade Philips didn’t fail to tell us that EDEN isn’t just the title of his book but it is that final destination everyone makes after a long journey through pain, healing and discovery. It is that place of bliss and restoration.

The view from here is perfect
when you have to look at the pain
from a position of joy
you’ll realize that it was worth it
when you look at the heartbreaks
from a position of love
you’ll realize that life kept the best for you.
when you look at the withered flowers
through the blossomed ones
you’ll realize that some things died
because they were too rotten for Eden. (Page 104).



. . . I called this Perfecto!. . . you know when that guy in Friendship 7 rocket in Hidden Figures passed through that damn burning fire and he was like that view is from Mendes – that is what I call the first line of that excerpt (The view from here is Mendes)
I must say that Jolaade Philips did a thorough job with this one – he didn’t try to be cute with the feelings neither was he with the truth. If there is anything I love about this book it’s that it affirms pain, healing and feelings are not sexist or has no gender! A woman can relate to everything penned in this book even though it was written by a male writer.

Favourites: I have more than quite a few that I can’t begin to list them but you need to get the book to really understand what I’m saying. When it comes to the divisions of the book, my favourite is Conversations with the heart. . . let me share one with you;

Me: I’m not okay with people feeling like my body is just an art exhibition that every man feels the need to touch. The society doesn’t even care. They make me feel like ‘Oh! I brought it on myself, I didn’t dress well, my dress was too revealing, I should have walked faster, I shouldn’t have been where I was when I was assaulted’ so they blame me for being a victim. We aren’t even allowed to talk about sexual assault anymore. I don’t care if you’re drunk, horny or even in your left mind. Dear man, you don’t get to do what you feel like doing to me, I’m not a sex object under your control. You don’t even know my name but you force yourself inside of me. Dear heart, try and find a way to get this across to the hearts of men and our leaders who don’t consider sexual assault to be an assault in the first place.
Heart: If only every man would see their mother in every woman, maybe women would be treated well.

Reservations: There’s really none except for some few typing errors (not up to four). 
Rating: Yea, I’m giving this book a 9/10. Believe me, this book is a blessing to every brokenhearted. It is the hope you need.
You can get this book on;
1. okadabooks.com – just search EDEN or JOLAADE PHILIPS. It is N600
2. You can DM the writer on IG @jolaadephilips and get the hardcopy for N1,500 only.
Trust me, you’d be spending well.

Eden is a place of innocence, where the heart has been healed and ready to love again. It emphasizes on falling in love with self before anyone else. . . (page 100).

~©Ibukunwrites. 2017.

Deborah Akingboye's 'FADING AWAY': A Tale of Abuse, Love and Betrayal

Hello Ibukunwrites lovers! Happy Weekend. . . or let me just say Happy New Week already because it’s Sunday in a bit. 
Reviews are the perfect way to launch into the new week. Why is that? Why is because it helps you in itemizing what you need to spend your money on during the week in preparation for the coming weekend and one of the things I love to do apart from sleeping during the weekends is read some good and amazing books – books that get you changing reading positions because you just want to find the proper reading position to devour the creative truth of the writer; books that sets your emotion ablaze, give you goose pimples and probably get you reflecting on the past, addressing it, accepting what was, owning your truth and properly healing.
In this regards, I am reviewing an okadabooks bestseller and one of the most reviewed books on that platform too!? I’m talking about no other book but Debs of Debwritesblog’s Fading Away. Just in case you don’t know her white-collar job name?? . . That reminds me, I know this writer but I won’t be bias in my review nonetheless.
Shall we review. . .

PC: @debwritesblog

Basically for me, FADING AWAY is an amazing piece with each page perfectly capturing toxic and abusive love; feeding on love crumbs and mastering the art of being okay. It is a tale of a young woman learning to live again, love again and finding hope after experiencing deep pain and heartbreak that made her think she was totally irredeemable. ~ Ibukunwrites.

Title: Fading Away
Genre: Poetry
Author: Deborah Akingboye 
Publisher: okadabooks
Year of Publication: 2017
Number of Pages: 44
From me to you, this is one of the best short but precise and very deep piece you could ever read! I don’t know anyone who could be most direct, blunt and unashamedly truthful about their experiences, failures and mistakes made at trying to rise above the pain than the writer of this book. This is a book that tells us how it feels to be shamed and be objectified by the people we love and how much more we could go out of our own ways and desires to make the other person happy and at the end of the day we realize we meant nothing.
FADING AWAY addresses how challenging it could be at times putting the pain to rest – that sometimes we could put ourselves at risk while trying to get it together; that we can greatly become accustomed to the pain that we become addicted and totally lose the know-how to receiving anything better; that we can become totally messed up and lose the essence of who we are and become indefinable to self.

