Seychellois broadcaster wins Southern African Development Community documentary competition


VICTORIA, Mahe – Ms. Anna Ah-Wan, a radio broadcaster with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, won first prize in a radio documentary competition at a prize-giving ceremony held at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit, which concluded last week in Windhoek, Namibia.

The theme for the competition was “Water in the SADC Region,” and Ms. Ah-Wan, who submitted an episode from a 13-episode feature titled “Water is Life” that was broadcasted in Seychelles last year, was awarded a prize of US$2000.

“I am thrilled I won,” said Ms. Ah-Wan, who was unable to collect her prize in person, “It’s not about the money but rather about the award itself. After 17 years in broadcasting, it is amazing to be recognized for my work, especially as this is the first time Seychelles has entered this competition, let alone win.”

Ms. Beryl Samson, director general of Development and Regional Integration for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was at the SADC Summit and collected the prize on Ms. Ah-Wan’s behalf.

“It was a very special moment for the Seychelles delegation to hear a fellow Seychellois called out as the first prize winner above all the other submissions,” said Ms. Samson, “It was a great privilege and honor to receive the award on behalf of Ms. Ah-Wan from the outgoing SADC chairperson, HE Joseph Kabila Kabange and in the presence of all SADC heads of state. Ms Ah-Wan did Seychelles proud as a new and smallest member of the community. We trust that Seychelles will continue along the same path and show the region that despite our size we are committed to the aspirations and goals of SADC, and we can still make a mark on an international level.”

In a handing-over ceremony that took place this afternoon at the Vice President’s office, the Seychelles Vice President, Mr. Danny Faure, who led the delegation in Namibia, presented Ms. Ah-Wan with her certificate and said that he was incredibly proud to have Seychellois talent recognized at the summit.

The “Water is Life” feature, Ms. Ah-Wan explained, was thanks to another prize she won in 2008 when she submitted a proposal for her documentary to the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and was subsequently awarded a £2000 travel bursary with which to conduct her research.

The feature focused on water conservation and management in Seychelles and the Maldives with special attention to the effects of climate change and population growth. The segment she submitted to SADC was an over-arching look at both countries and the desalination technology that was taking over, particularly in the Maldives; they sustained a lot of damage in the 2005 tsunami and where they no longer have access to groundwater.

Ms. Ah-Wan said she hoped that this would be the start to many more wins for Seychelles and that her success would motivate others to enter broadcasting and make the most of such opportunities, especially she added, as SADC has already started asking for more submissions and participants for next year.

The longtime broadcaster concluded by saying her success was due to the support she received from her previous radio programs manager, Mrs. Jacqueline Belle, and that of the previous SBC head of production, Mr. Larry Chetty, who guided her through the project with their experience and motivation so that she was able to elevate her standard of work. Ms. Ah-Wan added that special thanks was also due to her present manager, Mr. Jude Louange, who continued with that same spirit of support as she concluded her research and documentary.