Toke Makinwa Biography: Career, net worth, marriage, Vlog, controversies & more
Toke Makinwa is a Nigerian celebrity popular for her work as a radio personality, television host, lifestyle entrepreneur, Vlogger and author. She worked as a co-host of The Morning Drive, a popular morning show on Rhythm 93.7 FM.
Toke is also very popular in the television and event circles; she hosts many events. Her book, titled On Becoming, got wide acceptance in Nigeria, South Africa, the U.S., the U.K. and other East African countries.
Get to know Toke Makinwa better as we provide in-depth details in this biography of Toke Makinwa. But first, 10 facts about Toke Makinwa that everyone should know.
10 facts you didn’t about Toke Makinwa
- In 2010, she hosted the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant.
- She signed a multi-million naira contract with Nestlé Nigeria to become the new face of Maggi.
- She won the Outstanding Female Presenter of the Year award at the 2013 Nigeria Broadcasters Awards.
- On January 15, 2014, she had a private wedding ceremony with her lover of 8 years, Maje Ayida. They later separated the following year.
- Her favourite food are amala, gbegiri and ewedu.
- She has been featured in major editorials including Exquisite Magazine, This Day Style, City People, Fashion TV and Complete Fashion Magazine.
- She was announced as one of the hosts of 3 Live Chicks along with Tosyn Bucknor and Oreka Godis, an entertainment program which interviewed celebrities like Tonto Dikeh, Tiwa Savage and Bez.
- In 2013, Makinwa became an ambassador of the United Africa Company of Nigeria alongside Osas Ighodaro, Dare Art Alade and Dan Foster.
- She loves taking selfies, especially mirror selfies. She never misses an opportunity to take a good one.
- She’s a bestselling author for her book, On Becoming. She is also a YouTube blogger for her channel called TokeMoments.
Toke Makinwa’s early life and education
Toke Makinwa was born on 3rd November in 1984, so she is presently 35 years old and will be 36 years old on her next birthday in November 2020. She was born at the jestsSt. Nicholas Hospital, Onikan, Lagos. Toke is the second child among the four children of Modupe Monica Makinwa and Caleb Ifemayowa Makinwa.
Initially, Makinwa had grown up in Abuja with her three siblings and parents. However, her parents died when she was about eight years old. Toke Makinwa lost her parents to a fire accident and she had to move back to Lagos and live with Mr and Mrs Akinyelure. The couple became her foster parents and raised her up as their child.
For her education, Toke studied at the famous Federal Government College, Ogbomoso, Oyo State. The school was found in October 1977. Some celebrities such as Teju Babyface and Sound Sultan also count the school as their alma mater.
On completion of her secondary school education, Toke Makinwa headed to the famous University of Lagos (Unilag) where she obtained a degree in English Language and Literature.
Tertiary education was not a smooth ride for her, however. In July 2017, during her book tour, the presenter disclosed that she had been advised to drop out of school because of poor grades. Fortunately, the school relented and she was given one more year to get her grades together. Consequently, Toke Makinwa was graduated a year after her coursemates have left the school.
Toke Makinwa Biography: Radio career
As is common among many Nigerian youths, Toke Makinwa did not immediately gain admission into the university after passing the Secondary School Certificate Examination. It was during the wait to get admitted and pursue higher education that she came in contact with radio.
Rhythm 93.7 FM had given her an opportunity to work in the company before she even went to Unilag in 1999. She mentioned in an interview in 2012 that her parents had been against her working in a radio station. Her first stint with the media ended when her mother heard her on the radio while driving. She said her mum had not even given her the opportunity to formally resign and had promptly stopped her from working.
But by then, it was too late to stop her dream as she already knew the path she wanted to take. So, in 2010, she again auditioned and was successful, paving the way for her to become a co-host on The Morning Drive show at Rhythm 93.7 FM.
Silverbird Group are the owners of Rhythm 93.7 FM and the station is popular for its shows and various music genres. It is an English speaking commercial radio station based in Victoria Island, Lagos.
After gaining some popularity from co-hosting the morning programme, Toke launched a late-night show on the station the same year, 2010. The show, titled Rhythms of the Night, further push her popularity.
Her talent for speaking on air, which appeared as if she were speaking to visible audiences she knew personally, endeared her to a lot of people. Toke Makinwa always had something to say to keep the mood alive, according to fans. This gained her millions of fans that were always tuning in to listen to her show.
She also started posting engaging and educational videos on YouTube around that time. It was rare for fans to get to see the face behind the voice they heard on the radio back then. This further pushed her fame.
In 2010, Toke Makinwa hosted the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant. The pageant was organised by the Silverbird Group. Fiona Amuzie (Miss Plateau State) won the crown that year.