Moving on was horrible
It was the worst experience
A terrible phase
I wanted to stay hurting
Wished to stay bleeding (page 38)

. . . and thinking we are too tainted to be wanted by any and we settle for whatever that comes our way even though we know we are not being treated well and when we decide to move on, we drop the desire for love where we last gave it all.

I felt useless
A failure
A sucker
Life has messed with me twice
Love has stabbed me
numerous times. (page 35)

Basically for me, FADING AWAY is an amazing piece with each page perfectly capturing toxic and abusive love; feeding on love crumbs and mastering the art of being okay. It is a tale of a young woman learning to live again, love again and finding hope after experiencing deep pain and heartbreak that made her think she was totally irredeemable

REDEMPTION
It was slow
Different
Strange
I thought I was gone
But you found me (page 38)

You know what I love about this book, it teaches that at the end of the day, losing ourselves is also finding ourselves because at the end, we always come to a place of realization that we are more than enough and we deserve to have just as much as we bring to the table and offer and we need to stop the culture of making excuses for these men we know deeply don’t love us.
Let me stop here before I say too much or share the whole book for free. . .?
Recommendation: This is a book for every woman who has journeyed this path because most of us have. This is a book for that woman who is hard on herself; that woman who thinks she is destined for pain and finds it very hard to forgive herself for mistakes made and probably feels, how could I allow that again! This is for you if you have been previously brokenhearted, finding your way through healing, currently going through heartbreak and hurt. FADING AWAY will go through your grief with you; it’ll teach you to go one step at a time; to experience each stage because that’s when you can achieve climax – wholeness.

I no longer had to pretend to be strong
or feign being fine
I am fine
I stopped fading away
I started loving right
I healed completely
I started manifesting (page 43)

FADING AWAY will help you accept your truth and lead you to that place where your definition of you goes beyond the ugliness. Believe me, with FADING AWAY, you’re about to love yourself more than ever and understand you have to be a flour first to be a bread; that the previous heartbreaks taught you never to settle and reminded you that you were worth more! – PURPOSE.

I started understanding purpose
the journey was needed
went through the pain
to appreciate peace
was hurt
to understand happiness
shamed
to feel worthy
the storm
to appreciate calm (page 41)

Reservations: Absolutely none. I sorta wish it was longer but I realized the beauty was in the precision.
Rating: Yea, I’m giving this book a 10! Unless I want to be like some teachers who say it’s not possible to have all the teacher’s marks. . .
Well done dearie! When are you writing another though?. . .??

You can get this book on;
1. okadabooks.com – just search FADING AWAY. It’s just N300; way too affordable for the great contents.
2. You can follow the writer for more of her works @debwritesblog on IG and Twitter and you can also subscribe to her blog here Debwritesblog
Till I come your way again. . . don’t stop refreshing, subscribing and following all social media platforms! Tell your friends she’s back with a bang! Kizzez???
~ ©2017. Ibukunwrites.

A Dilation of Toke Makinwa's 'On Becoming'

​“To become, I must shed it all. – Toke Makinwa.

