Actress, media personality and activist Stephanie Sandows has joined DStv’s HONEY channel (173) as the host of the hairstyling show, Salon Battle. Recently launched on the DStv platform, HONEY collaborates with a line-up of the continent’s top talent to deliver its Pan-African lifestyle content agenda. Sandows joins the talent roster as presenter of a jam-packed journey through Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa where the skills of different hairstylists are put to the test.
We caught up with her to chat about the new show, her experience in the entertainment industry and what the future holds.
When did your role as presenter for HONEY TV’s Salon Battle come about?
I was contacted in January about an exciting new show that would be starting on a new Pan-African channel, and invited to audition for it. I did a self-tape, and the producers got back to me saying they loved it. We were in studio by February to start recording Salon Battle.
What is the most important part of your role as a presenter on the show?
The show not only celebrates beautiful African hair but also the diversity and colourful energy of Africa. It’s always important for me to bring these elements through in my presenting.
How do you juggle this job with being an actress, an activist and a wife?
It can get a little crazy at times but I try and schedule everything in, including spending time with my family. It is after all the nature of being in this industry. Fortunately for me, my husband is in the same industry, so he understands that things can get a little busy.
What do you enjoy most about the show?
I thoroughly enjoy watching the stylists create beautiful hairstyles and looks for the models. I think Africa is so rich in talent and culture that it is absolutely beautiful to see these stylist from different parts of Africa sharing their skills with us.
What are you learning about the salon/hair business from presenting the show?
That it’s not for the faint of heart. But because I also love my natural crown, I was able to learn a lot about my own hair-care routine and styling.
Being in entertainment, what do you think about the talent we have on the African continent?
I think we’re an extremely talented continent. Africa holds such wealth in so many areas, including its people and their talent.
Why is it important to be an activist in these times we live in?
Because there are so many injustices and we all need to do our part in bringing about conversations and ultimately changing outcomes for the oppressed and the marginalised. It’s up to us to initiate and be part of the change we want to see in our communities and in the world.
What have been the highlights of your career?
Probably my first lead role in the international series, MTV Shuga, and subsequent to that, being selected as a board member of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
What challenges do you face in your career?
So many! I mean, as a freelancer you’re always auditioning, you’re always working on yourself and your craft. There are high seasons and low seasons and when things are slow you have to keep your head high and remain sure of and confident in yourself.
What’s next for Stephanie Sandows?
Hopefully more international work. I also really want to do more work in the Pan-African context and open myself up to a beautiful, different audience. So let’s see what happens.
Catch Salon Battle every Tuesday at WAT 17:30 | CAT 18:30 | EAT 19:30 on HONEY (DStv channel 173).