Toke Makinwa Biography: TV career
With the level of her fame skyrocketing, Toke Makinwa collaborated with Tosyn Bucknor and Oreka Godis to give fans 3 Live Chicks in 2012. Tosyn Bucknor was, at the time, a popular radio presenter with Top Radio 90.9 FM while Oreka Godis had worked at Beat 99.9 FM.
3 Live Chicks was run by Flytime Entertainment and the show first debuted on its online platform in 2012. The programme touched on lifestyle and politics. Also, celebrities were invited as guests on the show to share opinions and insights.
At that time, Toke Makinwa was also working as a host on Flytime TV show. So, Toke Makinwa’s first TV host debut was on Flytime TV show. She mentioned that she knew the owner of the station, Cecil Hammond, personally. He had approached her and they had come up with ideas for the TV shows. Cecil Hammond is the nephew of Ben Bruce, who is the founder of Silverbird Group.
Besides, her work with the aforementioned TV station, she also did some outstanding works, which were also televised.
Also, in 2014, the presenter hosted the Hip Hop Magazine Trending show. This work allowed her to interview famous artists and celebrities such as Femi Kuti and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Also, along with Michelle Dede and Bolanle Olukanni, Toke Makinwa co-hosted Moments Talk Show (Nigeria) that was televised by Ebony Life Television.
Toke Makinwa’s vlog series on YouTube: Toke Moments
As we mentioned above, Toke Makinwa runs a vlog on YouTube called Toke Moments, which has been active since 2012. She also debuted another series on the vlog in 2018, titled Diary of a Single Girl.
The vlog is a weekly series where the media personality touches on a host of societal issues. This is how Toke Makinwa describes the YouTube channel: “Toke Moments, sharing a special side of me with the world.”
In TokeMoments she talks about general issues and concerns. Her most popular video was posted in 2014 and has over 173,000 views, it is titled How to Get Married “Naija” Style.
Watch the episode below:
The vlog gives her additional fame as it helps fans see her face regularly, something uncommon among on-air personalities (OAPs). She uses the Diary of a Single Girl platform to address issues facing single women in Nigeria. The debut video is titled I Hate Going on Dates.
TokeMoments vlog channel currently has over 61.9 thousand subscribers and has garnered over 6.7 million views.
Toke Makinwa Biography: marriage, husband and divorce
Toke Makinwa married her ex-husband, Maje Ayida, on 15th January 2014. The couple had a relatively low profile wedding considering her personality and pubic status.
Toke Makinwa’s ex-husband, Maje Ayida, was her health instructor and longtime partner. The couple was alleged to have been together for up to 14 years before they got married.
In an interview in 2013, the celebrity entrepreneur had revealed that she is a lover of romance. “I’m a lover of love, I wrote the book called love,” she said.
However, in the same interview, Toke Makinwa mentioned that she didn’t know nor care what happened after the “happy ever after.” She also mentioned that she would love her husband to propose using the Oprah Winfrey show. Though, she also revealed that Maje had proposed romantically but not in the Oprah style.
Toke Makinwa, ever the dreamer, said that she had been planning her wedding since she was five. Although the couples publicised their engagement, the actual wedding was low-key.
It took just a little over a year for their marriage to reach a sad ending. According to sources and Toke herself, Maje cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend, Anita Solomon. He allegedly got her pregnant while he was still Toke’s husband. We are unsure of the timing but Maje and Anita both have a son together named Micah, which seems to give credence to Toke Makinwa’s account of events.
The situation degenerated into a scandal and it likely affected Toke Makinwa emotionally but she was careful not to reveal her feelings publicly. Some social media trolls who had not liked the vlogger and likely harboured some resentment towards her took the opportunity to make fun of her.
The whole situation was also somewhat ironic considering that Toke Moments contains many videos giving relationship advice and counsels. Some people made jests of the presenter. Toke Makinwa’s public marriage breakdown and eventual divorce was certainly one of the most popular celebrity gossips of 2015.
Regardless of what the public reactions were, it was obvious that Toke Makinwa could not continue with the marriage anymore. Maje Ayida and the TV host separated before the year ended. In 2016, reports surfaced that she filed for a divorce.
As of the time of writing this article, Toke Makinwa is no longer married to Maje Ayida. However, in 2018, there were rumours that they had reconciled and were caught on camera going out together. The rumours had no element of truth, however.
in January 2020, a video surfaced online in which Toke Makinwa told friends that her marriage should never have happened.
Does Toke Makinwa have a child?
No. According to the popular OAP, she does not have a child. There had been some claims from some quarters that she has a child, a son, kept hidden. But this is not true as Toke Makinwa herself points out.
