I met Tobi & Nathan back in 2016 when we were all in the University of Lagos. I remember always seeing them together on campus and while we were cordial to each other because we shared a mutual friend whom I was closer to, we weren’t really friends. Years later, Nathan and I end up working in the same office and we developed a friendship that has bloomed over time (but obviously nothing like his & Tobi’s lol). The relationship between Nathan and Tobi is something that has gone from friendship to brotherhood. You cannot get Nathan without Tobi and vice versa. Their friendship is such a beautiful thing between the both of them and I am delighted to interview them on their friendship, their podcast, Boys in Pink, the journey so far and the future.
Please tell us who Nathan & Tobi are?
Tobi: (laughs) I don’t like this question. But I will answer it. Tobi is a chef, a
creative mind, a fashion enthusiast & a scientist. He’s funny, quirky and has a lot of things to say.
Nathan: I am a creative with a passion for fashion, film, society and arts. On good days, I am also an overall goofball and a die-hard romance fanatic
How did you meet each other?
Tobi: (Laughs) I met Nathan in secondary school. He was my school son then and after school, we stayed in touch and have been friends ever since then.
Nathan: Like Tobi said, we met in secondary school and I went from being his school son to his best friend. I lowkey knew we were going to be best friends though (laughs)
Tell us something unique about your friendship with each other.
Tobi: Our friendship is unique in a type of way that we are two different people. Nathan is more subtle and I am more on the defence (laughs). Although we are different, we complement each other well because when he gets diplomatic, I might not feel that way. When he’s laid back, I am confrontational. But no matter what, we always have each other’s backs.
Nathan: I think the fact that it’s a mutual relationship that has a lot of understanding and respect makes our friendship unique. We both know each other and to a great extent complement each other’s personalities. We are also very open and direct with each other. Our opinions push each other to grow.
What inspired Boys in Pink?
Tobi: Nathan & I have always had a “random conversation” culture because we’ve lived together for about four years. We would have long conversations talking about things that were important to us at that moment, and we always felt like our opinions needed to be shared. Nathan actually brought up the idea of us starting a podcast during one of such conversations, and we recorded our first episode right there and then. The podcast is inspired by very homely vibes and that is actually because it is recorded at home. So we want you to listen to it while driving, in the bathroom, while eating and just doing normal daily activities.
Nathan: We have strong opinions about a lot of things that happen, both in society and our personal lives and we felt like we need to share with the world, our thoughts even as crazy as they may be. Also, I have always wanted to have a podcast and after lots of conversations with friends and very spontaneous action, we made it happen.
How did you choose the name?
Tobi: My house was being painted and I chose a lovely shade of pink for the paint, and there was conversation surrounding my choice because that wasn’t the agreed colour chosen by most of my family but eventually, my dad agreed to it and it was a done deal. One day, Nathan and I were taking selfies in front of the wall, and he said something that stuck. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact words but it was something in the line of boys and the colour pink.
Nathan: (Laughs) Tobi has told the story and what inspired it, but personally I felt inspired by Tarell McCraney’s Moonlight (black boys look blue) and the (my) personal agenda of pushing the colour pink as just a colour and not a gender. Also, I think it covers the entirety of our message and content.
How has the reception been so far?
Tobi: The reception has been really good. Of course, we have had a few setbacks in terms of delivery and criticism because it’s a field that is relatively new to us, but we’re confident that with more work improvement and progress is certain. We are relentless so we won’t stop until we have reached perfection level.
Nathan: The reception has been good so far. We are still moving with baby steps and I try my best not to think so much of it so I don’t get pressured, but I’m grateful for how well it has been taken and hopeful for better growth.
There has been a lot of talk and awareness of toxic masculinity. Do you think society is evolving from its old ways by paying more attention to it?
Tobi: I feel like society is evolving and I think a lot of people are talking about it because the conversation is happening and I have to give props to feminism. Most people will deny its impact on the awareness of toxic masculinity but I noticed that with more talk about feminism, the issue of toxic masculinity began to be a focus. As feminism came into play it helped
in diminishing the idea of toxic masculinity.