On Becoming

Hey guys, happy weekend. . . trust you’re enjoying it;). Today I bring you a review. . .nope, a dilation thats the way I like to call it??
This is one book I was a little bit more than hesitant to review and the reasons being that so many people have had a lot to say about this book up to celebrity singers and writers and then I felt like what right do I have to see things differently when almost everyone is seeing things this way and that way. Nonetheless, I decided to.
Things you must know before you read this post is that;
1. You don’t have to buy my point.
2. I really do not place so much emphasis on what many people think the  primary or secondary reasons of Toke were for writing this book like I do care about the message. There are so many opinions about why Toke wrote this book. I’ve read stuffs like cashing out on her story like a Nigerian Kardashian that she is, to destroy Maje Ayida, to expose her foolery to the world, etc. Why is this story a must tell? . . . To explain her side of the story? To inspire and encourage others not to make the same mistakes she made and to remind them they are more than enough? To play the victim card? To put Maje on a blast? Was that her yielding to the prophecy and instruction given by God to write? This is for her to answer and is for everyone who read the book to decide, whatever that suits you! But for me, I guess I understood the purpose of this book. 
3. This book is very personal to me. I have read more memoirs in my life than I have read manufactured stories and I can say out of all those books, this is the third book I did take personal. At a point, I got tired of trying to leave comments on posts regarding this book because I felt like each time I leave a comment, people still don’t get it and I tend to look like mumu because the truth will always remain that people will continue to see things from the angle they’ve experienced.
4. This is going to be a post not focused on irrelevancies like the cost of the book, or the seemingly too much details she revealed, why making caps and shirts, etc. . . not my business.
5. And probably this is not your usual type of review. . . thank God my caption didn’t say review.
Now shall we;
I am not reviewing this book as a literary piece ‘cos there is absolutely nothing literary about it and I won’t be calling it a spiritual piece either but I think I feel comfortable calling it a celebrity memoir aiming at inspiring and educating.
As a young lady who has journeyed, had her fair share of life experiences and have made mistakes and still prone to, I know better than to judge a woman making herself vulnerable through the pages of her book and also becoming herself. I have spent the past couple of days reading, digesting, regurgitating and spitting comments of people about this book. Still, I need not to recheck if the reason I was feeling different is because I was trying to imagine something different about the book or because I happened to share my birth date with this Best Selling Author. Then I thought, what were some people thinking? This is not a Joyce Meyer, Kimberly Porter, Heather Lindsey, Sarah Jakes or Adara Butler’s book. ‘Cos I think some people were expecting to see such degree in Toke’s book. We are all called differently to function in purpose by telling our story in different capacities. That is why I couldn’t have imagined a better way for her to write the book. I wasn’t disappointed.
About the Author

Toke Makinwa a.k.a. Tokstarr, Morning Rose is a Nigerian OAP on Rhythm FM Lagos and a co-host on Moments on Ebony Life TV. She’s one of the most controversial Nigeria Celebrities, a very hardworking mediapreneur and fashion slayer. Last year, she was a topic for discussion as her marriage of one year to her beau of 13 years, Maje Ayida came crumbling within a year amidst infidelity and pregnant ex-girlfriend scandal. She moved on from the relationship which she had never spoken about until now in her debut book which she released 28th November, 2016.

“We didn’t like Ruth very much; she reported our every infraction to our parents. Grace was nicer. My mum needed two helps because things had gotten very busy for her with her business. Ruth and Grace used to take alternate weekends off. Unknown to my mum, a rivalry had developed between the two women and they stopped talking to each other. This was why one of them wasn’t aware when the gas cylinder developed a leak, because one failed to tell the other.”