In 2016, when someone commented on her photo on Instagram and also mentioned her having a child, she simply deleted the comment. Later, she explains:
“I have been in this industry for over six years. My radio career started in 2010 and I am working with one of the most popular radio stations in Nigeria, I was on television and I have a vlog. If I have a child, everyone would know. It is laughable and there is no iota of truth in that post.”
So there you have it, at the time of writing this article, Toke Makinwa does not yet have a child.
Toke Makinwa’s book: On Becoming
In November 2016, Toke Makinwa became an author after releasing her book titled On Becoming. The well-written book is a memoir telling the story of her life. In On Becoming, Toke tells a convincing story about her life as a celebrity who is always mentioned in controversies.
Also, she revealed lots of truth about herself and what it was like growing up young without blood parents. The book also mentioned the details of her 14-year-old relationship with Maje before they eventually got married.
On the cause of the deaths of her parents, Toke Makinwa reveals that a quarrel between two of her biological parents’ house helps, Grace and Ruth, had led to the gas fire that orphaned her early in life. She also revealed in the book that Maje had never treated her well but she had stayed in the relationship out of hope. However, the incidence of infidelity/pregnancy issues made her realise that the relationship was, on the contrary, hopeless.
Like all her life, On Becoming received mixed reactions. Even before it was available on the market, many had formed their opinions about the book. However, it sold quite well according to some sources but no exact figure is provided.
Another reason why we believe the book was likely to have been a commercial success was the massive promotion Toke Makinwa and her publishers undertook to make sure the book reached a wide audience. The celebrity OAP and entrepreneur went on tour to promote the book. Toke Makinwa went to South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, parts of East Africa and many states in Nigeria.
An important inclusion to Toke Makinwa biography is her movie debut in the comedy movie, Makate Must Sell that was released on 3rd May 2019. In the film, she portrayed the character of the rich and single friend to Chigul, Bisola Ayeola and Toyin Abraham.
Don Omope directed the star-studded movie, which also featured Blossom Chukwujekwu, Josh 2 funny, Charles Okocha and others.
Filmone Distribution, Screenart, See Fam and Ahh entertainment came together to make the cinema movie.
Toke Makinwa businesses
The description of Toke as an entrepreneur is far from a decorative one. She has strong business acumen and owns some businesses. In 2017, she launched her handbag line under her business name, Toke Makinwa Luxury.
Also, she runs a skincare product line that is called Glow by TM. She launched Glow by TM in 2018 and it got her into some controversies as many pointed out that she is trying to lure other women into bleaching their skins.
Toke Makinwa Controversies
Toke Makinwa is a frequent actor in online controversies. Not unexpected since the media personality is very vocal both in her professional and personal capacity. So, she’s a sitting duck for anyone looking for an easy target. Nonetheless, Toke Makinwa does not allow criticism to deter her and seems to have accepted controversies as another part of the job descriptions.
Below, we will discuss some of her more famous controversies.
Toke Makinwa on bleaching her skin
Some time ago, Toke Makinwa was in the news circle after internet users were called her out for bleaching her skin. People who claim to be familiar with her skin complexion prior alleged that she bleached her skin and that it was difficult to recognise her. This was around 2012 and 2013.
At the time, Toke Makinwa ignored the allegation but will later address it in the memoir of Toke Makinwa, On Becoming. In the book, she admits that she had, indeed, bleached her skin to look lighter. However, she claimed to have done it because her now ex-husband, Maje, had wanted her to do it. We interpret that as meaning not taking responsibilities for one’s action.
Toke Makinwa plastic surgery
There were also stories that Toke Makinwa had undergone body enhancement surgeries. Toke Makinwa however, did not address the rumour in her book but she shared on Twitter that she has “fixed” her body. This was just before the end of 2018. Toke Makinwa dropped the hint among a list of certain habits she let go and those she embraced in 2018.
“This year I stopped complaining and changed things. I hated my body, I fixed it, (best decision ever). I hated hanging around certain people who made me feel small; I dropped them, I learnt to forgive (I still struggle but it’s a journey), I learnt to be at peace.”
Toke Makinwa ended the tweet with the hashtag 2018Lessons.
This year I stopped complaining and changed things. I hated my body, I fixed it, (best decision ever). I hated hanging around certain people who made me feel small; I dropped them, I learnt to forgive (I still struggle but it’s a journey), I learnt to be at peace. #2018Lessons
— Toke Makinwa (@tokstarr) 27 December 2018
Whether she fixed her body with the help of surgery or not is up for debate, although the tweet strongly suggests that was what she did. It is undeniable, however, that Toke Makinwa is one of the best looking female celebrities in Nigeria at the moment.
Check out this story as well: Toke Makinwa shares a message to those feeling lonely or heartbroken this season| Watch on Sidomex
Toke Makinwa and Festus Adebiyi
In November 2017, Toke Makinwa was again trending in entertainment and gossip circles. This time, reports claim that the OAP was in a relationship with married Nigerian billionaire, Festus Fadeyi.
