Toke Makinwa, a well-known media figure in Nigeria, has explained why she decided against having a child with her ex-husband Maje Ayida.
The 38-year-old woman talked about how lately, more pressure than ever before has been placed on her to have a child. Toke added that her friends wished she had given birth to a kid during her first marriage so that she could have checked that “achievement” off her list of “must haves.”
Toke Makinwa discussed why it was so difficult at the time she didn’t have children with her ex-husband during the most recent episode of her show, Toke Moments. She uttered:
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I feel like I’m stuck in a phase where society is putting so much pressure on me right now. I don’t regret the fact that I haven’t had any kids, I don’t. I honestly don’t. I feel like I was in my building years, and if I had had a baby, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but I also feel like I needed to put everything into building. And now, I can welcome that.
So when people, cuz I have a lot of friends who are like “oh I wish you had just done that in your marriage, cuz if you had just done that, it would have been something you would have just checked off the list. I’ve done it and moved on”.
And sometimes, I find myself thinking “Ah, maybe should I have” but then when I really think about it.
For me the biggest thing in that situation was I just, I don’t think I wanted to have like my child having siblings in different [places]. It was too complex. Like if it was just straight forward, then I would have been like sure, no worry, we can co-parent. But then there are other children and at some point you can’t be selfish about not letting your kids not meet their other siblings. It’s just a whole complex situation. So I know what I want.”
Toke Makinwa also revisited the loss of both her parents, who died in a gas explosion when she was 8 years old. She that it could be part of the reason she chose not to have a child when she still had a lot of baggage from her past. In her words:
“… And deep down, someone might think it’s so selfish, but I think that maybe because I suffered loss at a young age, I know what that did to me. I had fantastic parents who raised me, but there is also a void I have carried around all my life, from the loss that I experienced at 8.
Growing up in an African household, you don’t get to talk about it so much because it’s such a tragedy. So it took going to therapy to begin to unpack that there are certain things that I was even carrying from that situation even into my marriage, that I had to unpack. So I’m thankful that I didn’t have a child because I can imagine the emotional abuse the child might have endured if I was also thinking we don’t talk about things.
Perhaps, I might have sent that out into the child. I needed to heal. So I actually don’t regret the fact that I have been alone for so long.”