On Becoming is a 14-chaptered book that narrated the story of a death-stolen childhood as Toke watched her parents’ burn in a gas-ignited fire accident at their home due to malice between their two house helps, Grace and Ruth. This event which finally led to their death became the bedrock of all that followed from a dragging academic life, reckless living and lassitude towards some things. She tried to find a fix in different things and relationships which led to her 13 years relationship and one year marriage with her estranged husband. This fix consequently led to more damages, pain, abused dignity and a chronic loss of self-esteem till she came to a melting point that led to another turning point as she took solace in God, struggled with letting go and finally facing her fears as she took the divorce option, dealt with letting go and journeyed to wholeness.
True that the bone of contention was her marriage; how it crashed within a year and the reason for the crash but she took us through a chapter of her growing up, 12 chapters dedicated to the details of her relationship and one chapter about the other woman and another chapter that really addressed the crux of the book! But to really understand her journey to become, all those chapters were very necessary maybe not so detailed.
I’ve read so many analyses and I just think this book is more than the breakdown so many are giving it. I am not trying to defend Toke or speak for her but I think until you find yourself in a particular situation, you don’t have a right to judge the choices made by that person. It is easy to watch from afar and make conclusions but trust me, you ain’t gonna make a better choice if you were there. This is a case of severe battered self-esteem and bottled pain from the past that led to holding on to wrong love, believing you couldn’t find better and unnecessary determination to make it work even though it’s hurting you.
Why didn’t she leave? Why did she continue to use the cream afterwards? The society always blames everything on the woman, what about the man, he is a beast, heartless. . . If the lady’s pregnancy hadn’t become a public thing, would she have left? When she knew she was going through all those things, why was she advising people to do what she couldn’t bring herself to do?
Someone said she chose love over wisdom. Dysfunction has a way of presenting itself as love. Toke didn’t choose love, she chose dysfunction over herself. She was stuck, the more reason she couldn’t leave even though she was having all those green lights both left, right and centre. She just couldn’t walk away, after all these years? Where would she start from? These are the lies the devil keeps bringing. Bad relationships have a way of making you feel weak. You love this person and you wanna believe so much that they’d change if you keep giving them chances over and over again that you refuse to see how much it has sagged you and how little by little, it has gone from love to dysfunction. 
Love shouldn’t hurt but love hurts only when it’s one sided. You keep doing all the loving and the other person treats you like being with you is doing you a favour and in all of these things that you know, you still couldn’t bear to see yourself leave. Maybe with time, he’d see me. . . maybe he’d come around with time and why you keep staying you’d never seem to understand. That’s why she kept holding on even when everybody wasn’t a fan of that relationship. 
She loved up. Ignored her instincts, her dreams, the witty sayings from Maje’s mum and advice from my his sister ‘cos she didn’t feel good enough and she just wanna keep seeing the good in the man. She never felt good; you see yourself through the reflection of the other person. The more reason she was willing to put herself in harm’s way, bleaching her skin and begging to know if it was all about the sex styles, she was willing to learn, including accepting to make a sex tape.
One thing I’ve learnt in life is that stop seeing the good in people all the time if you are becoming the victim of the bad you ignored over and over again.
Loving him was wrong but she didn’t care because she never loved herself too. It was all about him and little about her. Heather Lindsey would always say, it’s not in your place to change somebody. Don’t make yourself an altar of sacrifice for a man. You’re not God; you’re not the Holy Spirit that convicts and changes.
Why didn’t she leave?
I bet she had asked herself this question over and over. At the end, you realize everything was hinged on low self-esteem. You will never understand something you’ve never experienced and I don’t pray anybody do, ‘cos it’s not a sweet one.
Why did she continue to use the cream afterwards? Did Maje put a gun to her head?
When did the relationship end that’s now about why didn’t she stop! What’s the point in this question I asked myself. She was never gonna get back her original skin colour, she has no choice but to maintain the one she has now. And no, he didn’t put a gun to her head, she was just going through a cycle of dysfunctional relationship that she was willing to do the unbelievable to win him; please herself to displease him.
The society always blames everything on the woman, what about the man, he is a beast, heartless. . .
This has nothing to do with how the society views women. One of the things I’ve learnt in my journey is that admittance comes most times with having to deal with a higher percentage of the blame if not all. She allowed it, that she didn’t deny. So don’t let us make this about the society blaming her. No one is lauding Maje Ayida and the point of the book was never to name-call anyone but Nigerians, we care so much about the gossip that we wanna name call and blame all the way cos truthfully, I don’t even care about the guy, what he had done, he had done! I think we are the ones even making this book so much about him. She had accepted all that she needed to, let us leave two adults to live in peace and pick the lessons we find worthy in the book. . . We don’t always need to have a say all the time. The purpose wasn’t for us to analyse but to learn something.
If the lady’s pregnancy hadn’t become a public thing, would she have left?
Probably not or maybe she would have. But there is something they call the last straw or last nerve. . . it has a way of giving you back the sense you lost along the way. It’s always the point where everything changes.
When she knew she was going through all those things, why was she advising people to do what she couldn’t bring herself to do?
Yes, that wasn’t fair but there is something I always say, that in all those pains you can still find time to edify! *my quote* lol. . . Maybe while she was doing it she wasn’t even doing it knowing she was edifying others but probably keeping appearances and trying to be sane yet I know some people were helped by it. She wasn’t sincere with her process and that is okay but sometimes you find it so difficult to apply the same advice you give to people in your own situation but the truth is one day, you will have to take that advice and that day actually really came for her.
I know there’s no justification for selling a lie, having her vlogger family believe she had the dream marriage when she didn’t, still it’s the same way there’s no purpose in if only, why didn’t she. . . Why waste your energy trying to justify a past she already took responsibility? T. D. Jakes says, in our pain there’s a purpose and in our mess there’s a message and God did it with her and the point is, if He did it before, He can do it again.
Truthfully, most times I don’t understand her, especially when she released that video about Things you do in your 20s and 30s. . . cos you can’t be kind of a Christian and kind of wordly at the same time still, it’s not in our place to write people off! You have no idea what God wants to do with them. . . Sometimes I don’t understand myself, the same some of us don’t do too at times, but the truth is if we are supposed to understand people before we love them, half of the world is gonna remain unloved. We are all a work in progress hoping to see what our finished product looks like and we don’t grow at the same rate either. Let us stop with the castigating, name-calling, shaming and trying to rewrite a story that has been played out but you can change how it plays out in yours or someone you know’s if only you focus on the message and stop trying to read meanings into it or expect Maje’s book. . .  like some people were asking Maje if it was true she gave Toke STI. . . Haba!
Favourites from the Book:
1. My favourite chapter was Chapter 14 titled Healing. There’s that point where you come to a place of admittance, acceptance and sincerity towards yourself. Your faults, mistakes, choices, take responsibilities for your part which sometimes happen to be more on your side, deal with regrets, how unchangeable the past is, how unpredictable the future is but still you trust God; this is the stage where you deal with the why, how, what. . . no more running, no more denial, forgiving self and the other parties, letting go and letting God.  
2. I love the writing style. Simple and engaging.
3. Quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

