The minute she walked in, we exchanged grins and banter—something we have been doing for a while now. I was looking forward to interviewing her as I have gotten to know her quite well over the years: a handful—a burst of fresh air, with a tongue-in-cheek personality. But more importantly, I was looking forward to getting into the heart of things, as she is awoman who tells it like it is.
If you’re an avid radio listener, chances are, you’ve heard her sounding off on a morning on the ‘The Morning Heat’. And if you’re looking for stimulating debate (and light-hearted humour) to get your day started, chances are, you tune in regularly to the programme, as Franny, without fail, voices her opinions, despite the fact that it may ruffle a few feathers. That’s “Franny” (who you may also know as Francheska Solomon), in a nutshell.
We started off our interview on how she got her start in radio. That I discovered was not planned but rather opportunity which presented itself; she nailed it.
“I thought it would have been a two week thing,” she said explaining that she was holding on for her current co-host “Scady” at the time.
“But I guess during the two weeks whatever it was that I did was good enough so I was asked to stay on and so I left my other job to come into radio; that’s how it happened,” the ‘Blazin FM’ host explained.
She’s been in the business for some time now, and is well-recognized and respected in the field. When questioned on her experience in the media so far, she described it as “a slow and steady one.”
“I think I’ve been one of few who are able to understand that patience is key and that not because I am so passionate and so interested in a field that success will be immediate”, she said, adding that she has taken the necessary steps to ensure that she becomes better at what she does.The 24-year-old recently graduated from Monroe College where she attained her diploma in Media Communications and Journalism and learns from others in the field.
Recently, she landed her own “FLOW” billboard; in fact, she has been doing promotional work for years now, appearing in various commercials and more.
“It’s the first billboard I’ve appeared on myself!” she said good-naturedly on her latest accomplishment.
One of the things she deems “most important” in life is self-love.
“That’s something I preach to a lot of young women who contact me,” the radio host said.
She continued, “You can love a boy, you can love your family, you can love your friends, but when you go home and you’re by yourself and you’re really thinking so nobody is here so what now?”
She reiterated, “Self-love is so important.”
In a society where individuals constantly pit dark-skinned women against women who are lighter in complexion (the age-old lightskin vs. darkskin argument), it’s easy for a young woman who is dark, to lose their self-esteem. Hence, I questioned her on what is like being dark-skinned in today’s society.
“I still see the difficulty with getting a lot of women especially to love themselves for who they are,” Francheska said.
“One thing I stoppedis the ‘compliment’, “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl.”I take offence and I let you know you’ve offended me because what does that mean? Are you trying to say that black girls are not beautiful? It’s so much that has made us hate our skin,” the radio host said passionately.
“You even hear black women saying that they are ‘not black’. You’re black. You are black and you are black and you are beautiful. Parents need to tell their children that; we don’t hear it often and it’s very important,” she expounded.
If you follow her closely, you’ll know that Franny is a women’s rights activist, something she takes very seriously.
“It’s important to me because I’ve realized that a lot of people don’t have a voice,” the ambitious Franny said.
“It’s upsetting what’s happening now, because people treat it (rape, violence against women), as if it’s acceptable—as if it’s a norm, but it’s not! So even if I have to talk about it until I lose my voice, I will talk about it. I will upset people having the same topic of discussion untilwe can get enough people talking about it,” she said emphatically.
Brand Ambassador, women’s rights activist, radio personality, singer and writer, at 24, Francheska Solomon is doing it all. But make no mistake, these aren’t for accolades; it’s who she is.
And she has loved ones who are entirely supportive: “Especially my family who acts like every accomplishment is a GRAMMY,” she said with feigned annoyance.
As for releasing more of her own material, (music), Franny who has done backup vocals for a number of local artistes said, “It may come soon because I’ve seen so many things happen in favour of it.”
She has accomplished a lot (who doesn’t dream of having their own billboard?) but that’s just the beginning—there are so many things she’d love to accomplish. For starters, one of her greatest ambitions is to become a regional media broadcaster; she also wants to voice a movie—the list goes on.
And from the look of things, Franny can achieve anything.