Growing up, we all got to a certain part of natural formation, where the natural dynamics of our relationship with our elders was transformed completely into what could be described as unfair. It was our teenage life, and we were judged by our every move. Pretty much unfairly for the most part. A bad deed would earn you some form of punishment, while a good deed will be debated and mulled  over in some cynical elderly mind who believes you’re always up to no good, before praise is stingily handed out.

Sometimes the praise never shows up, deserved or not, and we pull out our hair in frustration. The world never understood us, suicide was always lurking in some minds, and so was our inability to fathom out why the world never understood us completely. What hapless muppets we were! Stuck in a circle of criticism and wanton abuse.

That’s the trouble with Toke Makinwa. Personally, Toke is my favorite of OAPs.  Her style of delivery is a marvel to listen, so also is the grace in which she goes about her business of selling news, ideas, and subtle entertainment to the public. But the recurrent waves of criticism that comes her way with each deed is enough to make her pull out her pretty hair.

She shows up in event pictures, and she’s branded a gate-crasher, she smiles and her forehead attracts criticisms, a new dress appears on her petite frame, and the critics automatically become fashion professors, screaming at how ill-fitting and ugly it is. And there’s the little matter of people always calling to see her knuckles. Why? They have to criticize the knuckle colour. It’s their business if it’s pink, maroon, brown, hard-scaled, or sickly looking.

Recently she got married to an admirable fitness freak, and the battle line was drawn.  The bones of contention were enough to create an adult human. The critic bandwagon had a problem with her dress, her makeup, her forehead and her choice of groom. Even her smile came under fire. It was deemed to be ‘too much’, and unbefitting of the grand occasion. But God help her if her smile didn’t attend the event. She would have been bombed all over ‘for being unhappily wedded’. Whatever she did, she’d have to wage a war.

How did it all come to this? How did Toke become the favorite victim of our false sense of power which the internet and the cloak of anonymity gifted us all with? Maybe we crave her power of influence and undoubted talent?  Perhaps she represents all that we wish to become, but can never be. Or she cuts the figure of a snobbish young urban professional who’s had it her way, while the rest of us have had to toil up the ladder of progress. Perhaps it feels right throwing bile her way for whatever reason.

Whatever the true reason is, it’s yet to come to the fore.  She remains our classic teenager, and we the analytic cynical grownups. Good deeds or bad, she has to be given an unfair rating by us all. It’s a way of life. Nothing personal. Here’s to hoping she comes out stronger!