Peace has championed several humanitarian drives under her organisation, Aim Higher Africa; a multiple award winning non-profit initiative dedicated to enriching the standard of education for students by incorporating the use of ICT in the learning environment.
We’re thrilled to be sharing more than a “Piece of Peace” today in our Q&A Series. Please feel free to share and leave a comment. Be Inspired!
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. – Peace Hyde
Who is Peace Hyde?
I am a media entrepreneur, the West Africa Correspondent for Forbes Africa and the founder of an education and entrepreneurship NGO Aim Higher Africa. But most importantly, before all the titles, I am a woman who is strongly driven by her faith. Faith in God, faith in my purpose and faith in encouraging and motivating each other to achieve our fullest potential. I call anyone who is part of this journey a faith builder because it takes a community of like-minded individuals driven by the same goal to make the world a better place.
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far in life?
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 business leaders, running and even employing other youths from similar backgrounds. It has been a really amazing journey.
What’s a day in your life like and what are you passionate about?
I am very big on youth empowerment and helping people to achieve their fullest potential. As a result inspirational and motivational texts are a very crucial part of my daily routine. I love positive energy and I believe you should start your day with powerful quotes and messages that will give you fuel for your daily journey. I write a motivational column called A Piece of Peace for my “Faith builders” as I like to call them and they make up people who follow me on my social media pages and provide encouragement and motivation for my journey. I believe also in drinking a 1.5 litre bottle of water a day and at least 1 hour walks during which I can reflect and meditate whenever I can find free time.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?I believe we are all on a journey to discover our fullest potential. That journey can take us on so many different paths. That means where you start is not necessarily where you end up and I am a testament to that fact. Today I absolutely love what I do. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to interact with so many people from different walks of life and all with so many rich experiences that you can learn from. When I look back at my career from being a teacher in London to now a media personality, a correspondent for Forbes Africa and a founder of education not-for-profit Aim Higher Africa, I am humbled by the journey and that inspires me everyday. I had no Idea I would be doing the things I am doing today and to be able to use some of the platforms I have to make an impact in the lives of thousands of youths across the continent keeps me focused everyday.
What is one leap of faith you have taken in your journey that has tremendously and positively affected your life?
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 are some challenges faced as a millennial female building a brand?
I think the challenges are many but I do not think they are excuses to stop building. As a millennial female trying to start anything, you have to be aware that you are most likely going against the grain of what society thinks you should do especially if you are in Africa. It is important to overcome the power of negative perceptions and understand that no body can stop you from achieving your goals but you. I speak to a lot of young girls who have amazing ideas but fail to actualize their goals simply because of fear and excuses. Yes women do not have the same opportunities as men, but are you going to let that statistic stop you or are you the person God has been waiting to use to change that narrative. Remember whether you think you can do it or whether you think you cant, you are right on both.
If you could say something to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
Put down the cake…(lol)…joking. I would say stop stressing about everything you are currently stressing about because it absolutely will not matter one, two or even ten years from now. All that matters is you being the best version of yourself and learning how to adopt the right mindset that will put you on a course to achieve your fullest potential.
After that I would probably then tell her the winning lottery numbers for that year…lol.
What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?
I believe we are all born to be great. But the number one barrier to overcoming that greatness is your mindset. We are all made up of what we believe. Whether you think you will succeed or whether you think you won’t succeed is true so long as you believe it. One of my biggest challenges I had to overcome was removing the mental blocks that put fear, doubt and insecurity as a focal point in my life. I stayed in a job for so much longer than I should have because of these mental blocks until finally I decided to take a leap of faith and just jump. I left everything I had worked for behind and decided to follow my instincts and the journey has been remarkable. Relocating to any new place will always have its challenges especially when you are foreign to that place and you pretty much have to start everything from scratch. But if you overcome the biggest challenge of them all, which is your mindset. You will find you will be empowered to take on any challenges that may come your way.
What is your favourite Quote?
Be yourself because everyone else is taken- Oscar Wilde. I changed it slightly to
Be the very best version of yourself because everyone else is taken- Peace Hyde.
What is your take on “women supporting women”?
I think this is something that should happen a lot more than it does today. For women to truly stand up and claim our rightful positions that God has ordained for us, we need to be in a position to pull each other up instead of tearing each other down. I believe the definition of a successful woman is consistently changing. Women are now empowered to achieve amazing feats beyond what society would have expected us to do a couple of years ago. However, there are still several challenges that women continue to face in the world of work and business. I believe the first factor for any successful woman is the right mindset.
I am a product of a changed mindset. I have spent most of my adult life limiting my growth because of fear and a lack of confidence in pursuing my purpose. That fear keeps you trapped in a mental prison, which I believe most people find themselves in. For some that prison can be depression, anxiety, weight issues or even simply relationship problems. Some women use negative mindsets to view the world through a very narrow window and as a result instead of empowering each other, they do the opposite. You need to break free from that mental prison and the only way to do that is to adopt the right mindset. When you have the right mindset you are empowered and subsequently empower other women to also be great and achieve their full potential.
What is one word of advice you would give a young “Faith Builder” looking to follow your footsteps towards becoming a better version of herself and thriving in her chosen career sector?
It’s natural to have moments of low confidence and self-esteem and even doubt yourself. But one of the most powerful things you can do is to embrace the uncertainty and the imperfections you perceive and start accepting them as things that make you uniquely you. The act of you being able to embrace your imperfections and build a better self confidence, scars and all contribute to not only a change of how you feel on the outside but most importantly what’s inside. I love to call this process “Glowing Up” because it’s a simple decision to accept and love your flaws which empowers you to have a clear mind, encourages you to see your true value and stop settling for less in order to let go of all the insecurities and love your self. The moment you decide to speak positivity and life into your existence, work hard and dedicate yourself to be better and go for what you deserve rather than what you are used to, you empower yourself using nothing more than your mindset to understand that everything you have been through that made you question and doubt how amazing you truly are has actually provided you with the stepping stones to achieve your true purpose and gain a more holistic beautiful understanding of yourself. You are uniquely made and imperfectly perfect and your time to “Glow Up” is now! So what are you waiting for?
How do you juggle the different roles you play… host, journalist, media entrepreneur, philanthropist?
I think it’s all down to planning and execution. I am a meticulous planner by nature and that means I tend to sometimes be a little bit of a perfectionist. I think no matter how many things you have to do in a day; you can execute it if you plan effectively and efficiently. That is the only way I have been able to keep going.
If you could have two power women to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be?
My mother because she is the ultimate super woman and everybody’s favorite power woman Oprah.
What are some projects you are currently working on?
We have just launched our new Forbes Woman Africa show “Against The Odds” which will be premiering soon on the DSTV Africa platform channel 410 on CNBC Africa. 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.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Someone who believed in the ability of all humans to achieve their fullest potential by adopting the right mind set.