“Times have changed. We either move with it or get left behind.”
The Broadcaster’s work, Truth and Inspiration
Cosmocreole caught up with well-known Radio and Television presenter in Seychelles, Sylvie Ah-Time, aka Madanm Franchement. The bubbly and larger than life personality greeted us with “Salanm Cosmocreole” and “Life start at 40”, and our first impression was she is living her best life at the moment.
As a child, Sylvie lived in a few districts on the main island, namely Hangard Street, Mont Buxton, North East Point and Glacis. She had nothing but praise and gratitude for those who nurtured her- “with the help of many wonderful people grooming and shaping me into the woman I am today, to that I say thank you.”
Dubbed a “super mom” by her closest friends and family, Sylvie is the mother of five beautiful children – Chelsy, Liam, Kyle, Lee and Xain. Yet, even with her hands full, she has chased her dream. She is a television presenter, fronting the morning show ‘Bonzour Sesel’ and the new voice on the Breakfast show on Pure907( Previously PureFM), which she describes as an exciting challenge as she has never hosted a breakfast show on Radio. We were intrigued to find out how Sylvie ended up in the ever so demanding world of Broadcasting.
My Grandad and my ability to talk nonstop influenced my love for broadcast media. Working in media was a childhood dream of mine. The seed was sown from many hours of watching the news on RTS with my granddad at a very tender age. We used to watch all the different programs on TV. He was a true movie buff! I suppose he has influenced my love for TV and me being a talker; it was only fitting that I careered down this path. My first radio job was with PureFm (Now Pure907) back in 2015 and later in 2017 joined the start-up team of K-radio 97.2 team. And now I have returned to where it all started for me on Radio.
It has been possible because of a great support system-Firstly having five children is tough but with a strong support unit, we try to make it work and keep everyone on track and happy. The household is kind of operating with a military strategy when it comes to establishing wash and sleep routines. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some days are all smiles for mommy and kids, and some days are all tears too. We make necessary sacrifices that lead to dreams coming true for the entire family.
My greatest motivator to stay in the media industry is probably working with many well-known presenters in Seychelles. I remember watching TV and seeing and hearing presenters like Susan Rose-Ludley, Jude Louange, Russell Vidot, Gail Talma, Antoine Onezime, Pat Mathiot, Marceline Evenor, and Linda Rosalie, just to name a few. And I thought, “I am going to be one of them one day”, et voila…decades later, I am a TV presenter for ‘Bonzour Sesel’ at SBC (Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation). So today, I rub shoulders with some of these great names, and along the way, I have met some other fantastic presenters. But if there is one name locally, I would have to say hands down without a doubt, Patsy Canaya. She is just pure fire and ice, all mixed together in one single interview. I absolutely love her interview style, she looks like a lioness playing with her food at times, and I love that about her.
I believe that being a part of that world, the media world is paying homage to these great personalities who have paved the way for us, the younger generation. Our work is a reflection of how they have inspired us. So I say chapeau to their great works and thank you for inspiring and motivating me.
When it comes to TV presenting specifically, I’ve worked with both Telesesel & SBC. I’ve also appeared on a couple of overseas TV channels due to some Master Ceremony works I’ve done for some private companies. It’s very interesting and fun to continuously find innovative ways in disseminating information to the different spectrums of society. I believe we have a long way to go, and more often than not, money is used as an excuse rather than a motivation to get us there. We can learn a lot from some of the international channels streaming in Seychelles. We can take some of those ideas and introduce them to our local audience. The Seychellois people are hungry for new interesting, and informative content. Sometimes it’s the same people through the lack of interest and a mindset that blocks or restricts young professionals in their creative work in the broadcasting industry. Times have changed. We either move with it or get left behind. Whichever choices one makes, we have to accept to live with the consequences of our decisions. As professionals, we need to give ourselves permission to evolve in order to allow evolution. Like the famous composer Bela Bartok said, “In art, there are only fast or slow developments. Essentially it is a matter of evolution, not revolution.”
I believe continuously setting goals year after year keeps you hungry, passionate and challenged for the next step. I honestly can’t say I have had the highlight of my career yet. I’ve never put much thought into it. Personally, I guess that the mere fact of being blessed enough with the opportunity to do the job is a highlight in itself. Every day on TV is a new episode in the continuous story I share with the viewers. I suppose it’s the compliments and support I occasionally receive from people I meet. But I also appreciate the constructive criticisms, which helps me grow and be better at my job. Learning from our mistakes is fundamental in self-growth. I don’t think I will ever reach a ‘highlight’ in my career, for my highlight goal is always another bigger and greater than the next. It keeps the fire burning!
I look forward to sharing the different interesting human stories with others daily. I love the excitement at the beginning of each show. I am intrigued by the endless questions to be asked (whether with or without answers) with the sole objective of informing people. I enjoy the human interactions with the listeners and viewers whenever they feel passionate about a topic that matters to them. I am a messenger of the people to make their voices heard on many things or anything that they feel is impacting their lives. I love the thrill before going LIVE (guilty pleasures) and the rush after a good show. TV and Radio are powerful mediums connecting people from past, present, and future. I enjoy every minute of it, and that love for me is not ‘work’ – it is my purpose! One of the people I am inspired by is Christina Amanpour, it might be cliché, but for her, a TV interview is an art. As she would say, ‘the best question elicits a real answer, elicits surprise, or elicits defense, or elicits something that they did not expect.’ And I strive to do that in every one of my interviews.
For those wanting to pursue a career in Broadcasting, I’d say definitely go for it. I am living my dream, passion and purpose in life. Connecting with people is a beautiful thing. In a way, it goes with all aspects of my life. Change is constant. Change is growth. And we get to learn a lot about ourselves through the different challenges and changes which comes with the job. Although sometimes, we are lucky enough to find purpose through it, at the end of the day, it’s the effort, will and devotion we put into the work we do that really counts. It’s part of the process of adding to our experiences throughout our life’s journey.
Finally, about women’s empowerment, I believe for a woman to be empowered, she needs to look from within first. Learn your weaknesses and forte. Acknowledge, understand, and question why they exist and what needs to be done to fix or enhance them. Empower yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually and be at one with yourself.
Love yourself. Invest in yourself. Be selfish in treating yourself good. Find the balance whereby YOU are balanced. If you are not empowered, there’s nothing you can do to help others. Once you feel ready, pour ONLY the excess energy out into anything and share it with anyone willing to accept your help. Some will accept your help and grow from the exchange. Others will hate your guts. That’s also ok. Remember always to keep your energy cup full and share from the spillover in your saucer. Above all, be your own biggest fan and cheer yourself on all the way to the finish line – ‘Franchement’ that is true women empowerment!