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#InspirationalChat with Forbes Africa’s Head of Digital Media & Partnerships, Media Entrepreneur, Activist and Motivational Speaker, Peace Hyde. #BeInspired!

Peace Hyde, a British Ghanaian, is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most celebrated TV Personalities and Media Entrepreneur. She grew up in the UK where she practiced as an Education Specialist and has 7 years’ experience within the formal education sector in the UK during which period she rose to the level of senior management. 

During a chat with Peace Hyde, she shared her story on how she broke into her TV career, joining Forbes Africa, as well as how she started Aim Africa, an NGO company.

Read and enjoy!!

DB: Welcome to Inspiration Chat

Peace Hyde: Thank you

DB: First of all who is Peace Hyde?

Peace Hyde: Peace Hyde is a British/Ghanaian Media Entrepreneur, Activist and Motivational Speaker. From a media perspective I am a broadcast journalist working as the Head of Digital media and partnership for Forbes Africa as well as the Editorial Head for West Africa and I am also the founder of education NGO Aim Higher Africa.

DB:  Tell us about your early life and education

Peace Hyde: I have Ghanaian parents and so I guess I have always had a strong bond with Africa. I grew up in the UK with a strong African culture. My mum believed very strongly that even though we were miles away from Africa, we still embody the discipline and moral fabric she was raised with. So it was important to learn how to sweep with a broom instead of using the hoover, or hand wash instead of using the washing machine. 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.

DB: How did you break into your TV career?

Peace Hyde: It can be very daunting breaking into the media industry and it may seem like there are no opportunities available but that is not true. There are opportunities all around us but its just most people are not willing to start from the bottom. I had to start as a guest presenter on GH One and I did that diligently until I got my break on my own show and it just took off from there. Never despise the days of small beginnings and I would say, what helped me was treating even the smallest roles as if they were my breakthrough. When you give your best in everything you do, people begin to take notice and better opportunities invariably come your way.

DB: What challenges did you face joining the media industry?

Peace Hyde: I believe the biggest challenge is overcoming my negative mind set. 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. 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 something’s 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.

DB: What or who motivates you?

Peace Hyde:   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.

DB: How did your TV shows, “My worst day with Peace Hyde”, and “Forbes Africa” come about? How do you manage to combine the two?

Peace Hyde: 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. Combining both shows successfully is all about effective planning and time management. 

DB: In 2018, you were shortlisted for the Obama Foundation Leaders Africa and you were named as the lead judge for CNBC annual All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), tell us about both experiences.

Peace Hyde: Being selected to be one of 200 finalists out of 30,000 applicants for the Obama Foundation leaders Africa program was amazing. We spent 5 days collaborating with other leaders from all over Africa as well as meeting some of Africa’s most successful business leaders. It provides a strong network of like-minded social entrepreneurs who are working together to build a better Africa and meeting Barrack Obama was perhaps one of the best highlights of the program. As lead judge for CNBC Africa I am honoured to be part of the team that selects Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards and that is something that I am truly passionate about.

DB: Tell us about your project, Aim Higher Africa and how it is manifesting change in the people you target.

Peace Hyde: 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 800 small businesses, which provide employment to over 3000 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. We recently opened our vocational skills training center in Yaba in Lagos where we provide trade skills for unemployed youths as well as grassroots entrepreneurs.

DB: And finally what is your advice to young women and young entrepreneurs?

Peace Hyde: 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.

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