Saturday, 4 July 2009
Ghanaian Princess: Love Kyei
"I strongly believe that it is important for those of us, who have been blessed with the opportunity of getting educated and/or living outside of Ghana to take what we have learnt, (in our various areas of expertise), and use that knowledge to help Ghana continue to grow and move in the positive direction that we all want for it. Knowledge is power, and it is our duty to pass that knowledge on to those who need it." Love Kyei
"It is very important for us as women to make time to do things that make us feel good about ourselves and that gives us a boost of confidence, and sometimes, getting your hair done or getting a fresh new style can work wonders. Not only can it change your look, it can also change your attitude. I always make time to do my hair and get my hair done, because I really enjoy it. The beauty of being a black woman is that we can switch it up whenever we like and as often as we like, leaving us feeling like brand new women each and every time." Love Kyei
Love Kyei is a beautiful and talented Ghanaian sister who lives in Brisbane, Australia. I stumbled across this fabulous and inspirational and passionate lady -via her myspace page, and was inspired. A pianist, and a music and English teacher, -love is not just a pretty face. God fearing, fun and sweet, -Love is very close to her family (they hail from Banko in Kumasi) and can be found sharing jokes with them on her days off. The following is an interview with Love, -and I'm sure you'll agree that she's pretty impressive. Enjoy.......................xx
GR: Hello Love, how are you?
LK: I'm doing really well by God's grace.
GR: Love what are you up to right now?
LK: School has just ended for the term, so I’m on holidays with my family. It’s been a very hectic last couple of weeks, so I’m very grateful for the 2 weeks I have off.
GR: Love, you are a Music teacher and educator -can you elaborate please?
LK: Well music has always been a part of my life. I began singing at the age of 5 with my parents in church and then started piano lessons at the age of 7 until I was 17 years old. During this time I completed piano examinations through AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board), from preparatory to grade 7, (with grade 8 being the last grade). I also competed in musical Eisteddfods where I would sing and/or play the piano, or do musical comedy’s which involved singing and acting. When I first started, I was just singing with my parents, but as time went on, and as my skills improved, I began singing solos in church while accompanying myself on the piano. Lucky for me, I’m able to play by ear so when I hear a song that I like, I go to the piano and start messing around until I know how to play the whole song. If I’m not singing solos though, I’m singing in a group or a choir. By the time I had completed high school, I knew I wanted to do a music degree at university and pursue a music career. My dad, being the wise person that he is though, suggested that I combine music with education. He told me that music on its own wasn’t a guaranteed career where as education was an area where jobs were readily available. So I combined my passion of music with the practicality of education and studied a dual degree of Bachelor of Education/Arts, with a major in Music and a minor in English. This was a 5 year degree, which I started in 2002 and completed in 2006. By the time I had completed though, I had developed a love for fashion and worked managing different retail stores for a little over a year, including managing the first Steve Madden concession store that opened in Brisbane city. In May 2008, I started teaching and have been loving it ever since! I am extremely grateful to my parents for introducing music into my life at such a young age because now I couldn't’t imagine my life without music!
GR: Wow, how exciting?
LK: Yes… I really do enjoy what I do! Knowing that I’m in a position to get students excited about their education and learning is a really big deal to me. We spend 13 years of our lives at school, so I strongly believe that it should be an enjoyable experience. In the time I’ve been teaching, I’ve seen quite a few teachers that don’t make the experience a pleasant one for their students – and it sometimes even makes me uncomfortable as a fellow teacher. I always try to be a positive influence on the students that I teach because students will always remember their teachers from their schooling days – (good or bad), long after they’ve left school. I want to be remembered as that teacher that students looked up to; was a role model; shaped kids to grow up and be responsible adults; and instilled in them the values needed to become model citizens and the leaders of tomorrow. I’m not saying it’s a cruisy job or it’s easy, because for the most part, teaching is very stressful… but at the same time, it’s extremely rewarding.
GR: You are truly blessed -not many people are able to use their creativity to make a living -never mind, enjoy what they do -good for you. Love you work hard -do you play hard?
LK: Well, I love being with my family and friends cause they help me de-stress from all the craziness that can sometimes go on during the week at school. When I’m with them, there is plenty of joking and clowning around, which means laughter is guaranteed and that always makes me happy!
GR: What do you do on your days off?
LK: On my days off, I generally like to just chill at home, watching TV, a movie, or on YouTube- (that site is so addictive…) I’ll also catch up on what’s going on in the world of news and entertainment as well as what’s going on back home in Ghana. If I’m not surfing the Internet though, you’ll find me playing the keyboard, or listening to my favourite gospel music or slow jams.
GR: I love your style –how would you describe your look?
LK: My look is just me… I wear what works for me, looks good on my body and makes me feel comfortable. Sometimes I like to keep it simple while other times I like to be a bit more fun and creative by adding a bold, bright colour, some cute shoes, or different types of accessories. I don’t necessarily follow the trends because not everything that is “fashion” works for my body shape. Being blessed with the Ghanaian curves and living in a country where the stores don’t always cater for women with curves, it can sometimes get frustrating… but nevertheless, I always make it work for me. I’m always comfortable and confident in what I wear; therefore you will always see me rocking it!
GR: Who are your favourite designers?