The owner of Pan Ocean Corporation, Fadeyi, was alleged to has been spending company funds on her. Rumours had it that he funded her handbag business and got her a 2016 Range Rover SUV that was said to worth N50 million as well as other luxury accessories.
Later in the same November, the children of the CEO of the indigenous independent oil firm allegedly called out the Vlogger. Stories circulated that the businessman had borrowed heavily from Skye Bank and instead of investing it, was spending it on Toke Makinwa.
Toke Makinwa vs Yomi Black
In December 2019, Toke Makinwa and comedian Yomi Black had a face-off on Instagram. The comedian and actor had replied to a post from Toke about Cardi B. She had said about the American singer, who was visiting Nigeria at the time.
“These are the issues. Nigerians Cardi B is so real, I stan. Your own celebs living their lives like her. Such a disgrace! Morally corrupt! Bad role model! So plastic! so crass! So unintelligent! So razz! So loud!”
To which Yomi had retorted:
“You see why people love someone like Cardi B? She owns her shit, just like the Kardashians. You get what you expect. She hasn’t denied being a stripper or enjoying showing her body. She doesn’t go around forming motivational speaker and quoting Bible passages on social media like some Saint. Dear Toke, I dare you to openly show how you can afford your lifestyle.
“And don’t come with shit like you’re an actress or OAP because we all know how much both earn. Also, don’t spew shit about endorsement deals because we are in marketing communications and know how much these deals are worth. This has got to be the most hypocritical post of 2019.”
Later Yomi apologised and blamed it on bloggers claiming that it was a copied post. However, the apology came after Toke Makinwa called him out. According to Toke Makinwa, who also shared proof, Yomi took issue with her post because she had turned down his request for “free TM bags for product placement” in one of his production because “your platform does nothing for me, and I am running a business.
“I asked you to pay for it and you got mad,” continued Toke, “you’ve always taken but never given to anyone, who have you helped?”
You can read the whole story here: Celebrity beef erupts between Yomi Black and Toke Makinwa| Here’s how it happened
Toke Makinwa current relationship status
In August 2019, there were rumours about the OAP was in another relationship. However, Toke discredited the stories while establishing the fact that she was not against the idea of getting married and that 35 is her last year to be single.
She also stated that she would leave her next marriage if she is unhappy in it. Her words:
“If tolerating bull shit is what you guys call happy marriage, please count me out. I am not afraid of being alone. If I give it another chance and I am unhappy I will leave again.
“Call me crazy or whatever but I am not your average and I will always choose me first. Yes! Tolerance is prime shouldn’t mean there should be no limit to the bull shit one should take.
“If you men really love the tolerance of our mothers I suggest that you all go marry them and God forbid our daughters [to] end up like us or our mothers. A woman unafraid of walking alone is a dangerous one, her level of freedom will intimidate many but will also inspire the right energy, she is clothed in strength and dignity.”
Toke Makinwa net worth
As of 2019, some reports claim that Toke Makinwa’s net worth is estimated to be $2 million. However, these reports are not clear how they arrived at the figures so it is difficult if not impossible to evaluate the validity of the claim. Her main sources of income are her work as a radio host, TV presenter, event host and YouTube vlogging. Her business, no doubt, also contribute to her income and eventual net worth.
This is not all as she also has many endorsement deals. Some of these endorsements that will likely be giving Toke money include deals with United Africa Company of Nigeria, Nestle, Maggi and Mecran Cosmetics.
So, it is clear that Toke Makinwa has multiple income streams but we do not know what each of those streams brings, nor are we privy to her financial obligations. But it is an easy guess that she is doing well financially.
Final thoughts …
Toke Makinwa’s biography is quite interesting as she is a character and on a surface level, she may look ordinary. However, looking in-depth, we see a woman who has gone through a lot in life and that has not been defined by her struggles but rather her successes.
With her unprecedented smooth transitioning from radio to TV now movies and maintaining effortlessly handling the lot, we see her as a pacesetter. Controversies seem certain to be a part of a celebrity’s life and it is the ability to clear the air and stay focused that keeps those at the top there. Toke Makinwa has shown time and again that she’s unstoppable despite what the naysayers say. She has her sight set on her goals and working steadily to conquer them all.
And in case you want to know what Toke Makinwa is up to on social media, you can follow on the following platforms:
Toke Makinwa Twitter: @Tokstarr
Toke Makinwa Instagram: @TokeMakinwa
Toke Makinwa is certainly one to be admired and we wish her all the best for the future.
Bonus information on Toke Makinwa
Toke Makinwa Awards
Winner of the Nigeria Broadcasters Awards (2013)