Chat with Bennet Accouche |19 September 2023
‘Seychelles is brimming with gifted children’ – Sir Bennet
Bennet Accouche, affectionately known as Sir Bennet, recently hosted the 18th edition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and was commended for the amazing show. He also announced the creation of a children’s choir. Seychelles NATION had a chat with him to know more about his dedication towards children and also about his future plans.
Seychelles NATION: After the successful Twinkle Twinkle Little Star show held recently, you announced the creation of a children’s choir please tell us more about it?
Bennet Accouche: The choir was formed five months ago, and it recently had its first performance during the Twinkle show. We practice once a week. After 18 years of leading the National Children’s Choir, I stepped down in 2010. A few months after my exit, the choir disbanded. During my time with the Seychelles Children’s Foundation, I founded the ‘Les Rossignols Choir’, which consisted of children from the four children’s homes. By 2014, I launched yet another group, the ‘One Harmony Choir’. The aim behind creating this new ensemble was to offer a platform for young talents to flourish. Currently, it is full, reflecting the country’s interest in youth choral groups. I stand firm in my belief that every school – whether private or public – should have a choir, ensuring young talents are recognised and developed.
Seychelles NATION:Orchestrating such a show requires a lot. So how did you manage?
Bennet Accouche: Our preparations for the Twinkle show started in January. The response was immense, leading us to select 18 participants instead of our initial 15. Crafting a show like Twinkle requires understanding and patience, especially when guiding young performers. Constructive feedback and consistent support are vital. Their dedication was evident in the numerous practices they attended, with the full backing of their parents.
Seychelles NATION: You also recognised long-time musician Jean Quatre in the show. Why such a gesture?
Bennet Accouche: We introduced two new awards: the Recognition Award, with Jean Quatre being the first recipient. A seasoned musician, Jean’s contributions came to a halt due to health reasons. I have cherished memories of our musical collaborations spanning over two decades. We heartily thank Nouvobanq for sponsoring this award.
Seychelles NATION: You also recognised Walter Larue as a donor. How important are donors to your show?
Bennet Accouche: We also introduced the Appreciation Award. The inaugural award was presented to Walter Larue of Hybrid Motors for his immense support and substantial contribution to the show from day one. Mr Larue’s unwavering support manifested in multiple forms, from financial aid to hands-on participation. The list would be too long to mention. The success and continuation of the Twinkle show hinges largely on the involvement and support of sponsors. Without their backing, whether it is in the form of financial contributions, providing resources, or even logistical help, the show would face insurmountable challenges. Sponsors serve as the backbone for such events. They not only provide the much-needed funds to cover costs, from venue rentals to equipment and refreshments, but also enhance the show’s profile, making it more appealing to audiences and participants alike.
Furthermore, the absence of sponsors would significantly limit the show’s ability to innovate, expand, or even offer awards and other incentives that make the experience memorable and rewarding for the young participants.
In essence, without the pivotal role of sponsors, the Twinkle show would be at risk of fading away. The support they bring ensures that the show not only continues but thrives, allowing it to nurture and showcase young talents year after year. For the Twinkle show to maintain its legacy and continue its mission, sponsors are not just beneficial – they are absolutely vital.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all sponsors for their generous contribution, namely – SF Hybrid Motors, Nouvobanq, Bravo, AHB Electrical contractor, HSI, Marketing Guru, Eden Island, National Council for Children, The Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts and DSTV Seychelles.
Seychelles NATION: Many suggested that Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars should become a regular show. What do you think about this and what should be put in place for this to happen?
Bennet Accouche: While there is a growing demand for more editions of the Twinkle show, the preparation can be challenging. Nevertheless, we are in the early stages of planning a festive Christmas show spotlighting young talent. We aim to make it an annual event. Seychelles is brimming with gifted children. Identifying and mentoring them is crucial. The rewards of working with these youngsters are numerous, especially when parents share their child’s interests. Having the First Lady, Linda Ramkalawan, to present trophies to the little stars was truly a privilege and honour. We also acknowledge the presence of the CEO of NCC, Yasmin Umarji, the
Cultural ambassador, Patrick Victor and the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin who was my co-host in the first Twinkle star edition, 22 years ago. In the case of the Twinkle show, the very essence of the event, which is to provide a platform for young talent, requires a certain level of quality and professionalism.
Lighting, sound systems, costumes, and even promotional materials all come at a cost. Without sponsors to defray these expenses, ticket prices might surge to compensate, making it less accessible for many families and fans.