Sylvana Simons

Sylvana Simons
Sylvana Simons (2018)
Silvana Hildegard Simons

(1971-01-31) 31 January 1971 (age 48)
Paramaribo, Suriname
OccupationPolitician, actor, and television personality
Known forFounder of Bij1[1]
Children2 [2]

Silvana Hildegard "Sylvana" Simons (born 31 January 1971) is a Dutch left-wing politician, actress and television presenter. In December 2016, she founded the political party Artikel 1, later known as Bij1.[3][4]


Simons was born in Paramaribo, Suriname and at 18 months moved with her parents to the Netherlands. She grew up in Hoorn, Netherlands, and studied at the Dansacademie Lucia Marthas and a barber school, worked as a dancer for singer CB Milton and then concentrated on radio and TV. In December 2016 she founded the Dutch political party Artikel 1, which later was changed to Bij1.



In 1995, she began her television career as a VJ on TMF. There she presented a soul and R & B program. In 1999 she moved to SBS 6 where she presented The Bus and Sexquiz on the Beach. In 2000 she moved to RTL 4 where she presented a large number of programs. After Char had been taken off the air, Sylvana had no more new programs on RTL. They then made two programs for the NPS, Sylvana's Choice (2009–2010) and Sylvana (2010).

In 2005, she played a supporting role in the film Zoop in Africa.

In 2012 she was a participant in the AVRO-program Strictly Dancing, where she lost in the final against Mark van Eeuwen. Since 2012, she has been an occasional guest on De Wereld Draait Door.

In 2015 she once presented the B2B-program Een Zaak Van De Gemeente on RTL7.


At Radio 538 she had a talk show on Sunday afternoons from 1999 to 2001 and was heard every Friday at Noordzee FM with the program Sylvana en Sylvana's Soul. In 2009 and 2010 she hosted the radio program Sylvana's Choice, every weekday on NPS Radio 6. A television program was also made under the same name. The program was restarted in 2015 but then stopped in 2016 when NPO Radio 6 stopped broadcasting. Sylvana presented a program in February of that year on Sublime FM.


On 18 May 2016 Simons joined the political party Denk. They focused on combating racism, discrimination and xenophobia and wanted to work for "Decolonization of education" and "women's empowerment".[5] Her political ambitions elicited many comments, including racist and sexist ones. A Facebook page was made with a derogatory carnival song about her, and her head was shown on a photograph of a lynching by the Ku Klux Klan.[6] She fought back and the Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the most egregious of the defamatory comments.[7]

In December 2016 Simons left Denk and founded her own political party Artikel 1, later renamed Bij1.[8] In 2018, she became a member of the municipal council of Amsterdam.[9]


In 1999 Simons was a regular columnist for the magazine Playboy. From 2000 to 2002 she wrote a weekly column in Veronica magazine. In 2004 she published her first book 1 + 1 = 7 at The House of Books in 2005, followed by the book In Balance, which she wrote with her brother Kenneth Leeuwin (fitness instructor and architect of various work-outs including Tribal Moods and Kick Fun).

Simons also engages in designing clothes. For example, all of the dresses she wore during the broadcast of Dancing with the Stars, she designed herself.

Simons once took part in the theater LULverhalen. At the first appearance some visitors walked out of the room when she started discussing Zwarte Piet.[10]

Simons was one-time guest editor of the monthly magazine ParaVisie in June 2016 on their 30-year anniversary. She personally wrote a few articles.

She served ten years as voice-over for advertisements by the DIY chain Karwei. This ended in 2016, after Simon's candidacy for the House on behalf of the party Denk was announced. The company indicated that in terms of advertising they preferred not to want to work with a politician.[11]

Work as a TV presenter


  1. ^ "TV commentator makes equality an issue in Dutch elections". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Sylvana Simons: bedreigingen ingrijpend voor mijn kinderen". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Sylvana Simons: Racism is accepted in the Netherlands". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  4. ^ Holligan, Anna (25 November 2016). "Dutch race hate row engulfs presenter Sylvana Simons". Retrieved 6 February 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  5. ^ "Tv-ster Sylvana Simons gaat politiek dekoloniseren". Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Sylvana Simons: 'Niemand wil opstaan met haat in zijn hart'". Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  7. ^ "OM kan niet alle beledigingen tegen Simons onderzoeken". Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Sylvana Simons weg bij Denk, begint nieuwe partij".
  9. ^ "Groenlinks definitief de grootste, CU, Denk, FvD en BIJ1 in raad". Het Parool. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Geen LULverhalen meer voor Sylvana Simons na pietenbetoog". AD.nl. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Sylvana Simons na tien jaar vervangen als stem Karwei". AD.nl. Retrieved 6 February 2017.

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