Nathan: I think the conversation is happening but it isn’t enough. I’m very
thankful for all the men and boys speaking up about it because men in
society generally has more power to change the conversation on how we are raised and seen.
Let’s go back to Boys in Pink now. It is still relatively young in the world of podcasts and I’d like to ask, do you see it growing into something bigger & better soon?
Tobi: As I said earlier, we are relentless and passionate about this. So definitely with consistency & hard work, it can grow into something bigger and better. We just have to keep ongoing. Nathan and I had a discussion after we began and I told him; success doesn’t come overnight. I strongly believe that if we are consistent things would click. I know most podcasts in Nigeria didn’t start with great engagements and listens but because they put in consistency and dedication, it paid off (and will do for us).
Nathan: (laughs) I try my best to avoid thoughts about the future because I believe in staying in the present and enjoying it while it lasts. I have strong faith in our message and I see it growing and reaching a wider audience. For now, it’s all baby steps.
Tell us three things you do to prep before recording an episode.
Tobi: (Laughs) I usually do not prep, I just think about the episode in my head and visualize the discussions. Nathan is much more structured in that area than I am. That is one of the things that is different about us. Nathan is very organized so he writes down the topic, and then we pick a song to play in the background while we record, and then he writes out the flow of the conversation while I go into a mental psych-sort of, talking about it in my head as an effort to itemize our points properly. I have found out that this helps me decide on my opinions about the topics and how to express them. I always want it to seem as unrehearsed as possible.
Nathan: I like to have an idea of what our discussion would sound like, so I
always engage Tobi in a light brainstorming session, just to cover the basics of our topic for the episode. I write down everything, but I always try to stay in “Tobi form” so we don’t lose the casual-homey feel that we want the podcast to have. I always try to be particular about our message and make sure we don’t derail while recording and writing down points also helps with this.
What happens when you share different views on certain subjects and no one wants to concede? Has that ever happened before?
Tobi: I don’t think we’ve ever experienced that. We have almost the same opinions on almost everything. It is very rare that we share different views and different opinions. For example, in one of our previous episodes, we talk about sexuality and Nathan says he doesn’t believe in certain things and I don’t agree as well but not because he disagrees. As I said, it is very rare that we don’t have the same ideas but in such cases, we both present our cases sensibly and defend our views. I strongly believe as humans, we must be able to coexist even with having different views.
Nathan: We very much believe in our different opinions. However, I think that’s the beauty of having conversations with people because you learn and while you don’t necessarily need to agree with them, you can understand their opinions. In future, we plan to have guests on the podcast and their opinions will be very necessary to the discussions we will have. We might not agree on certain things, but that is how it’s meant to be.
Do you think your friendship has helped the success of Boys in Pink so far?
Tobi: Oh definitely! For sure our friendship has helped the success of Boys in Pink. Because we are very open and not afraid to say certain things. I actually think about recording with other people and it might not be the same because they might be afraid to say their actual thoughts or point of views because of how it might be taken. Luckily, we do not have that fear.
Nathan: I think it has played a huge role in the success of the podcast because we are no strangers to each other and we both have an understanding of the message we are trying to pass across. I also don’t think I would have been able to do this with any other person because I mean, we are best friends
I’m sure you get negative feedback based on the discussions held on Boys in Pink. How do you handle that?
Tobi: Well presently we haven’t had any negative feedback. We’ve had mostly constructive criticism. And actually, if I get any negative feedback, I will determine what kind of comment it is just because sometimes people aren’t able to express their thoughts properly. So it may be a correction veiled as something offensive. If it happens to be full-on negativity, I just ignore it. That is how I handle negativity cause if you don’t want it to grow, don’t give it any attention.
Nathan: So far it’s all been constructive feedback on how to better the conversations but I don’t think I’ll ever have a problem with negative feedback. I know it’s all the part of the conversations we are trying to have so however it’s being pushed I’ll take it whilst sending love and light (laughs).