3. I love the metaphoric significance of the of Chapter 10 which was the only Chapter with Toke’s quote. The message is encoded in that quote.
Difficulty
There was something about the tenses I didn’t quite understand especially in the first chapter.
Recommendation
I know that 99.9% of readers read the book to satisfy their curiosity in different forms it took and had also successfully came up with our interpretation of the book, I hope whatever aim she had releasing this book will be achieved and yea, I do know how it feels like to still have some residue left in there but I trust God to make it all go away like it never happened. Finally, I know this book is gonna be useful to anyone who truly needs the message in it.
Rating: 8/10
I read she’s preparing for her 2nd and 3rd book. Thank you Toke for sharing your story with us. I pray everything she’s lost in her valley experience God will restore in a trillion folds and I hope your life will always be one that speaks God and shows godliness and I hope you heal totally and truly be yourself in God.
Have a nice read!!! This book is available everywhere in hardcover, paperback and eBook.
Till I come your way again, don’t stop becoming bold, strong, daring, fearless and the best version of yourselves in God!?
Xoxo???
~ Ibukunwrites❤❤❤

Judge miles only if you’ve walked them. ~ Ibukunwrites.

A Dilation of Toke Makinwa's 'On Becoming'

​“To become, I must shed it all. – Toke Makinwa.

On Becoming

Hey guys, happy weekend. . . trust you’re enjoying it;). Today I bring you a review. . .nope, a dilation thats the way I like to call it??
This is one book I was a little bit more than hesitant to review and the reasons being that so many people have had a lot to say about this book up to celebrity singers and writers and then I felt like what right do I have to see things differently when almost everyone is seeing things this way and that way. Nonetheless, I decided to.
Things you must know before you read this post is that;
1. You don’t have to buy my point.
2. I really do not place so much emphasis on what many people think the  primary or secondary reasons of Toke were for writing this book like I do care about the message. There are so many opinions about why Toke wrote this book. I’ve read stuffs like cashing out on her story like a Nigerian Kardashian that she is, to destroy Maje Ayida, to expose her foolery to the world, etc. Why is this story a must tell? . . . To explain her side of the story? To inspire and encourage others not to make the same mistakes she made and to remind them they are more than enough? To play the victim card? To put Maje on a blast? Was that her yielding to the prophecy and instruction given by God to write? This is for her to answer and is for everyone who read the book to decide, whatever that suits you! But for me, I guess I understood the purpose of this book. 
3. This book is very personal to me. I have read more memoirs in my life than I have read manufactured stories and I can say out of all those books, this is the third book I did take personal. At a point, I got tired of trying to leave comments on posts regarding this book because I felt like each time I leave a comment, people still don’t get it and I tend to look like mumu because the truth will always remain that people will continue to see things from the angle they’ve experienced.
4. This is going to be a post not focused on irrelevancies like the cost of the book, or the seemingly too much details she revealed, why making caps and shirts, etc. . . not my business.
5. And probably this is not your usual type of review. . . thank God my caption didn’t say review.
Now shall we;
I am not reviewing this book as a literary piece ‘cos there is absolutely nothing literary about it and I won’t be calling it a spiritual piece either but I think I feel comfortable calling it a celebrity memoir aiming at inspiring and educating.
As a young lady who has journeyed, had her fair share of life experiences and have made mistakes and still prone to, I know better than to judge a woman making herself vulnerable through the pages of her book and also becoming herself. I have spent the past couple of days reading, digesting, regurgitating and spitting comments of people about this book. Still, I need not to recheck if the reason I was feeling different is because I was trying to imagine something different about the book or because I happened to share my birth date with this Best Selling Author. Then I thought, what were some people thinking? This is not a Joyce Meyer, Kimberly Porter, Heather Lindsey, Sarah Jakes or Adara Butler’s book. ‘Cos I think some people were expecting to see such degree in Toke’s book. We are all called differently to function in purpose by telling our story in different capacities. That is why I couldn’t have imagined a better way for her to write the book. I wasn’t disappointed.
About the Author

