A CONVERSATION WITH TOBE NWIGWE
Tobe Nwigwe is just as self-aware and articulate as his music conveys in person. In conversation with Dr. Jess, the audience quickly came to see how he embodies making “Purpose Popular,” as he says, in all facets of his life.
The lyrical #GetTwistedSundays rapper got very honest and raw while making the audience laugh through many of his personal and very relatable anecdotes growing up as a Nigerian-American young man in Texas. Below are a few takeaways we got from his conversation with Dr. Jess:
1. Juggling different worlds as a third-culture kid helped him to develop a thick skin.
Growing up, coming to terms with both his Nigerian identity and his American identity was not easy. He noted how difficult it was to juggle the very different standards and cultures that came from each of these identities. Going to school, he would be made fun of for his Nigerian background and name while at home, he often struggled to meet his parents halfway and even fit their definition of “success.” For a while, he was simply embarrassed and not fully able to embrace his Nigerian roots. Tobe recounted a lot of memories and did impressions from conversations he recalls having with his Nigerian parents growing up, which had the audience laughing so hard while embracing the greater message. Ultimately, working through this conflict is what allowed him to develop a thicker skin, which has helped him to take on other challenges that have come his way as he got older.
2. Purpose won’t come knocking at your door - you have to put in the work to find it.
It was in his darkest and lowest moments that he had to take a moment to really reflect and gain clarity to move forward. One such defining and vulnerable moment was when Tobe had the “best worst injury of [his] life” that altered the potential path to a future career in football. Because he lost the one thing that he used to so closely define him and was his primary identity (being a football player), losing this forced him out of his comfort zone to really explore who he was outside of football and what was really important to him. He took some time to shut out the outside world, avoid getting involved with people/women, going to parties so that he could focus on getting himself recentered without involving anyone for that journey while lost. As he mentions in the talk, purpose won’t just come knocking at your door - we all have one, and you have to really be vulnerable, reflect, do the necessary work, and try to extract the lessons on your journey in order to find yours.
3. Real love
Many of us who are fans of Tobe watch with pure adoration the love he and Fat share. Together, they are new parents to a baby daughter and as Tobe says, he really feels like he is in the best season of his life currently. But when asked about their love, he recounts that it wasn’t always perfect. Nonetheless, when he wasn’t in the high point he was in now but instead was broke and struggling, Fat was the one that was there supporting him and loving him for who he was wholehearted. Tobe made a point when asked by Dr. Jess about what their love meant to him, that real love to him is really loving somebody 100% for all of who they are, as they are, in every little quirk and detail without trying or hoping to change them. It goes beyond the physical attraction and the good moments, but it’s when things are difficult and real and raw that he could see so clearly exactly why Fat was the right woman to make his wife. His wife also brings him a necessary balance and is a voice of reason, and that is why he knew without doubt why Fat belonged in his life.
Dr. Jess (Dr. Jessica Clemons, MD) has taken her profession as a Psychiatrist to another level with her work focused on engaging the community in her free time through public conversations intended to inspire and normalize conversations on mental health. As always, the conversation with Tobe Nwigwe gave the audience an opportunity to interact by asking questions and sharing positive affirmations, some of which were read by Dr. Jess and Tobe. There is no doubt that the audience left with some valuable gems to apply to their own lives after listening to a conversation that was both uplifting while remaining lighthearted and refreshing.
Keep an eye out for the next guest of Dr. Jess’s monthly conversation series currently held at Samsung 837 by following her on Twitter or Instagram. In the meantime, be sure to tune in to Dr. Jess’s Instagram Lives for more interactive conversations surrounding various mental health and self-care topics.
Written by: @tasninnk