London’s Evening Standard has apologised to Solange Knowles after it altered her hairstyle on the front cover of its magazine.In an article on its website, the newspaper said it made “the wrong call” to edit the photograph and it was done for “layout purposes”.“We have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange,” the article says. Solange…
With the world getting increasingly crowded with personalities possessing star power, the ones who truly make a difference at the top of the ladder are the bold, strong and beautiful – just like The KOKO Magazine’s latest cover star – Screen Diva Peace Hyde. Ghanaian International TV Queen Peace Hyde gave the digital fashion house an exclusive chance to peek behind the curtain and reveal what makes this purpose-driven, stunning queen tick.Telling modern African stories via her award-winning Forbes programmes – “My Worst Day with Peace Hyde” and “Against The Odds”, Peace has quickly catapulted herself to media goddess status on the continent. And in the magazine, she chronicled her journey to this point – from her arguments against feminism to her sentimental attachment to a particular black dress and also her bridal goals. Continue below to read the rest of the exclusive interview or you can click HERE to read the complete magazine.
At the time I felt it was a bit excessive but that training helped me to be able to adjust very easily when I relocated back to Africa and I am so thankful for that. I started my working life as a Chemistry, Biology and Physics teacher but I have always had a passion for the creative arts. When I was younger I acted in a number of school plays but somehow never really pursued that passion. After years of teaching, I decided to take the leap of faith and follow that passion. I had already relocated and was now living in a completely new world, so I said to myself, it is now or never. I followed that childhood passion I had and here I am today. It has not been an easy journey and in life just because you have a dream it does not mean you will not have challenges. Anything that is worth having is worth working hard for and there is no one that is going to make your dream a reality apart from you. The things I do today in terms of my media personality and my journalism is a reflection of me taking that leap of faith and trusting God to take care of the rest
What will you consider as the single major challenge you faced before becoming the Peace Hyde everyone knows now? And what motivates you as a person?
I believe the biggest challenge is overcoming my negative mindset. You will always have challenges in whatever field you are in and that is to be expected. But those challenges can be overcome. The difficulty is in overcoming your own fears and doubts and that lies in adopting the right mindset. For the longest time I was consumed with what people would think of me and that dictated a lot of the things I did until I decided to change my mindset. That was my biggest challenge and that is what I tell people when they ask me about my journey. You can overcome every obstacle that comes in your way provided you adopt the right mind set and that has been the biggest challenge I had to overcome.
You have grown into a beautiful and intellectual woman; did you ever struggle whilst in the UK about who you are as a Black African, physically and otherwise?
I don’t actually believe I did. I mean when I was younger I had weight issues and I struggled with that a bit but as I grew, I learnt very quickly how important it is to love yourself and accept who God has created me to be. We all go through down times as women and that can be as a result of several factors including physical, psychological or something else. The most important thing is learning how to live with whatever flaws you have and that usually starts with understanding that you are created to be the best version of you and there are no mistakes. Everything we go through is simply a journey to prepare us for what God has in store.
Congratulations on your victory at the Ghana-Naija Showbiz Awards! Were you expecting to be the Radio/TV Personality of the year?
I absolutely was not expecting it and it was an amazing feeling to be recognized for my work. I am extremely humbled to be nominated amongst such remarkable women, many of whom I looked up to for many years and I believe have helped pave the way for a lot of young people in the media space today. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I am doing today.
From “My Worst Day with Peace Hyde” to “Against The Odds”, how have you been able to consistently turn out huge successful empowerment and inspirational programmes?
I think firstly, I am an extremely faith-driven person so I have to acknowledge that without God, I will not be sitting where I am today. The media or entertainment space is very fickle so one minute you could be on top and celebrated and the next moment; you are the latest hot topic for a scandal. I believe in getting my head down and putting in the work. I work hard because I know it is simply the only way to grow in my craft and succeed at what I do. I believe we are all destined to be great and sometimes all it takes is a little determination and a lot of hard work to make that potential a reality.
No doubt your workload is hectic, does that affect your relationships and are you in any relationship? Also, how does having a career affect your personal and social life overall?
