'Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable, while style is more about being yourself.' These words best describe the gorgeous, soft-hearted, and symmetrical publisher of Glam & Essence Magazine; Susan Eyo-Honesty, the former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of top Lagos-based celebrity journal, City People.
Without hiding from the truth, Susan has immensely contributed to the growth of fashion and style business in the country, with a reputation for writing and criticizing fashion, among several other topical issues. She graduated with a B.A in English from the University of Lagos; and started her career as a journalist at Vintage People in 1991, and climaxed at City People Magazine where she rose from being a fashion editor to the post of Deputy Editor-in-Chief, having worked for 14 years and left to set up Glam & Essence Magazine, alongside her fashion brand; Eve2000. In this interview, the native of Cross River State; Susan Eyo-Honesty, talks about her beauty secret; philosophy, her exciting career in Journalism, and the circumstances surrounding her exit from City People.
Your exit from City People Group years back left many people astonished. Any reason for the action and is there any regret?
In life, everything a man does, there is always a time to move on, my vision changed and City People wasn’t the platform to express it. So, I left the group to move on with time and life. Although, there is no strong reason, but it was only time to change and move on and I have no regrets doing so.
Was ‘Glam & Essence Magazine’, part of the vision and what is the journal all about?
Glam & Essence has been a longtime dream. It's a lifestyle magazine with a strong theme for fashion, beauty and social issues. I loved reading magazines like Hello for their great personality interviews, vogue for fashion and beauty reporting and Tattler and Essence for lifestyle articles. I introduced a bit of what I liked in these magazines into Glam & Essence magazine.
As an English graduate, what prompted your passion for Journalism?
The basic fact was that I was opportune to have first-hand information; and many as breaking news that had national impact; which was a door-opener for me to meet people; who influence decision making that affects life nationally. I was just attracted to how I have a voice through my writing.
When and how did you start Journalism as a career?
Accidentally, I found myself in the exploring world of journalism. I had gone to serve my compulsory NYSC for one year at Vintage People in 1991 and I was so awe-struck by the world of journalism and so I stayed on, because I enjoyed the world as it exposed me to the rest of world.
Starting journalism as a greenhorn; what were the challenges you faced and how did you scale through the difficulties?
The first and biggest challenge was getting my senior colleagues to trust me with being able to get the job well; though I was very young and fresh from the university and being a female in an environment where men dominated wasn’t an easy thing, but I had to work extra hard to prove my capability to get the job done and very well.
What has Journalism helped you to achieve?
So many things; for over two decades, it has given me a life of my own, it has given me a voice and helped me to make a name for myself in the sector and beyond. My knowledge from years of practicing has led me to establish my own lifestyle magazine, and I am glad to be who I am today.
As a journalist; any unforgettable experience, that lives on in you?
It was a glorious day; the day I encountered and interviewed late Biafran warlord, Odumegwu Ojukwu, shortly after his return from exile. It was an unforgettable experience, and epic moment for me, as he was a man who my parents talked about whenever they recalled the Biafra War, I was overwhelmed at that moment in the presence of this intelligent warlord.
Who are your role models in journalism?
Though, there are not too many women in the media industry; journalism is a male-dominated industry, so few of them like Nduka Obaigbena and Bayo Onanuga, who was at a time my boss and tutor, readily come to mind.
In the present Nigerian media industry and the general public; you are a well-respected lady, what's responsible for your style and class?
I'm not as conscious of this style and class, it is just me and I think hard work never goes unnoticed. So that may be how I earned the respect
At 50, you seem not to be ageing, what's your beauty secret?
Secret? There are no beauty secrets; actually I am just blessed with good genes and it runs in the family, which of course I inherited from the family.
At 50, with many miles and this infectious smile, any regret about life?
Honesty, I believe in life, everything that happens to you is for a purpose, so I have no regrets. I’m grateful for the ability to have made an impact positively with my work.
What's your philosophy of life?
Do your best and leave the rest, live as best as you can, never live with a heart of grudge, as it's like a way to kill your dream.