Toke Makinwa a.k.a. Tokstarr, Morning Rose is a Nigerian OAP on Rhythm FM Lagos and a co-host on Moments on Ebony Life TV. She’s one of the most controversial Nigeria Celebrities, a very hardworking mediapreneur and fashion slayer. Last year, she was a topic for discussion as her marriage of one year to her beau of 13 years, Maje Ayida came crumbling within a year amidst infidelity and pregnant ex-girlfriend scandal. She moved on from the relationship which she had never spoken about until now in her debut book which she released 28th November, 2016.

“We didn’t like Ruth very much; she reported our every infraction to our parents. Grace was nicer. My mum needed two helps because things had gotten very busy for her with her business. Ruth and Grace used to take alternate weekends off. Unknown to my mum, a rivalry had developed between the two women and they stopped talking to each other. This was why one of them wasn’t aware when the gas cylinder developed a leak, because one failed to tell the other.”




On Becoming is a 14-chaptered book that narrated the story of a death-stolen childhood as Toke watched her parents’ burn in a gas-ignited fire accident at their home due to malice between their two house helps, Grace and Ruth. This event which finally led to their death became the bedrock of all that followed from a dragging academic life, reckless living and lassitude towards some things. She tried to find a fix in different things and relationships which led to her 13 years relationship and one year marriage with her estranged husband. This fix consequently led to more damages, pain, abused dignity and a chronic loss of self-esteem till she came to a melting point that led to another turning point as she took solace in God, struggled with letting go and finally facing her fears as she took the divorce option, dealt with letting go and journeyed to wholeness.
True that the bone of contention was her marriage; how it crashed within a year and the reason for the crash but she took us through a chapter of her growing up, 12 chapters dedicated to the details of her relationship and one chapter about the other woman and another chapter that really addressed the crux of the book! But to really understand her journey to become, all those chapters were very necessary maybe not so detailed.
I’ve read so many analyses and I just think this book is more than the breakdown so many are giving it. I am not trying to defend Toke or speak for her but I think until you find yourself in a particular situation, you don’t have a right to judge the choices made by that person. It is easy to watch from afar and make conclusions but trust me, you ain’t gonna make a better choice if you were there. This is a case of severe battered self-esteem and bottled pain from the past that led to holding on to wrong love, believing you couldn’t find better and unnecessary determination to make it work even though it’s hurting you.
Why didn’t she leave? Why did she continue to use the cream afterwards? The society always blames everything on the woman, what about the man, he is a beast, heartless. . . If the lady’s pregnancy hadn’t become a public thing, would she have left? When she knew she was going through all those things, why was she advising people to do what she couldn’t bring herself to do?
Someone said she chose love over wisdom. Dysfunction has a way of presenting itself as love. Toke didn’t choose love, she chose dysfunction over herself. She was stuck, the more reason she couldn’t leave even though she was having all those green lights both left, right and centre. She just couldn’t walk away, after all these years? Where would she start from? These are the lies the devil keeps bringing. Bad relationships have a way of making you feel weak. You love this person and you wanna believe so much that they’d change if you keep giving them chances over and over again that you refuse to see how much it has sagged you and how little by little, it has gone from love to dysfunction. 
Love shouldn’t hurt but love hurts only when it’s one sided. You keep doing all the loving and the other person treats you like being with you is doing you a favour and in all of these things that you know, you still couldn’t bear to see yourself leave. Maybe with time, he’d see me. . . maybe he’d come around with time and why you keep staying you’d never seem to understand. That’s why she kept holding on even when everybody wasn’t a fan of that relationship. 
She loved up. Ignored her instincts, her dreams, the witty sayings from Maje’s mum and advice from my his sister ‘cos she didn’t feel good enough and she just wanna keep seeing the good in the man. She never felt good; you see yourself through the reflection of the other person. The more reason she was willing to put herself in harm’s way, bleaching her skin and begging to know if it was all about the sex styles, she was willing to learn, including accepting to make a sex tape.
One thing I’ve learnt in life is that stop seeing the good in people all the time if you are becoming the victim of the bad you ignored over and over again.