I believe as women we have the ability to multi-task and I think that is one of the biggest advantages we have. It is true I have a hectic workload and when I am in work mode; there is really no time for anything else. But I believe the key to having a balanced life is also making time for some down time. At the moment I would say I work a lot more than I relax simply because I believe when you are given an opportunity, you give your absolute best to deliver. I have a good social life but it can be better but I am actually not complaining because I love what I do and I am extremely blessed to be able to do it.
Who is your fashion, beauty and style icon?
I would not actually say I have an icon per se, I just know what I like. I believe less is always more and I don’t believe in showing off skin in order to be attractive or sexy. For me simple, chic and elegantly covered up always wins.
You’ve always advised young ladies not to rush into marriage, does that mean you do not plan getting married any time soon?
I believe society places a lot of expectations on young girls in terms of what age or stage in life they are supposed to get married which invariably leads a lot of young girls down a path where they are forced into marriages with the wrong person and often leads to a life time of sorrow and depression. There is nothing wrong with people getting married early providing they have taken the time to know each other and are making an informed decision based purely on love and mutual respect for one another instead of societal or peer pressure. That is what I am against. I believe I will get married when God deems it the right time.
What do you think is the hardest part about being in the media industry? Do you have any regrets about fame and your career?
I think being in the limelight is a great responsibility because whether you like it or not, your actions have an impact on people who follow you whether positively or negatively. I think if you do not handle that responsibility well, then there are several downsides. I believe whatever you do, leaves an impression on somebody out there in the world and so the question is what do you want your story to be? Once you understand that concept, I believe it will guide you in the decisions you make. I don’t have any regrets because I believe everything happened exactly as it should. There maybe some things I am not happy about but I think at the end, the lessons I learnt from those experiences helped to mould me into the person I am today so I would not trade it for anything.
What’s the cheapest and most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
I am very sentimental, so I have a black dress I bought on my birthday years ago, which I refuse to get rid of because it has some really good memories. That would actually be the cheapest in terms of cash value but the most expensive in terms of sentimental worth to me. There are simply some things money cannot buy.
Do you think relationship and marriage is overrated in Africa compared to Europe and America?
No I don’t think they are overrated anywhere. I think everybody wants to find love and that is a normal thing in any society. But I think depending on which part of the world you are based in; there is a stronger focus on marriage based on cultural norms or religious inclinations of the people. Africa typically has a stronger focus on religion and the family values compared to Europe and America so marriage will always be a stronger focus here than in those places. Also culturally, we are raised as a family unit with a mother, father and children. That is what we are taught to aspire to and as a result we grow up with the expectation of getting a job and settling down which there is absolutely nothing wrong with. I believe however, you have to wait and seek God’s timing so you don’t end up rushing into a situation for the wrong reasons.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My mother. Her sheer strength and determination took a family of four through really difficult times and ensured that we never lacked and we were always happy as a family. I call her super woman and I can only hope to be half the woman she is.
In Africa, being a curvy woman can have both up and down sides, do you find this to be true for yourself and do you think it has influenced how people relate with you in anyway?
I don’t believe in labels of any kind. I think an individual’s potential has absolutely nothing to do with how much curves they have or do not have but more on the substance of the person. I am simply striving to be the best version of myself and once that becomes your primary focus in life, people’s expectations of you become irrelevant. I think people relate to you simply based on how you present yourself and for me that guides me everyday in the way I interact with whomever I come into contact with.
What fashion brands you’d give your first-born to own.
Haha. That sounds a bit dramatic. I don’t actually think I would give my first born to own any fashion brand. That’s just not worth it. Maybe if you had said food though, I would reconsider! Lol!
Will you consider yourself a feminist? And are you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist or Beyonce’s?
I would not say I am a feminist. Far from it. I believe however in the power of a woman to accomplish extraordinary things. Both men and women have roles that are predefined by God and I don’t believe in blurring the lines. There is however nothing wrong with feminists like Chimamanda or Beyonce, I think their views about the strength of a woman speaks to a wide community of women who have been marginalised for years and have been told they are not good enough. For me, I simply believe everybody is born to be great and whether you are a man or a woman, it is your responsibility to fight for that greatness that God has created you for.
You recently premiered another Forbes Woman Africa series. What impact do you expect all your shows to have in the long run? What will you want to be remembered for?
