By Charles Myambo
Dr. Jameelah “Just Jay” Wilkerson is an award-winning journalist and global business mogul. She is most well known for being the founder and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Her magazine is a well-oiled machine that has truly pushed media coverage to a higher level. Predominantly covering entertainment, music, and sports news, “The Hype Magazine” has become one of the biggest monuments in pop culture. They also have a secret weapon known as Jerry Doby who is one of the best journalists and editors in the world at present. Jerry is the editor-in-chief at The Hype Magazine and his relationship with Jameelah is profoundly symbiotic. Jameelah established Hype Magazine two decades ago and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Over the years, Hype Magazine has evolved into a top-tier outlet for all music and entertainment news. The industry leader has received numerous awards for top echelon coverage. At present, Hype Magazine is one of the biggest entertainment magazines in the world and they do not look to be slowing down anytime soon. The Motimagz USA news correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) sat for an interview with Dr. Jameelah Wilkerson (JW). Below are some excerpts from the interview.
CM: At what stage did you start knowing that you were destined to create greatness? What was that realization like for you?
JW: I knew I was destined for greatness during my teenage years. I either wanted to be a basketball player, play chess competitively, or start a company. I was about 18 years old when I began to put the plan in place to start my own company. I started to see this blossoming around 19 when I got my first office, and it got real for me when I quit my last job at 22 and said I would never work for anyone again.
CM: Being black in a white-dominated industry and being a woman in a male-dominated industry must have come with seemingly insurmountable challenges. How did you overcome these challenges and exceed all expectations?
JW: Honestly, I just stayed consistent, and it’s fantastic because when you say white-dominated industry, most of my genuine help came from different nationalities. One of my earlier contributors was a guy named Jim from New York, whom I had never met in person, and he built the first website for me at no cost and taught me how to do web design over the phone. We spent crazy hours on the phone. Color barriers have never affected me, considering I was raised around a lot of racist people being from Indiana. On the other end, the male ego was quite a hard one to tackle, and it still is currently in 2022. I overcame that by just being who I am and not worrying about who wanted to work with me. I’ve learned to work with people who want to work with me.
CM: Having accomplished as much as you have, do you sometimes struggle with imposters?
JW: Yes, it’s always an imposter, but I have learned how to embrace them; most imposters don’t know how to get to have a mind of their own, so they take things from me and swear, in their minds, they created it themselves. So I am so humble I will still help them see the vision because I always feel like what is for me is for me.
CM: You have been quoted saying that you aspired to be a prosecutor because of your inherent ability to be a good judge of character. Would it be fair to say that this gift of discernment has significantly contributed to you becoming one of the most outstanding CEOs in the media world?
JW: Absolutely, but I trust everyone in the beginning. I honestly don’t have a good judge of character; it’s an energy thing for me; you can just feel good, bad, or indifferent, so maybe in a sense, that’s a good judge of character. You have to give me a reason not to trust you.
CM: One of your many stellar gifts is being a “connector.” What are some of the most vital connections you have formed over the years?
JW: They all are vital connections, I’ve been locked in with some people for over 20 years, and I have connected my connections with other connections that have built major empires.
CM: Still, on the subject of connections, you have established quite a good relationship with Karine Shotime Thornton. What can the fans expect from your collaboration with Shotime TV?
JW: Fans can expect greatness; we have a lot of great collaborations coming up with music and the battle league. I am a songwriter, and he is adamant about us going into the studio to produce a few records.
CM: Similar to icons such as Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, you have been the source of so much inspiration. What message would you have for all the young and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be great just like you?
JW: Stay focused on your goal! People always have a vision of how they want their life to go, but no one can dream your vision more than you can. You have to open your mind to possibilities and step outside of your comfort zone to reach the level of greatness you are trying to achieve.