This is the review of a book that was a hot in its own right… it didn’t blow as much as Tokes book but it was kinda a big deal too.
Anybody here watches Jennifer’s diary by Funke Akindele? Its arguably one of the best Nigerian TV shows ever… its this hilarious Dramady about a village girl (funke akindele) who wants to fit in at all cost.. Unlike normal nollywood with the predictable endings and terrible characters,… Jennifer’s diary is good!!!!
Well we all got an onscreen sweetheart from Jennifer’s diary in the name of Toyo baby… the sensible educated friend of Jennifer.. She was a newbie actress but a really good one… suddenly we stopped seeing her on screen… she was kinda written out.. Or they just pushed her character to one corner… and we all (me sha) went online to find out the 411…
Toyobaby is actually Julianna Olayode and she started gaining a following on insta amongst our Christain brethren… I don’t follow her on insta cos I like to follow people who post real content and not just use their social media platforms to promote their offline events which she does a lot… but I have insta stalked her a couple of times sha…
Julianna is a pro purity and no sex before marriage activist which is not a popular cause to champion in Nigeria… As conservative as we claim to be. This kinda made her popular in her way…
Back to the book.. In one of my insta stalk sessions.. I noticed that she was promoting a book… about her life… I actually laughed out loud… and messaged my baby sister to see the foolrey.. Like we kinda know you Toyo babay but aren’t you still a one hit wonder? We haven’t even seen another movie you’ve done and you got cut off from Jennifers dairy so what story do you have to share and why should we care… I honestly felt she should have waited a while before selling her story.. She was just 22 then I think.
Lol… My sister and I basically trashed her and the people encouraging her… to now make matters worse, the book was selling for either 6k or 10k at some point ahhh…. Nope nope nope…. Like I really like you Julianna and I am all about women supporting other women but I am not buying this ya book for 6k o..
It didn’t look like I was the target audience sef so I ignored….
Until 1 day!!!! I got a WhatsApp message with the attachment to the book… ahhh they have Toke Makinwad (pirated) this book too? I wrote about how Tokes book was Pirated here which I didn’t think was fair. I was going to ask the message sender why she was passing the book around when I got a message from my sister that Toyo baby was giving the book out for free….. She also attached a copy with the PSA…
I went on her instpage and saw it was true.. Something about God telling her more people needed the message in the book.. Who am I to disobey? I promptly downloaded and devoured the book..
In my mind I was like, Who gives a 5k book out for free? And why? What does she have to tell us self and why is the message so important.. I was supper interested in getting to the end of the book.. I knew it had something to do with God and her Christain life and while I am a Christain myself.. I do not like books that are preachy which is what a lot of Nigerian authors know how to write…
Don’t force your opinion down on us.. Share your story and go.. My brothers and sisters in the lord.. Alas.. It wasn’t so.. This is actually a good book with another relatable story.
Now.. If you are not Nigerian/African and all your experience have been upper middle class and above wherever you are, you might not get this book so you might not relate to it as much…. But this book hit home…(hollup) I haven’t been through most of her struggles but living in Nigeria, I had (and still have) friends, family members and neighbors who I saw experience a lot of the things she spoke about..
- Separated parents,
- Step mothers from the spawn of the devil
- Sexual molestation from pastors and trusted ones
- Fake and substandard drugs…
- Walking miles to school..
- Not being able to afford things that are almost free.
- Losing hope in everything and everyone but then God comes through at the last minute….
- Arguing for your change with bus conductors
- Lagos state government and their laws that work against poor people
- Walking miles to Fetch clean water and carrying on your head every day in a metropolitan city like Lagos in the 21st century
- After school and Jamb lessons… etc.
- Taking forever to get into horrible university
I grew up middleclass.. (in Nigeria’s standards) but I wasn’t sheltered.. My parents let me know the realities of living in Nigeria very early on and Juliana’s story is 1 in millions.. If you cant relate.. You are lucky.
The book was quite interesting and wasn’t all gloom and doom… I actually shed a tear at some point… she’s not exactly the best writer but you know that feeling of excitement you get when you are reading someone’s hidden diary and their heart has been poured into it…. That’s the feeling you get from this book…
Unlike Tokes book… now this is a Memoir… She took us through her life and childhood.. Step by step. We followed her to school, after school lessons, her parents separation, molestation as a child, relationships, wicked people, Helpers, heart breaks and finding God.
Guys, there are a lot of people going through real shit in this country .. Volunteering and NYSC opened my eyes to a lot of these things and made me realize that a lot of us who have access to the internet are the privileged ones and we tend to see things through rose colored lenses…
People smile and laugh with you but are either dying or dead inside….
- You think cinderelas story was bad… she had a step mum who made her and her brother hawk food around Lagos while she had chickenpox and a nail injury on her leg. You have a kind mum or step mum, be grateful… If you see children being abused, Report asap…
- Broken marriages impact the kids.. Rich or poor… but it’s worse when you are in an unhappy marriage. The children always know.
- Lying just puts you in this well that just keeps on getting deeper: if you do a quick google search on rebirth by julianna, you’ll see a long list of blogposts and newspaper articles talking about why she lied that she was still a virgin
- This babe was technically sexually molested by someone she trusted, while she was underaged but all people cares about is that she sha lied… and said she was a virgin when shes not.
- You don’t have to be a virgin to advocate for sexual purity.. If that’s what you believe in.. Please shout it on the roof top and don’t condemn anyone.
- A pastor once tried to molest her… we have a lot of fake pastors and “spiritual leaders”.. Too many of them.. Test every spirit..
- There are a lot of child molesters out there… watch and educate your children.
- Shes in her early 20s.. I was wrong.. No one is too young or too inexperienced to tell their story… if you have a story to tell as a 10 year old.. Tell it. A lot of people will criticize you.. (like I did) but you will also change a lot of people lives.
- Gods grace is sufficient…. The bible says it.. Ill have mercy on who ill have mercy on… if that’s you… take the mercy and run with it before its taken away from you.. Lol.
- Plan but don’t count your chickens before the eggs are laid… she thought she would become a millionaire off jennifers diary… it didn’t happen that way.
- Sexual education is necessary in Nigeria… a lot of us hear about sex the first time we get our periods… I know someone who got her period in uni and got sex education from her roomies… that was when she realized that she had been sexually abused… she had no idea… UNTIL UNI!!!!!! Not Toyo sha.. But the book kinda reminded me about the story.
Ive come to the end of my review.. I rate the book a 7/10… I loved it and I learnt a lot.. I also recommend it.
In the next couple of weeks, ill be posting reviews of more books by female authors… in Nigerian and diaspora.. We are celebrating International Womens month. Let me know if you have any other recommendations.
or just comment if you want me to send it to you… or you know what, just subscribe via email to my blog (look to your right.) and ill send everyone a copy!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you read the book? what did you think about it?