Against the odds is an exciting initiative by the Forbes Woman Africa brand with a focus on celebrating the exceptional women of this generation that have managed to achieve remarkable life changing feats against all odds. It is an inspirational look at the women who are shaping the African continent today and changing the narrative of what it means to be an empowered and successful African woman.
I believe the greatest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams. I have now embarked on a new dream and the new challenge feels remarkable. I want the Peace Hyde brand to be an advocate for change across Africa. I want to change the stereotype of what it means to be an African woman in this male dominated industry. I am a woman in a process.
I want my experiences to shape minds and have a positive impact to the world. I want the Peace Hyde brand to motivate young women to think like the queens they are. A queen is not afraid to fail; failure is another stepping-stone to greatness. For every one of us that succeeds it’s because there is someone there to show you the way out. I would love the Peace Hyde brand to show the way out for those who want to give up on their dreams. If I can impact just a single individual to do something positive in years from now, then I would have achieved a lot.
You run a not-for-profit organization aimed at supporting the growth of education in Africa, what stage is the organization now? Five years from now, what do you see yourself and the charity doing?
I started Aim Higher Africa with a simple goal of giving street children and children from impoverished communities in Africa an opportunity to be more than their situation and empower them with the tools to achieve their fullest potential. Since then the organization has grown into a network of what we like to call ‘Youngpreneurs’ or young entrepreneurs with a common goal of creating sustainable and scalable businesses that creates employment for the youth and most importantly bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity. Today we stand at creating over 500 small businesses, which provide employment to over 2000 youths across Africa and that is such a great highlight for the organization. We have seen children who lived on the streets and worked long hours carrying heavy loads on their heads for less than $1 a day transform into young small business leaders, running and even employing other youths from similar backgrounds. It has been a really amazing journey. 5 years from now we hope to make an even bigger impact than we have already made and inspire young people all over Africa to join the movement to make Africa great.
Do you believe marriage often affect African women in terms of reaching their full potential? Ten years from now, how do you see African women evolving?
I believe the problem is not marriage. I think marriage is an institution created by God. It is a perfect institution and I think the value of marriage is something that is sacred and powerful. I think the problem however is people who do not spend time to find out what God wants for their lives in terms of a partner. At a time where there is a social media craze and high profile weddings every other week, a lot of single ladies are being inundated with wedding goals pictures, flashy honey moons and the lure of being accepted by society as the latest addition to the “Mrs” club. That pressure means that a lot of young women settle for partners who do not help them to achieve their God given potential.
That is where marriage becomes a problem. Selecting a partner on his net worth instead of his faith in God and the mutual respect you have for each other and also women not spending time developing themselves enough so they can compliment the right partner when God says it is the right time are all issues that contribute to the break up in marriage. I believe as more and more women begin to resist the societal pressures we will evolve to be powerful women who are in control of our own destiny and find partners who enrich our life experiences in the way God intended.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Nelson Mandela. I have always imagined he would be a great storyteller and the wealth of knowledge and experience he has would be invaluable.
For many young girls who aspire to be like you, what would be your advice to them?
If you strongly believe that this is what you have to do, then do it. No matter how good anybody’s success story sounds, you are the only one that can make it work for you. Do not follow the hype. Think carefully about what you want to achieve and have a plan and no matter what you do, stay focused and be prepared to work hard and even fail. You will be the only person that believes in your dream and that is ok. All you need is yourself and God.
Do not expect people to support you because it is very likely they will not. But no matter what happens, walk with faith. Keep your eyes on the end goal, no matter what that may be. Be prepared to adapt your strategy because each new level calls for a different mindset. Always network. You are always one contact away from your next opportunity and when all else fails and you are at rock bottom, know that you are very likely in the right place because there is no success without adversity. When in doubt join the Faithbuilder movement via my instagram handle @peac_hy, we can do it together.
Which living or dead person has made the most impact in your life?
I believe there are so many great people out there that I draw inspiration from. I am always open to learning from people who are breaking stereotypes and making an impact in the lives of people around them. I would say yet again it would have to be my mother. She has shaped the woman I am today and taught me everything I know. Without her, I truly would not be where I am today so I am forever grateful.
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