LK: I actually don’t have a favourite designer and I don’t wear designer clothes, because I can’t justify paying a ridiculous amount of money because of a name or label, or just to “look good. I am very thrifty with my spending, which I have my mum to thank for. I think everyone can look good at a reasonable and affordable price. People always tell me “you always look so good” or “where did you get that from” and I never hesitate to let them know that I got it on sale. At the end of the day, if I’ve saved money, I’m a happy girl! Besides, it’s not about who or what you are wearing, but how you wear it. If you are confident, u can rock anything… designer or off the rack.
GR: You are beautiful -what is your secret?
LK: Thank you… that’s very nice of you. I believe that I have been blessed with good genes, first of all, but I do try to preserve and enhance what I have blessed with. I love dove products – so I start my routine with a combination of the Dove Soap Bar and Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash. I find that the ¼ moisturizing cream their soaps have in them, doesn’t dry out my skin. Then, I literally moisture from head to toe, which I think is the most important part of my beauty routine, and the key to my good skin! I use Dove Body Lotion – Go fresh because I find that my skin retains the moisturiser really well, so it not only remains supple and smooth, but hydrated throughout the whole day! For my daily facial routine, I use Nivea Visage, and do their 3 step cleansing routine, consisting of the Gentle Exfoliating Scrub and Refreshing Facial Wash Gel (which I combine together), the Refreshing Toner, and Oil free Moisturizing Fluid. Once a week, I use Formula 10.0.6 One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub with Zinc+Oat+Pumice. Not only does it smell great, but the beads are a little larger and coarser so it gives me deeper, more intense clean.
I don’t wear alot of makeup, but if I do, I’ll wear Becca Fine Pressed Powder in Cocoa. I absolutely love this product because I don’t have to put a lot of it on to get a nice, sheer coverage, and it matches my skin colour and tone perfectly. I’ll also wear some mascara and gloss up my lips really thick. If I’m going all out though, I’ll’ start with the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation Cocoa #3 before I apply the Becca and it gives me a flawless, airbrushed type look, while still looking natural. I’ll also play up my eyes by doing a smoky eye look or adding some bold colours.
GR: Who does your hair, your nails and do you go to the gym?
LK: I am very fortunate, because a friend of mine does my hair, when I want to switch it up and get a weave. I basically show her a picture of what I want it to look like and she hooks me up! I usually get tired of the same look after a couple of weeks, so I’m always doing something new and different to my hair. If I am wearing my hair natural though, I do everything myself – including relaxing. (I basically have like a mini hair salon at home, with all the tools and equipment I need to do my hair and maintain it – including a hood dryer...).
I think it is very important for us as women to make time to do things that make us feel good about ourselves and that gives us a boost of confidence, and sometimes, getting your hair done or getting a fresh new style can work wonders. Not only can it change your look, it can also change your attitude. I always make time to do my hair and get my hair done, because I really enjoy it. The beauty of being a black woman is that we can switch it up whenever we like and as often as we like, leaving us feeling like brand new women each and every time!
As for my nails, I do my own manicures and pedicures. Neatly groomed nails are a must for me. Now, I don’t go to the gym, but I do go for a 30 minute walk, Monday to Friday, in the early morning. When I get home from my walk, I do different exercises that target certain body parts, to tone, sculpt and build muscle. I also make sure I remain active throughout my day by walking as much as possible.
GR: On to more serious stuff, -what are your hopes and dreams for Ghana?
LK: I was able to travel to Ghana in December 2007, and what I thought it would be and what it was, gave me a pleasant surprise. As a country, Ghana has come such a long way, especially in terms of the economy, and in the areas of entertainment, sport, fashion, telecommunications, banking, and healthcare. There are so many opportunities available to those who network with the right people and have the passion, drive, determination to go after what it is they want to pursue. As a Ghanaian, I am very proud with the strides that our country is making! On top of all this, I believe Ghana has” the best of both worlds.” There is still a very strong sense of culture and traditions, (the things that make us proud to be Ghanaians), but at the same time, there has also been an incorporation of western influences which makes you feel like you are in any other “westernised” country in the world.
My hopes and dreams for Ghana is that it becomes one of the most prominent countries in Africa and will be recognised by other leading countries around the world. I want it so that when Ghana is mentioned to anyone, they know where it is, and what Ghanaian people are doing to leave their mark in the world, and judging by how it’s going now, it’s definitely is on its way!
I want our economy to continue thriving, and the value of the Ghana cedi to continue to strengthen against other major foreign currencies. I want our government to continue to be an example for other African countries and show the rest of the world that African governments can be run successfully without the corruption and other negative press often associated with African politics. I strongly believe that it is important for those of us, who have been blessed with the opportunity of getting educated and/or living outside of Ghana to take what we have learnt, (in our various areas of expertise), and use that knowledge to help Ghana continue to grow and move in the positive direction that we all want for it. Knowledge is power, and it is our duty to pass that knowledge on to those who need it.
Ghana is such a wonderful place and will always be home to me. I hope to settle in Ghana in the near future and pursue something in the areas of music and education, and give children the opportunity to experience the joy that music can bring to their lives, like it has mine.
GR: Thank you gorgeous lady. God Bless all your dreams.