Humour, financial advice, women in key roles and history are all addressed in a growing number of podcasts created in Cyprus. ELENI PHILIPPOU takes a listen to what is out there
Some do it in their car, others in the closet or under layers of bed sheets as rather creative ways have been found to record podcasts when you don’t have access to a proper studio. Over the last decade, podcasts have boomed, becoming an attractive media platform. Celebrities like Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah, but also journalists, bloggers and even ordinary people have taken on the role of the podcaster. In Cyprus, several local podcast shows are bringing voices that need to be heard to the surface.
First launched in April 2013, Magda Zenon’s audio show began with the intention of covering issues from all parts of a woman’s life; social, political, cultural and professional. It soon morphed into conversations with women peacebuilders globally, ranging from Susana Pavlou from MIGS, to Eve Ensler author of the Vagina Monologues.
“I was I think the first person in Cyprus to publish interviews online specifically with women and especially with women peacebuilders and not only Cypriot women,” Magda told the Sunday Mail. Though less frequent, these unedited organic conversations are still being published today, as Magda is passionate about promoting women peacebuilders and trying to change the public peace discourse.
Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and soon on the podcast platform Anchor by Spotify
The Netcast Zone
A podcast within a podcast. “It started as a podcast show,” says creator Giannos Tran, “but it turned out to be now a podcast series channel where we host many shows with different podcasters.”
Their YouTube channel is filled with numerous video series. Currently, Giannos hosts most of the episodes but alongside him there is The Zookeeper series with Anna Koukkides Prokopiou, the Reload Positive Sessions with Andreas Yiafas, the Fridays Show with Ioanna Lambropoullou, Between Friends with Dr Marios Taramides, The Ring Rust Show with the MMA Kafeneio from Greece and the Environmental Hour with Kyriakos Parpounas.
Four to five new episodes are released each week, mainly in Greek yet the team aims to include more chats in English soon. Since December 2018 they have hosted world champions, politicians, artists, entrepreneurs and simple members of the public.
“People spend time more and more online looking for content that will feed their souls,” says Giannos, “whether that’s entertainment, education, motivation and inspiration. The most important thing for people to know is that our channel is giving without any ‘political’ agenda the chance for many to say something to the world.”
Platforms: YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple and Google Podcasts and Facebook
Language: Mainly Greek
Culture Means Business
The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, in collaboration with IDEA Innovation Centre, presents a podcast series for the development of ideas promoting interdisciplinary entrepreneurship in culture. The series aims to provide knowledge and guidance about how to develop an idea into a business model.
It is perhaps one of the newest podcasts on the island having released its first episode in late March 2021. The inaugural episode was in English and mapped the cultural and creative industry with the two speakers giving useful tools. The second and latest episode is in Greek, led by Dr Stelios Stylianou, and looks at funding opportunities from European sources with useful advice on where to focus during the preparation and submission of proposals.
Language: Greek and English
HistoriCon is the first Cypriot history podcast that explores stories we know and the ones we think we know. Since 2020, the podcast looks into people and events from Cypriot and world history. Stand-up comedian Constantinos Psillides does the research and then presents it with a guest who has never heard the story before.
“I try to stay as true to the story as possible,” he says, “and present it with a hint of humour. This is not a history class, it is what you wanted your history class to be. From unsung heroes who eradicated malaria, to Cypriot NFL champions and cruel imperialists despots, this podcast has something for everyone.” Season 2 starts in June and will see the podcast updated weekly.
Platforms: Facebook, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and all podcast platforms.
Language: Greek and soon in English
Six different podcasts and the only trilingual podcast station on the island. The English-language Nicosia Uncut podcast is the most listened to Cypriot political podcast, according to Apple Podcasts statistics, where peace activists and political analysts Adromachi Sophocleous and Kemal Baykalli deliver cold, hard truth from the divided capital.
In Buffering, Cypriot journalists Esra Aygın and Yiorgos Kakouris bring news commentary in English from both parts of the island. The Life Light is presented in Greek by personal coach Anna Michael who shares people’s stories to help listeners find their purpose and inner happiness.
Garip Zamanlar meaning ‘strange times’ and Zor Meseleler meaning ‘difficult times’ are the two Turkish-language podcasts. The first sees three Turkish Cypriots discuss life, politics, social issues, cinema, philosophy, books, social media, the pandemic and everything about our lives. Zor Meseleler offers political analysis by two Turkish Cypriots journalists – Aysu Basri Akter and Esra Aygın.
Figure it is a podcast that aims to go beyond the headlines. It delivers political, economic and social analysis on Cyprus by Fiona Mullen.
Platforms: www.islandtalks.fm, Apple Podcasts, CastBox, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, RSS, Spotify, Stitcher
Language: Greek, English, Turkish
Koumanto Sti Tsepi Sou
Launched in December 2020, this podcast in Greek offers tips and advice on how to better manage personal finances. Cleopatra Kitti from the website Queens of Money and financial journalist George Georgiou pose questions and seek answers about handling money, savings, loans and all sorts of financial issues people face in their everyday lives. Chats on how to talk to children about money and handling finances in divorce are but a few of the topics raised in the podcast. Every week a new episode is released, all under ten minutes or so, intending to be a quick listen with practical advice.
Platforms: Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube and Facebook
“A podcast for the women and mothers of Cyprus” is how Eleni Antoniou, the creator of the Mamma Mu podcast describes her show. It launched in 2019 on Spotify with the aim to empower and motivate women and bring personal stories and experiences to the forefront. Over her numerous seasons with episodes in Greek and English, Eleni has chatted with women of all backgrounds – mothers, authors, storytellers, businesswomen, educators and inspirational people with a story to remember. In its sixth season, Mamma Mu featured its first male guests inviting speakers to share their experiences and knowledge.
As raw and unfiltered she is on her blog and Instagram account (@georgiesmummy), she is also on her podcast and it’s one big reason why her followers connect with her. “All the podcast chats are organic,” she said, “with a natural conversation flow, they include honesty and truths about our lives as women and mothers.”
With just one listen to any random Mamma Mu episode, it’s easy to see what Eleni means. Real conversations about important topics. The latest season with 12 new episodes was recently released on a new podcast platform, moove.one, with more personal stories to learn from.
Platforms: www.moove.one ,Buzzsprout, Georgie’s Mummy blog
Language(s): Greek and English