Loving him was wrong but she didn’t care because she never loved herself too. It was all about him and little about her. Heather Lindsey would always say, it’s not in your place to change somebody. Don’t make yourself an altar of sacrifice for a man. You’re not God; you’re not the Holy Spirit that convicts and changes.
Why didn’t she leave?
I bet she had asked herself this question over and over. At the end, you realize everything was hinged on low self-esteem. You will never understand something you’ve never experienced and I don’t pray anybody do, ‘cos it’s not a sweet one.
Why did she continue to use the cream afterwards? Did Maje put a gun to her head?
When did the relationship end that’s now about why didn’t she stop! What’s the point in this question I asked myself. She was never gonna get back her original skin colour, she has no choice but to maintain the one she has now. And no, he didn’t put a gun to her head, she was just going through a cycle of dysfunctional relationship that she was willing to do the unbelievable to win him; please herself to displease him.
The society always blames everything on the woman, what about the man, he is a beast, heartless. . .
This has nothing to do with how the society views women. One of the things I’ve learnt in my journey is that admittance comes most times with having to deal with a higher percentage of the blame if not all. She allowed it, that she didn’t deny. So don’t let us make this about the society blaming her. No one is lauding Maje Ayida and the point of the book was never to name-call anyone but Nigerians, we care so much about the gossip that we wanna name call and blame all the way cos truthfully, I don’t even care about the guy, what he had done, he had done! I think we are the ones even making this book so much about him. She had accepted all that she needed to, let us leave two adults to live in peace and pick the lessons we find worthy in the book. . . We don’t always need to have a say all the time. The purpose wasn’t for us to analyse but to learn something.
If the lady’s pregnancy hadn’t become a public thing, would she have left?
Probably not or maybe she would have. But there is something they call the last straw or last nerve. . . it has a way of giving you back the sense you lost along the way. It’s always the point where everything changes.
When she knew she was going through all those things, why was she advising people to do what she couldn’t bring herself to do?
Yes, that wasn’t fair but there is something I always say, that in all those pains you can still find time to edify! *my quote* lol. . . Maybe while she was doing it she wasn’t even doing it knowing she was edifying others but probably keeping appearances and trying to be sane yet I know some people were helped by it. She wasn’t sincere with her process and that is okay but sometimes you find it so difficult to apply the same advice you give to people in your own situation but the truth is one day, you will have to take that advice and that day actually really came for her.
I know there’s no justification for selling a lie, having her vlogger family believe she had the dream marriage when she didn’t, still it’s the same way there’s no purpose in if only, why didn’t she. . . Why waste your energy trying to justify a past she already took responsibility? T. D. Jakes says, in our pain there’s a purpose and in our mess there’s a message and God did it with her and the point is, if He did it before, He can do it again.
Truthfully, most times I don’t understand her, especially when she released that video about Things you do in your 20s and 30s. . . cos you can’t be kind of a Christian and kind of wordly at the same time still, it’s not in our place to write people off! You have no idea what God wants to do with them. . . Sometimes I don’t understand myself, the same some of us don’t do too at times, but the truth is if we are supposed to understand people before we love them, half of the world is gonna remain unloved. We are all a work in progress hoping to see what our finished product looks like and we don’t grow at the same rate either. Let us stop with the castigating, name-calling, shaming and trying to rewrite a story that has been played out but you can change how it plays out in yours or someone you know’s if only you focus on the message and stop trying to read meanings into it or expect Maje’s book. . .  like some people were asking Maje if it was true she gave Toke STI. . . Haba!
Favourites from the Book:
1. My favourite chapter was Chapter 14 titled Healing. There’s that point where you come to a place of admittance, acceptance and sincerity towards yourself. Your faults, mistakes, choices, take responsibilities for your part which sometimes happen to be more on your side, deal with regrets, how unchangeable the past is, how unpredictable the future is but still you trust God; this is the stage where you deal with the why, how, what. . . no more running, no more denial, forgiving self and the other parties, letting go and letting God.  
2. I love the writing style. Simple and engaging.
3. Quotes at the beginning of each chapter.

