Kalthoum Sarraï, All Africa better known by her stage name Cathy Sarraï, was a French anchor and television presenter. She is best known for being a nanny in the French adaptation of Super Nanny (2005), a British reality TV show featuring parents who struggled to raise their children. She was of Tunisian origin. All Africa
Cathy Sarraï was born on Tuesday, September 25, 1962 (age 48 years; at the time of death), in Tunis, Tunisia.
She did a high school diploma, which was usually reserved for boys in those days. She grew up in Tunisia and was betrothed (at the age of 14) to the son of a French immigrant who spotted her in the streets of Tunis.
On 20 September 1979, just 5 days before her seventeenth birthday, Cathy got married to her fiancé and relocated to Paris in France. In Paris, Cathy was forced to live the life of a hermit by her mother-in-law. However, she soon registered with a Family Allowance Fund and shifted to a tiny hotel in Paris along with her husband. She learned French by watching television. Subsequently, she obtained a certificate of professional competence in child psychology and also did a diploma of auxiliary in pediatric nurse. Paris Match
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Hazel Green
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about her father. Her mother, at the age of 54, died of breast cancer. She had six siblings.
Husband & Children
Cathy Sarraï was forcibly engaged to an immigrant’s son in France when she was just 14 years old. Two years later, on 20 September 1979, she entered into a wedlock with him.
Revealing the details about her marriage in her autobiography published in 2006, Cathy wrote,
Funny fate that mine, that of a teenager who endures the traditions of her country. While in Tunis, I lived in the sweet family cocoon, overnight, I found myself in the nineteenth arrondissement of Paris. A real leap into the unknown! In France, I learned everything: the language, the customs, my job…”
She had three children; two daughters named Eptissem and Najoua and a son named Hamadi. As of 2010, Cathy lived with her son, Hamadi, in western Paris. A couple of months before her death, Cathy divorced her husband.
Cathy started her career as a cleaning lady at a canteen in a nursery school in Paris. She then did many odd jobs before earning a diploma of an auxiliary pediatric nurse. Soon after her graduation, she worked as a childcare assistant.
Thereafter, she started working as a nanny and an educator for millionaires. While sharing this piece of information in one of her books, Cathy wrote,
I rubbed shoulders with the greats of this world, I lived in insane luxury, I raised dozens of children.”
In 2005, her life took an unexpected turn when she was offered to play a nanny in the French version of Super Nanny, a British reality TV show that premiered on M6, a national French television channel. In the show, Cathy had to observe the life of a family for a few days and provide parents with basic child care and parenting techniques. The show was a huge hit and attracted around 3.7 million viewers in Belgium and France, making Supper Nanny a well-known face on M6.
She also hosted a few other parental coaching programs like Insane (2008) on Tunisian television and Aiche Naâmil (2008) on the Hannibal TV channel. In 2009, she was featured in Christophe Willem’s music video for his single Berlin. She was also featured in the TV commercial for Nintendo’s Wii console with another M6 host, Stéphane Rotenberg. Besides being a successful television presenter, Cathy also authored three books; one of them being an autobiography.
Cathy was detected with Lung Cancer when she was in her thirties. She successfully fought the battle against cancer and managed to live a normal life. However, she was again traced with the disease ten years after the first alert. In December 2009, Cathy went for chemotherapy in Saint-Cloud hospital, but the treatment could not take place. After a few days, her health condition deteriorated, and she died on 19 January 2010 in Paris due to Lung Cancer. She was 47 years old at the time of her death. All Africa
Minutes after the news of her demise went viral, her fans all over Europe and Maghreb started sharing their sadness through posts and tweets. One of the young mothers’ wrote,
It’s as if we knew her, through her advice, we brought her into our life …”
On 21 January 2010, her body was repatriated to Tunis by airplane. Her remains were wrapped in a Tunisian flag and the burial took place at the Sidi-Salah cemetery in Bardo according to the Muslim rites. There was a huge crowd that attended her last rites. Among the men in mourning, the representatives of Tunisia were also present, not just because she was a national personality, but also because she once took care of the president’s only son, Mohamed Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
- Film: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
- Writer: Agatha Christie
- Cathy Sarraï enjoyed partying in Arab clubs.
- Cathy was very affectionate towards children and once she saved the life of an 11-year-old boy who was about to jump off the roof. Apparently, Cathy went near the boy, and asked,
Was it you who stole the pass to go up there?”
When the boy replied with a yes, she quickly asked him to hand over the pass to her and said that she would say that she found it under a bed. The boy agreed to it and came back down.
- It was her family’s tradition to marry off the girls in the family at a young age. Her great-grandmother, Fatima, got married at the age of 14 and her grandmother, Mima got married when she was just 10 years old.
- After her demise, The M6 Group advertised on its site that they were there with Cathy’s family in their hard times and also announced a special show on their channel as a tribute to Cathy.
- A week before she died, Cathy was planning a trip to Fiji with her friend Aouatef. She had also planned to travel to Istanbul for a week for shopping and a frenzied outing.
- While having a conversation with her agent, Amir Zogib, based in Switzerland, just 5 days prior to her death, Cathy said that she was getting over it and that she was looking forward to having lunch with him in Paris.