3. I love the metaphoric significance of the of Chapter 10 which was the only Chapter with Toke’s quote. The message is encoded in that quote.
Difficulty
There was something about the tenses I didn’t quite understand especially in the first chapter.
Recommendation
I know that 99.9% of readers read the book to satisfy their curiosity in different forms it took and had also successfully came up with our interpretation of the book, I hope whatever aim she had releasing this book will be achieved and yea, I do know how it feels like to still have some residue left in there but I trust God to make it all go away like it never happened. Finally, I know this book is gonna be useful to anyone who truly needs the message in it.
Rating: 8/10
I read she’s preparing for her 2nd and 3rd book. Thank you Toke for sharing your story with us. I pray everything she’s lost in her valley experience God will restore in a trillion folds and I hope your life will always be one that speaks God and shows godliness and I hope you heal totally and truly be yourself in God.
Have a nice read!!! This book is available everywhere in hardcover, paperback and eBook.
Till I come your way again, don’t stop becoming bold, strong, daring, fearless and the best version of yourselves in God!?
Xoxo???
~ Ibukunwrites❤❤❤

Judge miles only if you’ve walked them. ~ Ibukunwrites.

Tomilola 'Coco' Adeyemo's THE REUNION Review – All Shades of Hot

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A mind-blowing sensual tale of  betrayal, seduction, intimidation, money, passion, emotions, love, sex and payback. It’s one hell of romance.

~ Ibukunwrites

Having hit the financial rock bottom, Ibukun Soetan is at the mercy of starting from the scratch and building a mansion from the debris left of her life and in the bid to finding an investor who might be interested in her business proposal, she rekindled a contact with an old classmate from Secondary School days, who is not only interested in investing but has a different way of doing business. 
Swindled of her possessions by her ex, Malik Douglas, sparing her house and a few clothes, Ibukun Soetan had lost her glow until she decided to stop her pity-party and go for a shake off at her Secondary School Alumni Reunion hoping to get a few contacts that might help her bounce back financially.
Luckily and unluckily, she ran into an old classmate of hers who used to crush on her back then but never arrested her gaze, Yemi Edwards; who now happened to be a man of beauty, affluence and influence; he was her answer to unspoken prayers. Only that Yemi Edwards was still very much into Ibukun Soetan and he wants to continue where his emotions left off but Ibukun wasn’t about to have none of that even though he could solve her problems and he was desperate enough to have her without commitments, no matter what.
Did he have her? Did she give in? Was there a twist? You won’t know until you read.
This is a good read. Tomi took us on a wild romance drive. I actually read this book twice; on a cup of chilled garri drink, smoked fish and a well-prepared efo riro only the first time though but not enough to cloud my judgment. I love the start and the finish of this book. The plot is awesome and quite unpredictable to an extent. It’s not your everyday Nollywood plot. I feel like telling it all but would it have been a review if I decide to tell it all?. . .
In short, this is a story well told. It is a story of from rocky to bliss. The description game was 100; characterization game, 100; I love the character name Boobsie. . . dialogue, 100 and the music and celebrity ‘imagery’ (infusion) was lovely; I like that part about Lil Kesh. . . lol. This book is hard to fault. I couldn’t have expected less. Tomilola is a badass storyteller. So far, this is still my best romance of the year. . .
Conclusively, this is a mind blowing sensual tale of betrayal, seduction, intimidation, passion, emotions, money, love, sex and payback. It’s one hell of romance!
Rating – 10. (Yea, it’s that good!)
Outside the review – This book is not for perverts; but you might still wanna renew your mind after reading this one *lmao*
Thank you Tomi for an amazing read!. . . looking forward to another mindbluster.
Get your copy on okadabooks.com for zero penny! how generous is that – just search, The Reunion!
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Tomi blogs fiction on Scribespad. She has quite a reputation for slaying storytelling from the days of 360nobs. . . She’s a Screenwriter with lots to her credit, A Feminist and also a coke addict *winks*. . . I wish I knew her more than from afar from the Pit Theatre days but I know her now and that’s all that matters *hehehehe*. . . the handle is @tomilolacoco on IG and @tomilola_coco on Twitter.
Looking forward to y’all’s feedback on this one. . . let me know when you read!
Mwah! Till I come again. . . don’t stop refreshing! And yea, it’s my first official fiction review on the blog. . . watch out for more!!!!!!

Payback is a bitch. . .
© 2016. Ebukun Gbemisola Ogunyemi